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AAUW celebrates Women’s History Month

Submitted by Eileen Hanson-Kelly

“Women in Media” was the theme of this year’s Women’s History Month Brunch sponsored by the Salisbury Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women).

The March 17 event at First United Church of Christ featured award-winning journalist and anchor of WBTV News This Morning, Christine Sperow. Dr. Carol Cody, president of AAUW-Salisbury, led the program, with the invocation by Dr. Amy Susong, assistant professor at Livingstone College.

While enjoying a brunch provided by Kelly’s Kitchen, the audience was entertained with “oldies but goldies” by the Ladies of Lee Street — Becky Lippard, Mary Ann McCubbin, Carol Harris and Patsy Parnell, with accompanist Michael Brown. The group performs occasionally at the Lee Street Theatre.

To introduce the guest speaker the program listed Dr. Da’Tarvia Parrish, associate professor at Livingstone College. To everyone’s surprise, she transferred this task to her nine-year old daughter Seven-Hazel Boone, who has aspirations of becoming a news reporter. With a strong voice, little miss Seven-Hazel acquainted the audience with the speaker in a defined acronym of the speaker’s first name, and a gender-themed version of Countee Cullen’s poem “Hey, Black Child.”

Seven-Hazel Boone

Sperow spoke of her past professional experience from Florida to Georgia to Mississippi. “I was like a sponge, learning everything I could about the media business,” said Sperow. She encouraged women to continue to support each other. “Progress is never a straight path,” she said. “You have to jump through hoops, overcome obstacles. Be like a ball of clay, mold yourself.”

The event also served as a fund raiser for scholarships to enable two local students to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL), sponsored by the national AAUW. Former NCCWSL scholarship recipients A’Kira Thomas (2016) and Renae Moses (2017) introduced the 2018 scholars, Jenna Wright and Jourdan Gaddie. All four are students at Livingstone College, which is as Institutional Member of AAUW. The 2018 awardees expressed their excitement and appreciation. The conference will be held in June at the University of Maryland.

The program concluded with a drawing led by Eileen Hanson-Kelly, AAUW-Salisbury treasurer, assisted by Seven-Hazel and the four NCCWSL scholarship students. Local merchants and venues donated more than 30 door prizes.

For more information about AAUW’s national and local programs, visit www.aauw.org or contact hansonkelly@ctc.net

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