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Drawing from their life experiences, a panel of pioneering women shared nuggets of wisdom and inspiration before an appreciative audience during the Women's History Month Celebration Luncheon, held March 7 at Bethel AME Church in Little Rock and hosted by its H.E. Carolina Women's Missionary Society.

Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton was mistress of ceremonies for the luncheon. Kenya Eddings and Monica Crayton interviewed the panelists after they were escorted into the luncheon hall.

Panelists were:

Gallery: Women's History Month Celebration Luncheon

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• State Sen. Linda Pondexter Chesterfield, first black woman to serve as president of the Arkansas Teachers Association and president of the Pulaski County Association of Classroom Teachers and first black graduate of Hendrix College.

• Former state Sen. Irma Hunter Brown, first black woman to serve in the Arkansas House of Representatives and the Arkansas Senate.

• Barbara Johnson, first black female head nurse in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences operating room, first black woman to head the department of operating room technology at the UAMS College of Health Related Professions and first black woman appointed to the state Board of Health and to serve as its president.

• Jamileh Kamran, first woman to own a fashion school and known for outfitting Hillary Rodham Clinton.

• Tanisha Joe-Conway, first black female producer at what is now Arkansas PBS.

• Lottie Shackelford, Little Rock's first black female mayor.

• A seventh panelist, Mary Louise Williams, the first black woman to sit on the Arkansas Election Commission Board, was unable to attend. Members of the Beta Pi Omega chapter of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, were nonetheless in attendance to lend support.

The event also featured a presentation by Terica Richardson about the Terrance Richardson Dream.Believe.Work Foundation Inc., named for her son, the late Arkansas musician and photographer. The foundation is dedicated to "implementing innovative mentorship programs and community initiatives."

High Profile on 03/22/2020

Print Headline: Historic excellence: Black female pioneers honored at Women’s History Month luncheon


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