Since 1992, the YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee’s Academy for Women of Achievement (AWA) has honored women for their community service, professional achievement, integrity, leadership, dedication to the lives of others and the quality of life for all. The nonprofit recently announced the names of those to be inducted, and YWCA President and CEO Sharon K. Roberson said, “[The] members of our 2021 AWA class have dedicated their lives to continuing the work of improving our community for the next generation. These women are role models to us all and help make our community a more just, educated and vibrant place to live.”

This year’s honorees are DarKenya Waller, executive director, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands; Diane Lance, department head, Metro Nashville Office of Family Safety; Glenda Glover, president, Tennessee State University; Wanda Lyle, managing director and general manager, UBS Nashville Business Solution Center; and Zulfat Suara, councilmember at-large, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. MP&F Strategic Communications was named the corporate honoree in recognition of their communications work in Nashville.

Past AWA honorees Marilyn Dubree and Christie Wilson with YWCA Board Chair-elect Cynthia Whitfield-Story are co-chairing and have chosen the theme “The Evolution of a Revolution” for the AWA’s 30th anniversary to celebrate the numerous revolutions created in the community, including the event itself. The fundraiser, which usually takes place in the fall, is being postponed to the spring of 2022 due to the rising COVID cases in Middle Tennessee.

In addition to recognizing female community leaders, the AWA serves to increase community awareness and appreciation of the diverse contributions of women in the workforce and the community. Proceeds from the event help fund YWCA programs and services, including the Weaver Domestic Violence Center.