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Published on March 23rd, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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11 Unsung Heroines Honored By Richland County Council

Pictured front row left to right: Helen Solomon, Caroline Floyd, Rosemary Jones and Judge Mildred McDuffie. Back Row left to right: Sandra Thompson, Joan Mobley, Ruth Johnson, Councilwoman Julie-Ann Dixon, Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson, Barbara Dotson, Gloria Hatcher, Eme Crawford and Brenda Russell McGriff

Richland County, SC—Richland County Councilwomen Joyce Dickerson and Julie-Ann Dixon recognized eleven (11) outstanding women for being trailblazers and true change agents. More than 75 people were in attendance to celebrate the extraordinary contributions these women are making. The first annual Richland County Distinguished Women’s Awards Luncheon was held at Columbia College’s Breed Leadership Center.

The luncheon was opened by the ladies of Richland County Council and the keynote address was delivered by Columbia College’s President, Dr. Elizabeth Dinndorf. Dr. Dinndorf delivered a message of accomplishment and achievement. She talked about the work the honorees are doing in the community and how their great stewardship is having a direct impact on the women that are attending Columbia College.

“Ladies, today is our day, this month is our month, the last century and half has been our time. Women have made and are continuing to make great strides throughout the world and today we are recognizing those women that have changed the rhythm of our beat here in Richland County,” stated Councilwoman Julie-Ann Dixon. “To the Distinguished Women in this room, today is your day to be honored, recognized and woven into the fabric our history.”

The seven (7) nominated award recipients were chosen from among more than 20 applicants. The 2015 honorees are: Ms. Joan Mobley, who is described as an exemplary leader, the matriarch of her family, and a woman who reaches beyond her own backyard to effect change; Ms. Ruth Johnson, who is described as a cut above the rest, over the past 40 years she has improved the conditions of her neighborhood and instilled a since of pride and safety in her neighbors; Ms. Eme Crawford, who is described as a true women activist and has fought for the safety and equality of women for more than a decade; Ms. Gloria Hatcher, who is described as a drum major for justice, because she took a crime infested neighborhood and turned it around; Ms. Barbara Dotson, who is described as someone who is shattering the glass ceilings and exceeding as an entrepreneur in a male dominated profession; Ms. Caroline Floyd, who is described as a committed servant in the true sense of the word and has spent 91 years of life making an impact in her community; Ms. Sandra Thompson, who is described as caring about the overall health of our community and not only talked about what we need to do as a community to improve our health but she did something about it.

“We are overjoyed and so humbled by this opportunity to celebrate the progression and transformation of the women in our community. This moment allows us to take a moment and celebrate US,” stated Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson. “This room is filled with what many may say, are ordinary women but you are doing extraordinary things.”

Councilwoman Dickerson and Dixon also selected four (4) additional women from the community and honored them based on the contribution they have made to society. The Distinguished Community Leadership Award for Advocacy was presented to Judge Mildred McDuffie for being an educator and for always fighting for justice and equality. The Distinguished Community Leadership Award for Education was presented to Ms. Helen Solomon for her educational contributions during desegregation in Sumter, SC. The Distinguished Community Leadership Award for Community Activism was presented to Ms. Mary Jones for being a true change agent for our young people and for her continued service; after 102 years of life she still finds the energy to mentor in our schools and feed the homeless. The final award was presented to Ms. Brenda Russell-McGriff, as a special Council District Two recognition for her dedication and commitment to helping to improve the lives of everyone she encounters.

“I am elated and delighted with the work that is being done by the women in this room. I feel reassured that my three girls will have greater opportunities because of the work you all are doing, stated Chairman Torrey Rush. “Thank you for improving Richland County and being who you are.”

For more information please contact the Office of Richland County Council (803) 576-2060.

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