Last updated on June 23rd, 2015 at 02:52 pm
Joyce Espy Searcy is a prominent leader in Nashville who has done a lot for women in the community.
A native of Yazoo City, Mississippi, Ms. Searcy grew up in a segregated school system and graduated from both Fisk University and Vanderbilt University. In 2008, she completed Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program and throughout her tenure at Bethlehem Centers of Nashville, Joyce Espy Searcy worked tirelessly to provide excellent social services such as the Center’s award-winning childcare program, which allows young mothers to leave their children in a safe and caring environment while learning important parenting and job skills. Her dedication to helping women advance professionally extends to her civic involvement as well. Searcy is a founder of the Association for Non-profit Executives, was a member of the inaugural Nashville Human Relations Commission, and is a founding member of the Nashville Youth Partnership.
Ms. Searcy learned the value of service to others at an early age. She believes it’s essential for women to help each other out in any capacity available.
“Whether it is women’s healthcare, domestic violence, pay equity, or women’s sports—there are so many organizations that need each of us to play a part to advance the position of women. Just pick one. Believe in yourself. Believe in women. Then commit to taking bold steps with your sisters.”
She is the recipient of the prestigious Athena Award for 2008. In Nashville, the Athena Award is considered the highest award recognizing the achievements of businesswomen. During the summer of 2008, Joyce attended Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management on a full scholarship.
Joyce is the current secretary of the board of trustees for Leadership Nashville, immediate past president of the New Level Community Development Corp., and co-chaired the 2008-09 Nashville Chamber Education Report Card committee. Joyce is currently serving as vice president of Full Circle and is a member of the Metro Nashville Library Board of Directors.
Joyce has been the vice president for Mid-States for the YWCA of the USA and recently completed a term on the National Board for Girl Scouts of the USA. She has received numerous other community recognitions from the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, ACLU, Nashville Conference of Christian and Jews, Alpha Kappa Alpha Regional ‘Member of the Year,’ Tennessee State University’s Women of Legend and Merit, Vanderbilt University’s Scholar ‘Prophetarium’ (Community Leader of the Year).
Searcy is the current director of community relations at Belmont University.
“Women’s History Month is a good time to examine your belief in something greater for yourself and for all women and to examine your role in making it happen. One hundred and twenty-five years ago, two women believed there was a better way to educate women. Even though women were not allowed to vote, they acted upon their belief and founded Belmont. There are so many women’s organizations that need all of our help.”