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2018 Women’s Leadership Development Event

The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women is holding a women’s leadership development event on Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at City Hall Showers Building. This is an annual event, and this year’s theme is “#ReclaimingtheMedia: Amplifying Women’s Voices.” There is no fee for this opportunity to learn how to get involved and make a difference in our community.

The event will begin with registration and light refreshments at 5:00 p.m. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. A reception will follow at 7:00 p.m. during which time participants can network, enjoy refreshments and learn more about getting involved with City of Bloomington Boards and Commissions as well as other local agencies.

The program will include an award presentation to the 2018 Emerging Leader, Christie Popp and keynote speakers, Dr. Maresa Murray, Associate Clinical Professor of Human Development in the School of Public Health at Indiana University and Dr. Danielle Kilgo, Assistant Professor of Journalism at The Media School at Indiana University. Speakers will address women and the media. The program will also include a short presentation on the use of hashtags and leadership scholarship recipients will share information about their leadership experiences.

The 2018 Emerging Leader, Christie Popp is a partner with Popp &Bullman, Attorneys-at- Law, where she practices exclusively immigration law. She formed the firm in 2017 with her husband, Greg Bullman. Before working with Popp &Bullman, Christie worked in private practice at the Popp Law Office for five years. Prior to going into private practice in 2012, Christie worked as the Director of the Immigrants’ and Language Rights Center of Indiana Legal Services. Throughout her career, Christie’s focus has been handling immigration cases to reunite families, to provide protection to vulnerable populations such as victims of crime, trafficking, and domestic violence and those who are seeking protection from persecution in their home countries. She also does immigration work for small businesses that seek to employ foreign national employees. Christie graduated with her J.D. from Vermont Law School in 2005 and earned a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Indiana University in 2001.

Co-sponsors of this event include the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women and the City of Bloomington Community &Family Resources Department.

For more information contact Sue Owens at

2018 Women’s History Month Lunch

Women's History Month Lunch serves as an opportunity to recognize individual and collective accomplishments of women in our community. In addition, organizations for women and women- owned businesses will exhibit at the history luncheon. The exhibit reservation form is available at

The theme of this year’s event is “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women." Dr. Byllye Avery will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Avery is the founder of the Black Women's Health Imperative and has been a health care activist for over 40 years focusing on women's needs. She is also a co-founder of Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need and a board member of Outer Cape Health Services. She is featured in the PBS program Makers: Women Who Make America.

The Women’s History Month Lunch is on Wednesday, March 21, at the Bloomington-Monroe Convention Center (302 S. College). Doors open at 11:15 a.m. for viewing of women’s exhibits. The buffet begins at 11:45 a.m. The program begins at 12:15 p.m. The cost is $25.00 per seat or $275.00 for a reserved table for eight; tickets must be purchased in advance through the BCT Box Office located at 114 E. Kirkwood Avenue, hours are 11am-6pm Mon-Fri and 12-5pm Sat-Sun, or online at Scholarships are available for individuals that need assistance purchasing a seat to attend the lunch.

The recipients of this year’s awards were selected by a subcommittee of the City of Bloomington’s Commission on the Status of Women. The Woman of the Year honorees and Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution Award honorees will be celebrated at the Women’s History Month luncheon Dr. Maresa Murray, Dr. Sharlene Newman, Morgan Newman and Phoebe Powell will receive the Woman of the Year Award for their collective work on a study to examine the implicit biases of black and white young adults in Bloomington. The study focused on specific experiences of black girls in a predominately white town/school compared to experiences of white girls in that same environment. Using focus groups and data collection the project showed young black women having more negative experiences as far back as kindergarten.

Passionate about helping younger generations of black girls, the women wrote an editorial for the Indianapolis Star that subsequently was picked us by USA Today. They met with school superintendents to encourage teacher trainings to better address issues related to race and gender, ultimately to help create equitable educational opportunities for young black girls and women in Bloomington.

Liz Feitl, recipient of the Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution Award, has been the AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison with United Way of Monroe County for more than 15 years. Prior to that she served as the President and Staff Rep of CWA (Communications Workers of America) Local 4730 for nine years. She received the annual Indiana Women and Work award in 1996, and is a 2000 graduate of Leadership Bloomington Monroe County. Liz’s community work includes being an active member of the Bloomington Rotary Club for more than 13 years, as well as serving on numerous boards, including CWA Local 4730, United Way of Monroe County, Indiana Workforce Investment Board Region 8, South Central Indiana Jobs With Justice and many, many others.

Sandy Keller, also named a recipient of the Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution Award, established a small thrift store, My Sister’s Closet, twenty years ago to help low-income women overcome the obstacles that keep them from entering the workforce. The idea was simple: give a struggling women a suit so she could interview successfully. Today’s store (413 South College) new and gently-used clothing along with free interview skill workshops, job placement services and life training skills. Sandy has devoted her life to ensuring all women acquire the clothes and skills needed to find a job so they can enjoy economic independence and make better lives for themselves and their loved ones. Since its inception, My Sister’s Closet has directly assisted 1,900 women toward achieving self- sufficiency. Sandy’s efforts have been recognized with a Woman Excel Award and in 2017 My Sister’s Closet was awarded the Nancy Howard Diversity Award.

For more information about the lunch or workshop, contact Sue Owens at 812-349-3468 or