The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee celebrates seven trailblazing Women of Wonder as 2019 Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award Recipients

Longtime activists and leaders Clare Armistead, Janet Ayers, Inez Crutchfield, Annette Eskind, Carrie Gentry, Rosetta Miller-Perry, and Colleen Conway-Welch to be honored during 26th Annual Kraft Award Luncheon Oct. 17.

They were on the front lines, and served behind the scenes, of some of the most important social and civic missions of the 20th Century, from desegregation to education and social reform, from helping heal the sick to opening avenues to the arts, journalism, and raising a joyful ruckus for a good cause.

And when there wasn’t a seat at a power table filled with men, they created one of their own.

We invite you to join The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee as we honor seven trailblazing Women of Wonder with the 26th annual Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award. Each year this award honors a person or persons who, like the late Joe Kraft, demonstrates a commitment to community, home and hearth, and individuals in need.

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This year’s honorees are: Clare Armistead, style icon, philanthropist and fundraiser; Janet Ayers, philanthropist and education patron; the late Colleen Conway-Welch, longtime VU School of Nursing Dean; Inez Crutchfield, Tennessee State University educator, political insider and Civil Rights activist; Annette Eskind, champion of adoption and education, social reformer; Carrie Gentry, TSU educator and Civil Rights activist; and Rosetta Miller-Perry, founder of The Tennessee Tribune and Civil Rights activist.

Honorary chair of this year’s event is Martha Ingram, noted philanthropist, business leader and a prior recipient of the Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award.

“The breadth and depth of heroism in this community may not start with the seven women we will honor at the Joe Kraft Humanitarian Luncheon on October 17th, but it won’t end, either,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation.

“Whether it’s the Arts, Education or Health; building bridges or building families, these women have shown the rest of us what it means to lead, and what it takes to chart a course to a better future for individuals and our community,” Lehman continued. “But for them and their contributions of talent, time, treasure and sheer bravery — we would be less than we are. Please join us in thanking them.”

The 26th Annual Kraft luncheon will be held Thursday, October 17 at 11:30 a.m. at the Music City Center’s Davidson Ballroom in Nashville. Tickets are $80 per person, and tables of 10 can be reserved for $800. Reservations for the event can be made through October 11 online or by calling 615-321-4939. Media is welcome.


The Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award Fund continues the memory of Joe Kraft, who made Middle Tennessee a better place to live through his dedication to community, home and hearth, and individuals in need. The committee who chooses the recipient is particularly interested in nominations of community leaders who, like Joe, sometimes function behind the scenes. The person(s) named as the recipient of this annual award receives the opportunity to recommend that grants from this Fund be distributed to charities in which he or she believes.

Established in 1993, the Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award recognizes community leaders who embody the strength of character and unwavering integrity of the late Joe Kraft. Past honorees are:
2018 — Charles Strobel
2017 — Jerry B. Williams
2016 — Jack B. Turner
2015 — Jim Haslam II
2014 — Mayor Karl Dean
2013 — Francis Guess
2012 — John Seigenthaler
2011 — Amy Grant and Vince Gill
2010 — Governor Winfield Dunn
2009 — R. Clayton McWhorter
2008 — Cal Turner Jr. and Steve Turner
2007 — Nelson Andrews
2006 — Martha Ingram
2005 — Joel Gordon
2004 — Governor Ned Ray McWhorter
2003 — Jim Ayers
2002 — Jamye and McDonald Williams
2001 — The Founders of The Community Foundation
2000 — Irwin Eskind and Noah Liff
1999 — Monroe J. Carell Jr.
1998 — Pauline Gore
1997 — Chet Atkins and Owen Bradley
1996 — Mayor Phillip Bredesen and Andrea Conte
1995 — Aubrey B. Harwell Jr.
1994 — Elizabeth Jacobs and Mary Jane Werthan

About The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals.