Championing women:

April 3, 2015

Karen Holland and Deborah Kennedy to receive Susan B. Anthony Awards

University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Commission for Women will honor Karen Holland and Deborah Kennedy during the organization’s annual Susan B. Anthony Awards Dinner Wednesday, April 15. The awards recognize a member of the campus family and a member of the local community whose work exemplify the dedication of Susan B. Anthony on behalf of women. Holland, coordinator of special events in the Office of the Chancellor, will receive the campus award; and Kennedy, executive director of the AAUW Wyandotte-Downriver Branch, will receive the community award.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy will deliver the keynote address.

Karen Holland

As the coordinator of special events, Holland is visible across campus planning and ensuring special campus events are successful. For seven years, Holland has worked behind the scenes of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, organizing staff and student volunteers across campus in a year-round effort to make polar fleece blankets and knit hats, mittens and scarves for distribution to shelters for abused women and children and the homeless. In recent years, Holland has extended these activities to include making toys, beds and blankets for the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

Holland is actively involved with the university’s civic engagement programs, collecting items for the UM-Dearborn Student Food Pantry. She also served for many years as a board member of the Commission for Women, where she was instrumental in making the Susan B. Anthony Awards Silent Auction a success, personally making table decorations and table gifts for dinner attendees, and donating items for the silent auction. Following her term on the CFW Board, Holland continues to contribute her skills and efforts in making CFW and service activities a success across campus.

Deb Kennedy

Kennedy is an inspiration and a mentor to many in both the AAUW Wyandotte-Downriver Branch and in the Downriver community. Within AAUW and other community programs, Kennedy demonstrates a commitment to volunteerism, mentoring and social justice. She works tirelessly at championing the cause of advancing women in the world. She has raised funds to help women struggling with domestic violence, for building wells in Africa—so women would not have to walk miles each day to bring water back to their families—and for a free mammography program at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital called “Yes Ma’am,” which still is thriving 15 years later.

As a former state legislator, Kennedy introduced more than 20 bills, many of which were directed at improving the status of women. Kennedy is taking her leadership skills to the state level, volunteering and serving as secretary on the Michigan AAUW Board of Directors.

The annual Susan B. Anthony Awards Dinner includes appetizers, dinner and a silent auction that benefits the Commission's Supplemental Professional Development Fund. The cost for the evening is $40. Reservations must be returned by Wednesday, April 8, to Judy Walker 2157 UC or[email protected] . Seating is limited, so it is recommended to reserve early.