YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee hosted its 27th annual Academy for Women of Achievement celebration and induction dinner at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville Thursday evening (Oct. 11) where CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern was among this year’s honorees. One of Trahern’s predecessors, former CMA Executive Director Jo Walker-Meador, received the same recognition 15 years ago. This is only the second time in the 27 year history of the Academy for Women of Achievement that the leader of the same organization has been honored. More than 500 people, including Mayor David Briley and leaders from Nashville’s music, business, government, and philanthropic sectors attended.
In addition to Trahern, the 2018 honorees are Kasar Abdulla, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Valor Collegiate Academies; Nicky Weaver Cheek, Philanthropist; Sara Finley, Principal, Threshold Corporate Consulting; Thelma Harper, State Senator of Tennessee; Latrisha Jemison, Regional Community Affairs Manager at Regions Bank; and Beverly Watts, Executive Director of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.
Proceeds from the AWA recognition dinner help fund the programs of the YWCA, including the Weaver Domestic Violence Center, the largest emergency domestic violence shelter in Tennessee. For 120 years, the YWCA has helped women, girls and families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee build safer, more self-sufficient lives. In addition to its extensive domestic violence services, the YWCA operates a Family Literacy Center to help women and men earn their high school equivalency diploma. Dress for Success Nashville provides professional clothing for women who are entering the workforce. Girls Inc. inspires hundreds of Nashville-area schoolgirls each year to be strong, smart and bold. The AMEND Together program seeks to reduce all violence against women and girls by challenging a culture that supports violence and cultivating healthy masculinity.
The Academy for Women of Achievement was launched locally in 1992 by YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, and it is being presented for the 13th consecutive year by First Tennessee. This year’s recipients join 158 other women who hold this distinctive honor.
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