The word champion invokes rich images of athletes and astronauts, of scientists and scholars, of public servants and philanthropists. From whatever walk of life, they share vision, strength, talent, and perseverance, and they show exceptional commitment to the cause at hand. At the Center, we believe it not enough to honor the causes those champions promote, rather we must also honor the champions themselves. For us, we see part of our calling as honoring those champions across this Commonwealth who set their cause as the wellbeing of women and children.

It is to honor champions and to advance a cause we share that the Center now unveils its Champions for Women Campaign. Completion of the Campaign will allow the Center to establish two additional endowed chairs of study on violence against women and in doing so, will allow us to recognize the extraordinary achievements of two of the state’s greatest champions for women, former Senator Georgia Davis Powers and former First Lady Judi Conway Patton.

Champions are strong, but they cannot achieve greatness alone. And so it is with this Campaign. We need all our communities to don a champion’s hat and to make this dream a reality. The Champions for Women Campaign challenges us to raise a total $2 million. Through a silent campaign phase, the Center has already raised $1,320,000.

Please join with other champions in helping us raise the remaining amount of $680,000. Contact Center Director Carol E. Jordan at 257-2737 or at for more information and for giving options.

The Georgia Davis Powers Endowed Chair of Study on Violence Against Women:

Georgia Davis Powers committed her public service career to advocating for women and people of color. She was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky and was an organizer of the 1964 March on Frankfort, which brought Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson to the Commonwealth. In 1968, she became the first African American and the first woman ever elected to the Kentucky State Senate. In her role she promoted fair housing; supported legislation to prohibit employment, sex and age discrimination; and took on other fights on behalf of people disenfranchised by race, ethnicity, gender, and poverty. Through her determination, her fire and her eloquence, Senator Powers is a true Champion for Women.

The Georgia Davis Powers Endowed Chair of Study on Violence Against Women will give focus to the plight of women from all corners of the globe whose lives are touched by violence and offer hope for the end of their suffering. Though no woman’s position in life makes her immune to
violence, research suggests that certain groups of women may be more at risk, particularly including women of color, immigrant women, and women living in poverty. The Georgia Davis Powers Endowed Chair will conduct research that takes into account race, ethnicity, socio-economic status and other social factors as we seek to further our understanding of violence so that we may ultimately change the culture that allows it.

The Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair of Study on Violence Against Women:

Judi Conway Patton is a native of Eastern Kentucky who grew up with a social worker mother who instilled in her a desire to serve. She took the love of helping women and children with her to the Governor’s Mansion as she became the Commonwealth’s First Lady in 1995. Mrs. Patton used her role as First Lady to bring light to the issues of child abuse, intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Working with the Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services she successfully proposed over twenty pieces of legislation addressing domestic violence and sexual assault and worked with the Governor to set aside $1 million to upgrade the fifteen facilities in Kentucky which house battered women’s shelters. Through her outspokenness, her compassion and her warmth, Judi Patton is a true Champion for Women.

The Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair of Study on Violence Against
Women will focus on social and legal justice for victims of violence. Social structures within the Unites States place some women at risk for violence and revictimize women when they reach out for legal assistance and support. The Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair will conduct research on social structures and the effectiveness of the justice system’s response so that when a woman seeks justice, legal or social, it is within her reach.