The Transylvania Times -

Carter Heyward 'Makes A Difference'

 

May 10, 2018

Matt McGregor

Amye McCallie (right) presents the AAUW award to Carter Heyward.

Carter Heyward was honored Tuesday with the American Association of Women (AAUW) Brevard branch's "Women Who Make A Difference Award" at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.

AAUW member Amye McCallie presented the award to Heyward.

"It is for an unfailing willingness to be actively engaged in creating opportunities for dialogue among all groups to bring us together to build a more just, civil and compassionate community that we recognize Carter with this award," McCallie said.

McCallie talked about Heyward's background.

"She received her undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon College and earned a Masters of Arts from Columbia University and a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, followed by a Ph.D. from Union University in 1980," McCallie said. "In 1974, she and 10 other women were ordained priests after pressing for women's rights in the church."

The Episcopal Church didn't officially sanction the ordination until 1976, and during that time, up until 2005, Heyward taught at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass.

"Her teaching, speaking and writing have continued to be focused on women's issues, on equity and justice," McCallie said. "Throughout her life, Carter has been an advocate for justice and equity and has stepped in to bridge divides and built communities."

After moving to Brevard in 1996, McCallie said Heyward and a group helped establish the Free Rein Center in 2000.

"Her love of horses and the land offered the opportunity to look into the possibility of developing a therapeutic horse center, where humans and horses are partners in learning," McCallie said. "It capitalizes on the human-horse connection as the therapeutic agent in working with individuals and diverse groups of all ages with special needs and challenges."

McCallie said that in 2014 Heyward also became the "principle convener" of a group in Brevard to establish an National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Brevard chapter, as well as having served as an officer and current chairwoman for the Religious Affairs Committee, in which, in 2017, she organized a series of gatherings titled "A Time to Talk; A Time to Listen," which focuses on issues such as race, the environment, women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. This year, she organized a discussion on gun control.

"We are pleased to present Heyward with the Brevard Branch AAUW 2018 award for 'Women Who Make a Difference,'" McCallie said. "An honorarium in your honor has been given to the AAUW National Eleanor Roosevelt Fund, which was established in 1998 to focus on issues that promote equality and education for women."

Heyward said she was "moved and honored" by the award, and to be in a room with women who "make a difference."

"It's because we are together in a variety of ways that we can make a difference, and that we do bring change to our communities, and that we are going to help get out of this mess that we are in right now, on so many levels," Heyward said. "The bridging of differences, and the reaching out beyond our own particular interest, I believe, is the path we all have to learn how to walk together."

Earlier in the luncheon, Paula Paddick, AAUW president-elect for 2016-2017, recognized Grace Roy, Sally Baker and Rachel Daniels, who founded the AAUW book sale in 1968.

Matt McGregor

"Beginning with simple card tables that were set up in front of what is now O.P. Taylor's, it was a traveling show at first, bouncing around from Brevard Elementary to Pisgah Forest Elementary," Paddick said. "In 1978, the proceeds were $2,000, and in 1984, the proceeds were $4,000, and by 1988, the AAUW began renting storage units."

Since its inception, proceeds have added up to be $419,000.

"There will come a day in the not-so-distant future when we will have reached that $500,000 mark, and I can only say, 'thank you' to the past and present members who make this possible," Paddick said.

 
 

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