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YWCA Minneapolis Names Fifth Annual Woman of Power Award Winner; Introduces Inaugural Kate Berman Leadership Award

By YWCA Minneapolis
April 20, 2022
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(Minneapolis, Minnesota) YWCA Minneapolis Names Fifth Annual Woman of Power Award Winner; Introduces Inaugural Kate Berman Leadership Award 

April 20, 2022 (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – YWCA Minneapolis is honored to present the 2022 Woman of Power Award to Professor Duchess Harris, Ph.D., and the inaugural Kate Berman Leadership Award to Wenda Weekes Moore.  

Duchess Harris, Ph.D., J.D. is a professor of American Studies at Macalester College, co-editor with Bruce D. Baum of “Racially Writing the Republic: Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity, and author of  Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton, (2009), Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Obama, (2011), Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Trump, (2018) and “Black Girl Magic Beyond the Hashtag: Twenty-First Century Acts of Self-Definition” (2019).  

Also among the books she has authored is “Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA, about her grandmother, who was among the 11 Black women mathematicians hired by NASA during World War II. The movie Hidden Figures is based on their story. Dr. Harris is particularly proud of her work on The Duchess Harris Collection, a series of 120 books for students in grades 4-12 that address issues of race, gender and class in America.  

Dr. Harris has advocated on the national level at the Congressional Black Caucus. Locally, she was appointed as a Minneapolis Civil Rights Commissioner by Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, appointed to the Governor’s Council on Black Minnesotans by Governor Jesse Ventura, appointed to Co-Chair the Statewide Martin Luther King Holiday by Governor Mark Dayton, and appointed to the Board of Public Defense by Governor Tim Walz. 

Wenda Weekes Moore is a graduate of Howard University, Washington D.C. She was a member of Governor Wendell R. Anderson’s staff and was appointed by him to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in 1973. She was the first woman and person of color to chair the board. Moore led the University of Minnesota’s first delegation to the People’s Republic to establish educational reciprocity with Chinese universities. 

Moore has served as the Chair, and a trustee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for 26 years and on a number of committees and boards of directors including: an appointment by President Jimmy Carter to the Board of Advisors to the United States Department of Education; a member of the General Medical Sciences Committee of the Institutes of Health; the Council on Foundation, Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Federal District Judge Selection Commission. 

“Both Dr. Duchess Harris and Wenda Weekes Moore exemplify the values and beliefs of YWCA in their careers and in their lives, helping to strengthen our community,” said Shelley Carthen Watson, President and CEO of YWCA Minneapolis. “We are especially proud to introduce the Kate Berman Leadership Award, and to honor Wenda Weekes Moore as the award’s inaugural recipient.”  

Introducing the Kate Berman Leadership Award 

YWCA Minneapolis established the Kate Berman Leadership Award in 2022 to honor their former board chair who passed away unexpectedly in April 2020. During her board service, Kate was a passionate advocate for the mission of YWCA Minneapolis and led multiple initiatives. Throughout her life, Kate held multiple corporate leadership positions, including at JPMorgan Chase, and was an active community and nonprofit leader. The Kate Berman Leadership Award is presented to a servant leader who has exhibited moral, ethical and authentic leadership.  

About YWCA Minneapolis

YWCA Minneapolis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women and girls. For 130 years, we have worked to create opportunities to overcome social injustice, particularly in matters of gender and race. Last year, YWCA Minneapolis served more than 30,000 people in our community through high-quality programs and advocacy focused on racial justice, early learning, youth development and wellness. To learn more, visit


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