Profiles in Leadership: Women’s History Month 2021
Benton + Bradford Consulting celebrates Women’s History Month by highlighting women who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and determination. Each of them provides inspiration for tomorrow’s leaders to define and develop their own unique strengths.
Toni Morrison is one of the most celebrated authors in the world. In addition to writing plays and children’s books, her novels have earned her countless prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. As the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Morrison’s work has inspired a generation of writers to follow in her footsteps. Her ability to capture the human experience – and specifically the black experience as nuanced and multi-faceted – is unparalleled. Benton + Bradford Consulting celebrates her visionary leadership in the field of literature.
Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Shanta Corbett is an American viral immunologist at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIAID NIH) based in Bethesda, Maryland. She earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. Appointed to the VRC that same year, she currently serves as the scientific lead of the VRC’s Coronavirus Team, with research efforts aimed at propelling novel coronavirus vaccines. Her team’s key discoveries of coronavirus “spikes,” proteins that protrude from the surface of each virus particle, directed the COVID-19 vaccine development approach used by Moderna Inc. Other manufacturers followed with development of spike-based vaccines that have proven highly effective at preventing severe disease caused by COVID-19. In February 2021, Corbett was highlighted in Time Magazine’s “Time 100 Next” list under the category of Innovators. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID NIH, noted, “Her work will have a substantial impact on ending the worst respiratory-disease pandemic in more than 100 years.” In March 2021, Corbett was named a recipient of The Franklin Institute’s Benjamin Franklin NextGen award, recognizing innovation by scientists early in their careers. For her work in the field of science and helping to end the pandemic Benton + Bradford Consulting celebrates her leadership in the field of microbiology and immunology.
Georgia’s Political Powerhouse
(Clockwise from top left)
- LaTosha Brown, co-creator of Black Voters Matter Fund
- Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight
- Nsé Ufot, executive director of The New Georgia Project
- Melanie L. Campbell, director of The National Coalition on Black Participation (NCBCP)
- Tamieka Atkins, executive director of Pro Georgia,
- Helen Butler, executive director of The Peoples’ Agenda
- Deborah Scott, executive director of STAND-UP
Democrats won both Georgia runoff elections in 2021, a significant shift for the historically red-voting state of Georgia, and effectively gained control of the U.S. Senate. Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent, and Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican David Perdue 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent.
Although local and national media have rightfully praised Stacey Abrams and the organizations she founded—Fair Fight Action, which advocates against voter suppression; New Georgia Project, which helped registered over a million new voters in just over 3 years; and Fair Count, which seeks to get communities of color, rural populations and other marginalized groups counted in the 2020 Census—for playing a crucial role in helping flip Georgia in this election, she had strong, strategic support from a number of female leaders within the state. Benton + Bradford Consulting celebrates these women for their contributions to the political landscape.
Angela Bassett attended the Yale School of Drama and went on to become an actress, director, and producer, known widely for her starring roles in biographical films, including the Tina Turner biopic, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” for which the actress received an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award. Bassett chooses to portray female leaders who are strong, empathetic and intelligent and eschews stereotypes of African American woman as rash, irresponsible or lacking in character. Benton + Bradford Consulting celebrates her leadership in the field of cinema.
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