Honoring women of color: The journey and the legacy

Honoring women of color: The journey and the legacy
November 04
11:53 2021

Women of color have made an impact on our local community for decades. These contributions have been seen throughout the medical field, education, community services, business, ministry, and many more. Women of color have long played a vital role in the history of Winston-Salem. Often the accomplishments of great women of color go unnoticed and unrecognized. 

For some years, the Legacy Foundation for Women has served as an organization that is dedicated to telling the stories and recognizing pioneering and trailblazing women of color who are leaving a legacy in the community. Each year the organization selects and honors extraordinary women with the city’s highest honor for women of color at its yearly Winston-Salem Legacy Awards. The organization prides itself on never letting the legacy be erased. As a result, the Legacy Foundation for Women goes above and beyond to recognize women of color in our great city. 

This year’s 2021 Legacy Awards recipients are no exceptions, and they are truly making a difference in our community. 

 2021 Legacy Award Recipient of Medicine: Dr. Brenda Latham Sadler is a clinical associate professor, family and community medicine physician at Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Health. She is the associate dean of student diversity and inclusion. Dr. Latham Sadler has been a physician in Winston-Salem since 1985 and has dedicated her work to serving the community. Her research is dedicated to helping promising college graduates from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds get into and succeed in medical school. The Legacy Foundation for Women found her study and research compelling that aims to determine long-term program outcomes by looking at graduates who are now practicing physicians, in terms of health care service to the poor and underserved and the contribution to health care workforce diversity. In addition to her research, Dr. Latham-Sadler, her compassion and excellent healthcare services is what makes her a woman of color who is leaving a legacy in the community.  

 2021 Legacy Award Recipient of Community Service: Joy Nelson Thomas is the executive director of LEAD Girls of NC, an organization that equips girls to confidently make thoughtful choices about their lives in the present. The organization serves as the building blocks for a lifetime of smart, confident choices for girls. LEAD Girls of NC works closely with local schools in our community, providing mentors, programs, and support to girls of color. Nelson Thomas holds a B.A from Salem College and is a certified life coach. She also is certified in safe-talk and suicide prevention. The LEAD Girls’ program has served over 500 girls in our community and committed to over 9,000 community volunteer hours. Joy’s ‘why’ in life is: “to impact every girl that comes in her life in some way.” Joy feels that LEAD Girls of NC has a responsibility to be the change we want to see in our community. She is a woman of color that is truly leaving a legacy. 

 2021 Legacy Award Recipient of Business: Tammy Watson is an award-winning 28-year experienced real estate agent at Coldwell Banker’s Advantage in Winston-Salem. Her ability to form strong connections with her clients has allowed her to attain more than $12 million in gross sales with an average of 45 homes sold per year in our community. Her success can be attributed to her immense amount of knowledge in real estate, impressive negotiation and communication skills, and her ability to consistently adapt to the ever-changing industry. Tammy’s commitment to her community and communities of color enables her to perform tirelessly for her clients. She works alongside each real estate client to assist in navigating the real estate market. She has built a team of realtors in Winston Salem with a focus on diversity and inclusion. Tammy Watson was inspired to become a realtor to help others have a more seamless buying, selling, and investing experience. She became the first African American agent to bring an ERA franchise to Winston-Salem. Tammy is a vision coach and author of “The Vision Within Vision” book. She is a woman of color who is making her mark in the city.

 2021 Legacy Award Recipient of Education:  Dr. Carol Montague Davis is the principal at the historic Carver High School in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System. She has served as an educator in our local school district for many years and has made an impact on our community as a woman of color in education. Prior to her current journey as principal at Carver High, Dr. Montague Davis served as the district’s instructional superintendent for continuous improvement. Dr. Montague- Davis was instrumental in many programs for school improvement in our school district for students of color and all students. She worked alongside local school principals and leaders throughout the community to improve schools within the district. After serving as an instructional superintendent, she decided to return to Carver High School in the position of principal to lead the school’s charge for improvement in academics as a high needs school. Since her return to Carver High School, she has done just that. The school has excelled academically and is on a steady upward track of progress. This year marks more than 30 years in education for Dr. Montague-Davis and she plans to retire in March of 2022 from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Dr. Carol Montague-Davis is truly a legacy lady in our community. 

 2021 Legacy Award Recipient of Ministry/Religion: Apostle Arlene Crump Peebles is founder of Alabaster Place Inc, a faith-based non-profit organization established to create growth which will impact and encourage individuals to persevere and fulfill their ordained destiny while focusing on accomplishing a healthy and happy life. The organization serves as a support for victims and is an advocate for domestic violence awareness. Apostle Crump Peebles accepted the call to minister in 1996 and has served faithfully since then. She is also the founder of Kingdom Trailblazers Institute, the purpose of which is to offer life empowerment to individuals who are ready for change. Her institute offers a variety of educational training which is purposed to challenge and change lives. These programs have touched the lives of over 40,000 individuals via training and special events throughout the years. Apostle Crump Peebles says she is “thankful that God chose her to serve Him and His people and she does it faithfully and diligently with a spirit of excellence and humility for His Glory.”

Each of these amazing women of color will be recognized at this year’s 2021 Winston-Salem Legacy Awards sponsored by the Legacy Foundation for Women. Typically, this event is a formal black-tie gala affair including  dinner, live music, and Winston-Salem’s most elite attendees, all present to support women of color. This year the organization has chosen to hold its ceremony virtually on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will consist of remarks from Alderman Barbara Burke of the City of Winston-Salem and music by Secret Place Music. Minister Alicia M. Bailey, the organization’s CEO/founder is encouraging our community to support women and girls of color who are leaving a legacy for others. 

For more information on the Legacy Foundation for Women, 2021 Legacy Awards, or to donate to the cause, visit

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