Commission for Women honors Kay McGowan, Shareia Carter during annual awards ceremony
The Susan B. Anthony Awards recognize individuals who work to enhance the status of women and girls and who promote equal rights for women.
University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Commission for Women honored Kay McGowan and Shareia Carter during the organization’s annual Susan B. Anthony Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 3. McGowan is this year’s recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Community Award; and Carter is the recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Campus Award.
“These awards celebrate the people whose lives and deeds exemplify the dedication, fortitude, political agitation and involvement of Susan B. Anthony on behalf of women,” said Commission for Women Chair Eva Gogola. “Both of this year’s honorees raise our communities up and help women and girls be heard, be seen and be successful.”
Institutional Equity Director Pamela Heatlie served as keynote for the awards dinner, speaking on the power of mentorships and encouraging the Commission for Women to create more spaces and opportunities for people to meet and connect.
“Her speech really resonated with the audience,” Gogola said. “Pam talked about a ‘rising tide lifting all boats’ — and the Commission is committed to lifting up women and girls across campus and in our communities.”
McGowan is of Mississippi Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, and has taught anthropology and Native American studies at Eastern Michigan University since 1996.
She co-founded First Step, an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence in Downriver communities, in 1981. McGowan has represented the interests of indigenous peoples at the United Nations, the Working Group on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, CERD, and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and testified on water as a human right. She has authored five books and more than 150 articles.
McGowan enjoys traveling, art, sewing, Powwows, and spending time with her identical twin Fay Given, executive director of American Indian Services, with whom she produced a documentary film about the memories of survivors of Indian boarding schools. In 2009, McGowan was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame for her years of activism on behalf of women and native people.
She is a 1982 UM-Dearborn graduate. She also earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology from Wayne State University.
Carter is director of the Women’s Resource Center at UM-Dearborn, where she works collaboratively with internal and external constituents to support women students, faculty and staff. Her previous career at a local nonprofit focused on ending domestic and sexual violence.
She serves on several committees on campus and in the community, including the Early Childhood Education Center board, MI-ACE Women of Color Collaborative and the Wayne County Counsel Against Family Violence. She also is an active member of numerous national organizations dedicated to the advancement of women, including the National Women’s Studies Association, the National Organization for Women and the American Association of University Women.
Carter loves traveling and spending time with her family. Her pride and joy is being a mom to her 10-year-old daughter, Peyton.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan and an M.L.S. from Eastern Michigan University.