Fifty Forward recently held a panel discussion at the Nashville Public Library Bordeaux Branch for Women’s History Month featuring four trailblazing women whose life experiences enlightened and educated the audience on the challenges of being in a position traditionally held by men.
Brenda Gilmore, State Representative, is committed to helping others. Having started her political career as a Metro Council Representative, Brenda has long been a champion of FiftyForward. She helped secure the approval from Metro Council and the Tennessee State Board to build the agency’s headquarters in the Fairgrounds area. In addition Brenda helped FiftyForward acquire the former Bordeaux Library, now the home of FiftyForward Bordeaux. She has also served as the agency’s Board President and is an active member of the FiftyForward Endowment Board.
Florence Woods began her teaching career at Gra-Mar Elementary School in 1968, where she was the first African American teacher.
She also taught at Wade, Bordeaux, Goodlettsville and Old Center Elementary Schools for 19 years. As an educational consultant she has presented workshops on the topic of “Effective Strategies for Working with African American Males.” During her lengthy and successful career as an educator, she has been honored as Teacher of the Month, Elementary Guidance Counselor of the Month and Teacher of the Week by The Tennessean.
Sandra Long Weaver is the Managing Partner and Founder of Tea and Conversations, a networking, communications and educational event that focuses on the interests of African American women. She has served as the editorial director for The Tennessee Tribune since 2012 and is a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She has a 40-year career working for daily newspapers including The Philadelphia Inquirer where she was Vice President for Newsroom Operations and the first African American female Managing Editor.
Dorothy McMahon, U.S. Air Force, World War II Veteran. She served as a secretary and payroll clerk and was stationed at Presque Isle Air Force Base and at Grenier Field, NH. She was not only one of the first women to serve during the war, but upon leaving she became one of the first women commanders for the American Legion. She was the first woman to be elected as District Commander, consisting of 30 Posts and as the only woman in the U.S. to serve as a State Service Officer at the time. Her unique experiences include serving as a Commander for a Post located in a correctional facility.