March 19, 2015
Remarks from Melinda L. Champion, Chair, Board of Directors, Alice Paul Institute
The mission of the Alice Paul Institute is to honor the legacy of Alice Paul’s work for gender equality through education and leadership development. And what better way to honor Alice Paul’s legacy than to recognize business, academic, and community leaders who exemplify the “spirit of Alice.” Tonight we do just that, with the 2015 Equality Awards.
Our honorees are a diverse group of women who have made a difference in their communities, both professionally and personally. Through their accomplishments, leadership, and mentorship, a new generation of Alice Pauls is learning to stand up, take charge, and make a difference. In 1920, after the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote, Alice Paul said “It is incredible to me that any woman should consider the fight for full equality won. It has just begun.” Our honorees understand that, and set an example of achievement and success that will help us, together, to win that fight. Tonight we honor their accomplishments, their leadership, and the inspiration they provide to achieve what Alice called “ordinary quality.” To all of the honorees, thank you and congratulations!
Judith Buckman co-founded the Alice Paul Institute in 1984 and served on its board of directors until 1995. Judy has been a leader in the South Jersey National Organization for Women-Alice Paul chapter for 40 years, and is currently serving her fifth term as president of the chapter. Through NOW, she collaborates with other community groups, including the League of Women Voters, the Southern Burlington County NAACP, CONTACT of Burlington County, and the Unitarian Church’s Social Justice Committee. Serving as a women’s rights activist for the past 40 years has been one of the greatest joys of Judy’s life.
In 1994 Judy established the Alice Paul Leadership Program, chairing a volunteer committee that conducted focus groups and created the “Share Your Voice” one-day workshop for middle school girls. These focus groups and workshops were the genesis of Lead-A-Way and other school-based leadership programs that have reached thousands of South Jersey girls since 2000.
After raising a son and daughter, Judy completed graduate degrees in guidance counseling and school psychology at Rowan University and an MBA from Rutgers University. She currently works as a writer in the Marketing Department at Hill International.