YWCA names 2021 Academy for Women of Achievement honorees

(top l-r) Dr. Glenda Glover, Diane Lance, Wanda Lyle, (bottom l-r) Zulfat Suara, DarKenya Waller, and Sharon K. Roberson.

YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee is recognizing five women and one corporate honoree who have made their mark in Nashville. This inspiring group will be officially inducted into the 2021 Academy for Women of Achievement in spring 2022.

The 2021 honorees include: Dr. Glenda Glover, president, Tennessee State University; Diane Lance, department head, Metro Nashville Office of Family Safety; Wanda Lyle, managing director/general manager, UBS Nashville Business Solution Center (retired); Zulfat Suara, Council member at Large, Metropolitan Government of Nashville/Davidson County; and DarKenya Waller, executive director, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. MP&F Strategic Communications will be honored as the 2021 corporate honoree in recognition of their communications work in Nashville.

This year’s honorees join a prestigious group of 179 women and 31 organizations previously inducted into the AWA. They are leaders in the education, government, legal, social justice and financial fields. Each year, the judging committee, made up of business and community leaders and the YWCA Executive Committee, chose those individual and corporate honorees from an exceptional list of nominees.

“Our theme for this year’s Academy for Women of Achievement rings true to not only our honorees but our organization. ‘The Evolution of a Revolution’ theme celebrates the numerous revolutions created in our community, including this event, which was founded 30 years ago,” said YWCA President/CEO Sharon K. Roberson. “Members of our 2021 AWA class have dedicated their lives to continuing the work of improving our community for the next generation. These women are role models to us all and help make our community a more just, educated and vibrant place to live.”

Although the annual event usually takes place in the fall, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee is moving the event from the planned date of Nov. 4 to the spring of 2022 due to the rising COVID cases in Middle Tennessee. “Our guests, volunteers and staff members’ health is our number one priority. We’re looking forward to celebrating these inspiring women at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel early next year,” said AWA Co-chair Christie Wilson.

YWCA is grateful to the many sponsors who support this program and our work, including Dignity Sponsor, Dollar General; and Freedom Sponsors, Mary Wester Foundation and PNC Bank. Proceeds from the AWA event help fund YWCA programs and services, including the Weaver Domestic Violence Center.

The Academy for Women of Achievement was launched locally in 1992 to increase community awareness and appreciation of the diverse contributions of women in the workforce and the community. Women are honored for their community service, professional achievement, integrity, leadership, dedication to the lives of others and the quality of life for all. This year’s co-chairs include past AWA honorees Marilyn Dubree (2016), Christie Wilson (2020) and YWCA Board Chair-elect Cynthia Whitfield-Story.

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