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This Women's Commission strives to educate the community and advise the Durham County Board of Commissioners as necessary on issues relating to the changing social and economic conditions of women in the County. The commission develops information systems, provides advice, conducts research, hosts educational programming, analyses policy, and advocates for women's issues to improve the lives of and opportunities for all women in Durham.



There have been over 100 women in leadership on the commission who have taken part from 1987 until today. We have had the capacity to host on our team: doctors, lawyers, stay at home moms, teachers, scientists, professors, small business owners, you name it and we have had these educated and inspiring women in the same room, planning and strategizing together.

On February 2nd of 1987, women from Durham County came together to forge a team that would set the precedent for some of the very things we are seeing still today. They sought objectives to keep the community informed of resources, to keep the topic of women’s rights relevant, and to train women to speak up by submitting resolutions and presenting causes for accountability to the county commissioners and community. At the time the county commissioners who helped establish the commission included Bill Bell, Josephine Clement, Al Hight, Rebecca Heron, and Lou McCutcheon.

The courageous women who sat on the very first women’s commission included:

  • Ann Atwater

  • Marilyn Foote- Hudson

  • Barbara Foskey

  • Sandra Hill

  • Harriet Hopkins

  • Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson Jackson

  • Marian Jones

  • Octavia Knight

  • Sonya Lewis (1st Chair of the commission)

  • Doctor Oveta McIntosh-Frost (1st Vice Chair of the commission)

  • Rebecca Moore

  • Ellen Plummer

  • Andi Reynolds

  • Callina Smith

  • Mary Jacobs Whitmore

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