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2019 Equali-TEA offered a shot of whiskey with a slice of history

Equali-TEA is a (hats optional) high tea held annually in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The 2019 event was held at 4:30 p.m. April 2 in the Center Atrium of MTSU's Miller Education building at 503 E Bell St., Murfreesboro.

This event raises scholarship and programming funds for the Middle Tennessee Fund for Women and Girls, a 501(C)3 organization, in support of the mission of AAUW Murfreesboro: to level the playing field for women and girls in education and in the workforce.​

Signature whiskey cocktail and whiskey tasting was served courtesy of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey at teatime, while Uncle Nearest co-founder Fawn Weaver presents the First Tennessee Keynote Speech. Full tea service was provided by The Curious Kitchen.

2019 Tempest Award Recipient

Diane Turnham, MTSU's Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women's Administrator, is in her 35th year with the Blue Raiders. Voted Middle Tennessee’s employee of the year for 2001-02, Turnham has served two stints as the department’s interim athletic director and was elected into the Blue Raider Hall of Fame in 2012. She is currently serving her second of five years on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.​

AAUW Murfreesboro and the Middle Tennessee Fund for Women and Girls will honor Turnham for her commitment to addressing systemic barriers to equity for women and girls in our community with the third annual Tempest Award.

Keynote Speaker

Fawn Weaver is the co-founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, serving as CEO and chief historian. She is a TED speaker, as well as a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author who has appeared on popular radio, morning and talk television shows around the world, including CBS This Morning and NPR. She’s been featured over a hundred times in publications from the Los Angeles Times to the USA Today to Chicago Tribune and New York Times. Weaver has served on the executive boards of Slavery No More, MEND Poverty, and is the founder of the Nearest Green Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to shining a spotlight on the first known African-American master distiller, Nathan “Nearest” Green.

This story, lost in time, was uncovered by Weaver and a team she brought together consisting of 20 archaeologist, genealogist, historians, archivist and conservators. She is currently overseeing 12 projects all related to honoring Green, with her favorite among them being the Nearest Green Legacy scholarship which provides full tuition and books for all Green descendants in college. Currently, there are ten Legacy scholarship recipients attending universities across the U.S.

2019 Equali-TEA Honorary Co-Chairs Dr. Phyllis Washington​​​​​​​​​​​​ & Meagan Flippin

Dr. Phyllis Washington received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University in English and a Doctorate of Education and Administration from Tennessee State University. Dr. Washington served as Coordinator of Secondary Instruction for Rutherford County Schools for 28 years, where she supervised all high schools in Rutherford County, and retired in June 2015 after working 40 years in education. Dr. Washington is a charter member of both the MTSU Chapter and the Murfreesboro Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Meagan Flippin has served as the President and CEO of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties since January 2013. She has led a strategic organizational transformation and collaborates with the board of directors and staff to deliver on United Way’s mission and vision. Flippin currently serves as the president-elect of Rutherford CABLE. Flippin earned both a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in strategic leadership from Middle Tennessee State University. Most recently, she earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University in May 2017.

About AAUW

Founded in 1913, AAUW Murfreesboro seeks to level the playing field for women and girls to work and learn. The Middle Tennessee Fund for Women and Girls, a 501(c)3 organization, is the charitable arm of AAUW Murfreesboro. Over the last 50 years, AAUW Murfreesboro has offered the Ruth M. Houston Memorial Scholarship to an undergraduate woman at Middle Tennessee State University. In 2017, AAUW Murfreesboro launched the Butler-Fouts Memorial Graduate Scholarship for an underrepresented woman pursuing a graduate degree at MTSU. Each provides $2000 for the academic year.

Equity Level Sponsors

Friends of AAUW Murfreesboro

Ida B. Wells Level Sponsors

Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, Tommy & Jeane Bragg

Anne Dallas Dudley Level Sponsors

Rayna, Dr. Susan T Andrews of Family Practice Partners

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