February 19, 2001
Unsung Heroines honored
by full house
By Stephanie Sonnenfeld firstname.lastname@example.org
The Miller-Ward Alumni House played host for the first time to the annual Unsung Heroines awards, held Feb. 13 and sponsored by the Womens Center.
The facilitys Governors Hall was filled to capacity as an
assorted group of Emory community members gathered to salute the ceremonys
four honorees: Aida Sued-Dominquez (undergraduate); Shirley Banks (staff);
Brenda Bynum (faculty); and Beth Sufian 87C, the first ever alumna
Veteran television journalist Steen Miles served as the event's guest speaker and used her speech as an opportunity to not only praise the award recipients, but to speak of 19th centurys heroines.
The Emmy-winning former WXIA 11Alive reporter spoke of Hallie Quinn Brown,
a daughter of freed slaves who became an American educator and elocutionist
and who pioneered the movement for African American womens clubs.
Miles asked the crowd if anyone had ever heard of Margaret Knight, who
was hailed as a female Edison at her death or if they knew
of Elizabeth Dwight Cabot, a tireless community volunteer in Boston.
The women were unknown to the crowd, unsung like many women, Miles alluded.
Wouldnt it be great if channels 2, 5 and 11 were here to-night
honoring these women? she said of the award winners. Will
they make the headlines? Will they make the news? Probably not.
History may never record what these women have done, she
continued. But perhaps in future years, some young woman will have
been inspired by Brenda; some young woman will have been inspired by Aida;
some young woman will have been inspired by Shirley and Beth, and by the
works that have been done here and at the Womens Center.
Sued-Dominquez, an Emory College senior, was nominated by Jasmine Williams
and Tricia Anbinder of the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center. She began her involvement
in the Emory community as a student at Oxford, where she was vice president
of Revision, a womens organization there. Sued-Dominquez volunteers
in several capacities at the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center and is one of the
organizations few fluent Spanish speakers, helping bridge a gap
between Spanish-speaking rape victims and the proper help. She also serves
as a Womens Center volunteer and board member.
Williams and Anbinder also nominated Banks for this years staff
honoree. Since she began working at Emory in 1996, Banks has been known
for her dedication to the University Health Services. She started Emorys
anonymous testing program, which offers confidential testing for sexually
transmitted diseases and counseling. In 1998, she became a health educator,
and now averages 650 patient consultations per year. Banks also trains
peer educators and volunteers at the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center and the
Bynum, nominated by graduate school research associate Lois Overbeck,
has been a fixture on Emorys campus for almost 20 years, both on
the stage and in the classroom. In addition to her duties as a lecturer
in the theater arts department, shes is also a resident actor and
director for Theater Emory. She has directed many productions of Samuel
Becketts plays, has helped educate middle school students about
AIDS through theater, has brought the working women of Cabbagetown to
life through the theater and has been a part of the Vagina Monologues.
Bynum also volunteers at the Womens Center.
The final honoree, Sufian began her career in law at the
age of 11, when she helped her mother volunteer at an organization that
gave free legal advice to victims of domestic abuse. During her time at
Emory, Sufian volunteered at Egleston Childrens Hospital to help
with children who had cystic fibrosis, which she also has.
As a law student in Texas, she volunteered as a lawyer to children in foster care. Sufian eventually founded her own law firm in Houston, that focuses on representing individuals with disabilities. She also continues to work with young girls who have cystic fibrosis.