Women’s History Month event inspires at ATL

Filed in Employees, Events by on March 23, 2014
Vivica Brown, Evelyn Wynn-Dixon, LaRonda Sutton and Winsome Lenfert spoke at the Women's History Month luncheon.

Vivica Brown, Evelyn Wynn-Dixon, LaRonda Sutton and Winsome Lenfert spoke at the Women’s History Month luncheon.

Hartsfield-Jackson’s own Vivica Brown, Interim Assistant General Manager for Commercial Development, was one of four local women of achievement who helped make the Airport’s recent Women’s History Month luncheon a memorable event.

Along with Brown, the other speakers for the March 20 get-together were LaRonda Sutton, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Entertainment for the City of Atlanta; Winsome Lenfert, Manager of the FAA’s Southern Region Airports Division; and Evelyn Wynn-Dixon, Mayor of Riverdale. They were joined by Crystal Nickens Freeman of Atlanta, whose late mother, Barbara Pace Hunt, was being honored for helping dismantle the segregation policies of Georgia’s colleges five decades earlier.

Brown, who began her career as a corporate lawyer, described how she crossed into the public sector, working for the DeKalb County and City of Atlanta law departments before coming to the Airport, where she is busy overseeing the completion of Hartsfield-Jackson’s industry-leading concession expansion.

Before joining the city, Sutton was a longtime music executive who managed the music careers of Jamie Foxx and Ronald Isley, and worked with “L.A.” Reid.

Lenfert, whose background is in aviation, had worked her way up through the FAA to become a regional manager.

Wynn-Dixon’s road to success is such an uplifting story that she has been profiled by Maria Shriver on the NBC Nightly News for her triumph over adversity. As a single mother in 1973 with no job and seemingly no future, she attempted suicide before deciding to go back to school. She became a nurse and eventually earned a Ph.D. in public health before successfully running for mayor of Riverdale in 2007.

Hunt was another young, single mother without a college education when she applied to what is now Georgia State University in 1956. Although she was earning a living working for an African-American newspaper and serving as part-time secretary to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she was rejected by the school for failing to meet its “morality standard.” Hunt became the lead plaintiff in a civil rights lawsuit brought by the NAACP that resulted in a federal court ruling that the school’s admissions policies were unconstitutional. Hunt eventually earned a master’s degree in Texas and settled with her children in Dallas; she died in 2005.

The Women’s History Month event enjoyed an audience of more than 50 women from Spelman College, Clayton State University and the Airport community.

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