The Rev. Annie Woodridge is the founder of Mother Dear's Community Center in Northwest Washington, which provides food, clothing, classes and counseling to needy persons. Woodridge was incorrectly identified in last week's District Weekly as the founder of the House of Imagene, a shelter for battered women. The House of Imagene was founded by the Rev. Imagene Stewart. CAPTION: (NEW-LINE)Pictures 1 and 2, Among those who honored at the Howard University Black Women's Symposium were, above, from left, the Rev. Annie Woodridge; Angela Owens, who spoke to the meeting: Effi Barry, who presented the awards; Marilyn Green; Aisha Karimah; Alice davis; Jaunita W. Howard, and Lillian Brown. Jeanette Kelly, at left, a 15-year-old athlete, also received an award at the symposium. Photo by Dwyier for The Washington Post
Friends and acquintances call the Rev. Annie M. Woodridge "Mother Dear." The endearment seems a perfect fit for Woodridge, who was was honored at the Howard University Black Women's Symposium last weekend.
"Let us all be willing and ready to work for another's child just as we are ready to work for our own," she told the audience at the day-long conference in the Capitol Hilton Hotel.
Woodridge, pastor of St. Ann's Cathedral Baptist Church and founder of the House of Imagene, a local community sponsored shelter for battered women, was honored at the symposium for doing just that. The mother of 14, she also has been nominated to be this year's National Mother of the Year.
Woodridge was among seven local women presented special service awards at the university's fourth annual salute to black women in the Washington metropolitan area.
Her fluffy afro bobbing up and down as she hugged and kissed friends, Woodridge typified the theme of the gathering, "Building a Bridge of Love."
"We want to focus on the strengths of black families and to build ties between women of African heritage," explained Denise Goins-Stockton, coordinator of the conference. "This symposium gives Howard University the opportunity to honor black women who have made outstanding contributings to family life, work and to the community. At the same time, it enables black women's organizations to come together to exchange information about their work."
More than 750 persons, most of them women, with a sprinkling of husbands and sons, looked on a Woodridge and other award recipients were rercognized for contributions to the arts, education, health care, communications, family life,sports and volunteer programs.
Marilyn C. Greene, director of the Workshop for Careers in the Arts, was honored for her work with Everman's Theater Company. Young artists who worked with the troupe started last summer with a series of neighborhood street performances, and at the end of the summer performed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.
Jeanette Kelly, 15 who is among the best cross country, middle- and long-distance runners in the city, was honored for achievment in sports. The Dunbar High School sophomore left the symposium early to compete in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Classic, a track meet.
Alice T. Davis, who said she wears a gold charm to reflect her philosophy, "citizens who make a difference," was recognized for volunteer service in health and consumer projects.
The other awards went to Lillian Brown, director of the Arlington Community Action Program (ACAP); Juanita Howard, a nurse at Cardozo High School, and Aisha Karimah, producer of WRC-TV's "Sunday" program since 1976.
As director of ACAP, Brown heads a child development program for 150 youngsters, as well as employment and tutorial programs. Howard, the school nurse at Cardozo High School for 15 years, was recognized for her special efforts in teaching and counseling teenagers about prenatal care. Karimah has worked to make program segments on youth, handicapped and senior citizens monthly highlights of the "Sunday" show.
Effi Barry, wife of the mayor, presented silver trays to the seven women who received the service awards.
The Howard Institute for Urban Affairs and Research sponsored the salute, with the help of 30 community organizations. Speakers included Dr. Robert Hill, of the National Urban League, and Lungowe Ngonda, wife of the Zambian ambassador and a representative of the African Ambassadors' Wives Association.
Fifty-four other local black women received merit awards for accomplishments in history, theater, education and community service.