Updated: Jan 20
The following article was originally posted in the City of Tulsa press room.
YWCA in partnership with the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women is thrilled to announce the winners of the coveted 2018 Women of the Year – Pinnacle Awards.
The winners are:
Premadonna Braddick, Executive Director of Soaring Eagles Youth and Family Services and founder of Girls’ Teen Summit Deborah Hunter, poet and champion for mental health Kimberly Johnson, CEO of the Tulsa City-County Library Virginia Lewis, champion for survivors of sexual abuse and advocate for legislative change Faatimah McLemore, volunteer Executive Director for The Surayya Anne Foundation Julie E. Miller-Cribbs, MSW, PhD, community leader for students and professionals working to address health disparities, adverse childhood experiences and healthcare accessibility Carola Munoz de Cote, champion for equitable education in the Latina community Priya Raju, mentor to young girls and Director of Kripalaya Dance Academy Renee’ Sites, advocate for reducing barriers within the deaf community Kim Teehee, Vice President of Government Relations for Cherokee Nation Businesses and Director of Government Relations for Cherokee Nation
“We are so excited for the opportunity to honor this incredibly diverse group of women and highlight their uniquely successful approaches to standing up for social justice, helping families and strengthening communities,” said Torii Ransome Freeman, Interim CEO of YWCA Tulsa.
The 10 honorees were selected from more than 60 online nominations for their outstanding accomplishments and/or projects of distinction within the past two years. Each honoree has labored tirelessly throughout her career and philanthropic endeavors to empower women and marginalized individuals in the Tulsa community.
“These women are creating real, sustainable change despite economic barriers currently at play within the state of Oklahoma,” says Ransome Freeman. “It is with great excitement that we honor these outstanding women who have chosen to build on the foundation of our foremothers by shaping a more positive future for Tulsa through their innovative and compassionate work.”
Each honoree personifies the mission of YWCA – to eliminate racism and empower women – and upholds the legacy of the Pinnacle Awards, which is reflected in women who are role models in their professions, take risks on behalf of others, perform community service, and advocate for women’s issues.
Winners will be honored on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Tulsa with a spectacular event featuring a Grand Tasting with ten women-owned and/or women-made wines, brews and spirits, lively fundraising games and auctions, dazzling entertainment and a truly meaningful program and tribute to ten deserving award winners.
All Women of the Year – Pinnacle Award winners are available for interview through YWCA Tulsa. Please contact Mandie Rowden (information above) to make arrangements with the winners.
History of the Two Awards Two powerhouse advocates for women’s rights merged in 2015 to bring the first ever Women of the Year – Pinnacle Awards ceremony to Tulsa. The Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women has honored more than 200 Tulsa women with the Pinnacle Award since its inception in 1987. After celebrating their 100-year anniversary in December 2014, YWCA honored their first Women of the Year at Wine, Women and Shoes in April 2015. Given the success of both awards and the shared objective, YWCA’s board of directors voted unanimously to approve the organic partnership.
About YWCA YWCA is on a mission to stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities. Each year YWCA creates real change in the lives of more than 25,000 women, men and children through direct service programs while also focusing on advocacy efforts that reduce disparities in wellness, wealth and education. YWCA’s work begins with a focus on empowering and advancing ALL women, making racial justice - along with women’s empowerment – a core component of its mission of eliminating racism, empowering and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Infusing the ideals of the mission, YWCA’s direct service departments are:
Health & Wellness – supporting more than 8,000 women and their families by offering year-round fitness and aquatics programs at two locations, a community garden that provides fresh produce for the residents surrounding the East facility, and partnerships with dozens of community organizations providing health screenings and education classes to help increase the quality of life of all Tulsans.
Immigrant & Refugee Empowerment – serving more than 13,000 newcomers every year by providing English Language classes, citizenship courses, immigration legal services, job placement, wrap-around social service case management, and translation and interpretation support. For more information, visit ywcatulsa.org.
About the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women The Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women acts as the central clearinghouse and coordinating agency for activities and information relating to women. The commission is charged with helping women develop a collective voice to influence public policy and effect positive changes in their lives, in addition to stimulating research in the area of women’s legal rights; educating the community on the status of women by publicizing information on women’s rights and obligations; reviewing the range of services available to women to enable them to fully contribute to society through their homes and participation in community life; and to strengthening existing services and assisting public, commercial, cooperative or voluntary agencies in pursuing needed services. For more information on the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women, visit MCOSOW.