This Women’s History Month, the Rouse Foundation recognizes Nellie Dunaway Duke, an advocate, author, and businesswoman born on the 20th anniversary of International Women’s Day. She has spent her life working to improve the lives of women in Georgia and throughout the world. On March 8, 2022, the Carroll County Democratic Committee sponsored the Annual Scholarship Tribute to Nellie Duke and International Women’s Day with attendees from across the state. Rouse Foundation co-founder Deirdre Rouse recited a poem entitled, “The Color of Friendship” to honor Mrs. Duke in the celebration. Mrs. Duke has spent her life working tirelessly to promote equal rights for women in city, state, and federal leadership appointments, to achieve integration in women's sports--especially professional sports, and to dismantle community injustices as the founder of Nellie’s Rainbow. She is a charter member and was chairwoman of the Georgia Commission on Women from 1994 to 2015. She has been president and CEO of the Georgia Women's Institute, chairwoman and CEO of the Women’s History Museum, president of Georgia Woman of the Year, and was appointed to the Commission on Women in American History by President Bill Clinton. She has received over 100 awards highlighting her achievements and commitment to service and justice, including the Rita Jackson Samuels Founder’s Award presented in January 2021 by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council. Mrs. Duke's greatest inspiration is her mother, who herself was moved to women's advocacy by the experience of seeing the line "the above does not apply to women, idiots, and children'' as a common phrase used in legal literature at the time. Just one generation later, Mrs. Duke has contributed to the body of legal literature as the author of “Women and the Law: A Guide to Women’s Rights in Georgia.” Despite a life of groundbreaking achievements and dedicated service, Mrs. Duke says, "We are not through yet."
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