By Delvakio S. Brown
This year marks the ninth annual Women of Legend and Merit Awards Dinner. On March 22, the Gentry Center will be transformed into an evening filled with Jazz music in the air, décor in resemblance of a royal feast, and filled with individuals who dedicate their lives to change. With great participation in previous years the ten-member committee for the event decided to bring the awards to Tennessee State University. Last year’s event reached capacity and no local hotels in the area were able to occupy the expected number of over 600 guests for 2016. After a discussion, the committee saw fit for the event to be hosted on campus.
“We think everyone is going to be excited about how the Gentry Center is going to be transformed”, stated Seanne Wilson, co-director of the Tennessee State University Women’s Center.
The honorees for the 2016 awards include Ms. Jacky Akbari in the area of business, Mayor Megan Barry for government, Judge Angela Cox Esq. for legal, Dr. Sandra Holt for education, and Ms. Latrisha Jemison for community service. There will be a surprise honoree that is clueless on her honor for her great works in striving to make a different in the Nashville community.
Black Girls Rock founder, Beverly Bond, will be the special guest for the evening. Bonds selection as the keynote speaker was based off her ideology and what she strives to do with her foundation. It lines up with what the Women’s Center is striving to do, which is, produce excellent women. The goal is to showcase entrepreneurs and leaders of the Nashville community who are doing great work for young ladies of Tennessee State University to meet and network with.
Last year, the event raised $60,000 towards scholarship for female students. Many events will take place on the day of the awards including a private luncheon with speaker Beverly Bonds, the annual Honors College Convocation, and the distinguished lecture series. Because of events like this, women of TSU are granted opportunities that assist in academic and professional growth.