2015-06-18 / News

Local advocates for women and girls recognized

GENESEE COUNTY — The Michigan Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) recently held their 2015 annual conference and recognized several community members for their work to empower women and girls in our state.

A’dalea Buckley, Genesee County poet and Mott Community College student, opened the conference by reading three original poems. Buckley’s work gives voice to young women working to empower themselves in the face of adversity.

Dr. Peggy Kahn, UM-Flint Professor of Political Science, was given the Fostering Feminism Award (in absentia) for her work mentoring students and introducing them to feminism. She was also recognized for her work to establish the Women’s Studies Program and the Women’s Educational Center at the University of Michigan-Flint. Kahn authored Contesting the Market, which examined the pay equity struggle for Sate of Michigan employees. She has worked extensively on income inequality and poverty.

Judge David Newblatt of the Genesee County 7th Circuit Court was presented with the Patricia Hill- Burnett Presidential Award for being the “driving force” behind establishing Michigan’s first “Girl’s Court.” Girl’s Court is part of a larger effort which aims to address the commercialization of sex crimes involving minors. Court officials work with girls to provide them with resources and counseling to help them move away from the sex trade. Judge Newblatt donates a lot of time (without pay) to work with and mentor girls in this program.

Shelley Spivack, JD, was presented with the Doris Little Activist of the Year Award for her work to establish and implement the Buckham/GVRC Share Art Project for juvenile offenders. This project brings working visual artists and Spoken Word poets into the Genesee Valley Regional Center (GVRC), a county-run short-term detention facility in Flint. Project members have created a researchbased arts program which aims to address the gender specific needs of girls at the GVRC.

Spivack is co-author of Implementing a Gender-Based Arts Program for Juvenile Offenders (2014). She is an Attorney/Referee for the Genesee County Family Court, and a lecturer at UM-Flint for the Criminal Justice program and the Women and Gender Program. She serves on the UM-Flint Women’s Commission and the Women’s Educational Center Advisory Board. Ms. Spivack also serves as a member of the editorial board for the Michigan Family Law Journal, the Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, and Referees Quarterly.

Dr. Shareia Carter, Director of the Women’s Resource Center at UM-Dearborn, was presented with the Michigan NOW Partnership Award for her support of Michigan NOW and our annual state conference.

Angela Miske, Grand Rapids NOW, was given (in absentia) a Certificate of Appreciation for donating her creative talents to create cover art for Michigan NOW for the past several years. – G.G.

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