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Women’s History Month celebrations

Spring, 2018

Women Matter

Last month, I had the honor of participating as a table leader for an important program sponsored by the Triangle Community Foundation featuring the theme; What Matters: Women.  The program opened with an advocate, Farad Ali, Board Vice Chair of the Triangle Community Foundation, expressing appreciation for the women who have mentored and supported him throughout his career and life. He acknowledged the value of mentors including Andrea Harris and others.  

I especially appreciated the words of wisdom shared by the keynote speaker Dr. Johnnetta Cole, former president of two historically Black colleges for women in the United States – Spelman College and Bennett College – a distinction she alone holds. She was the perfect speaker to amplify why women matter and most importantly, why gender inequality as it relates to health, housing, education and employment robs individuals, families, organizations and communities.

As Dr. Cole said in her remarks, “When spiders unite, we can tie up a lion”. These are words for each of us to remember as we take on leadership roles and challenge of improving communities we serve.

We salute outstanding leaders who were nominated by the NC Council for Women Advisory Board members for the inaugural Salute to Women Program. Thanks to each of these heroes for their continued commitment to public service in North Carolina.





Mary Williams-Stover

Executive Director, NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement











Dr. Brucie Ogletree Green Richardson was elected Chief of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe for a three-year term on June 14, 2014. She is the first female to serve as the Tribal Chief of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe and the third female in the history of the state. As Chief, she is responsible for representing and promoting the cultural and traditional heritage of the Tribe to its members and the public. Thus the position as Tribal Chief is almost full-time as it is both working and ceremonial. As a former teacher and administrator, she was instrumental in establishing and working as principal for a number of years of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School. Still very involved in the education of Indian students and programs, she is a major part of the State Advisory Council on Indian Education in North Carolina.  


Community Activist









Brenda Pollard of Durham was recently appointed to the State Museum of Natural Sciences Advisory Commission by Governor Cooper as an at-large member. Pollard served as executive assistant to the North Carolina Secretary of State and Commissioner of Insurance. Pollard has served on the North Carolina Museum of History Associates board, the Women’s Forum of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Board of Architecture. Brenda H. Pollard was presented The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Beverly Eaves Perdue in 2012 for years of outstanding public service to North Carolina. Additionally, she received the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award on behalf of President George W. Bush in conjunction with the Corporation for National Community Service and USA Freedom Corps. She is an active advocate having served as President of the Durham County Democratic Women, and Deputy Director of the North Carolina Democratic Women. Brenda continues to serve her community as a member of various organizations committed to community development and public service including the Junior League of Durham and Orange County.










Vi Lyles-Mayor of Charlotte- 1st AA Female to serve as Mayor of Charlotte. She became one of the first Black women to attend Queens College, now Queens University. After graduating with Bachelor of Art degree in political science from Queens University and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Vi built a life and family in Charlotte and dedicate herself to the service of the city. Vi Has had a career in public service for over 40 years. Vi was Assistant City Manager for the City of Charlotte from 1996 to 2004. In 2002, Vi ran for Charlotte City Council and was elected to an At-Large seat for two consecutive terms. In 2014, the Council elected her Mayor Pro-Temp.


March 2018