YWCA Tulsa and the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women recognized 11 women Thursday who have had a big impact in the community.
Women of the Year – Pinnacle Award winners work to achieve YWCA Tulsa's goals of eliminating racism and empowering women.
Youth at Heart President and CEO Jocelyn McCarver is among this year’s 10 winners. The after-school program brings tutoring, field trips, sports and other enrichment activities to underserved kids.
"It's a great opportunity, I think, not so much to recognize me, but to recognize Youth at Heart and the work that we're doing to impact the future of Tulsa," McCarver said.
Attorney Caroline Abbott has focused on helping Tulsans in poverty and leading the charge on human services initiatives. For her award photo, she held a pickaxe, the best representation of her childhood literary heroine: Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel, Mary Anne. Abbott said their adventures include themes of labor issues, technological obsolescence, and community spirit and engagement.
"It helped shape me, as did my other favorite childhood book, 'Make Way for Ducklings,' which had to do with communities creating safe places for families," Abbott said.
Mayor G.T. Bynum said the second class of Women of the Year – Pinnacle Award Winners show girls what they can grow up to be: doctors, lawyers, policy makers, educators and advocates. Bynum said whenever his daughter visits him on the 15th floor of city hall, he points out Susan Savage on the wall of Tulsa’s past mayors.
"Because I think it's important for her, when she's looking at a wall with 38 men on it, that she recognizes that a woman served as mayor longer than anyone in our history," Bynum said.
The other winners were Dr. Katherine Anderson; OK2Grow and Dream It Do It Oklahoma Director Stephanie Cameron; Leche Lounge Founder and tribal leader Stephanie Conduff; social justice advocate Dorothy Dillard; Mrs. America 2015 and prescription drug abuse opponent Michelle Nicole Evans; journalist and women's rights advocate Ginne Graham; Healthy Women, Healthy Futures Director Su An Arnn Phipps; and Family Safety Center Executive Director Suzann Stewart.
Tulsa law professor Janet Levit earned a special honor, the Anna C. Roth Legacy Award.
The award winners will be honored at an event Feb. 24.