On May 7th, the birthday of Knoxville’s Lizzie Crozier French, the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council announced that Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee will receive the Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award at the June 14th Summit.
Crozier French is noted for several firsts in her fight for women’s suffrage, including being the first woman to address the Tennessee Bar Association and the Tennessee General Assembly, and the first to run for Knoxville City Council. The winner of this year’s leadership award named in her honor is also a ground breaker.
Justice Lee was the first woman to serve as judge on the Eastern Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals in its 79-year history. She has worked diligently to advance women within her profession, having served as president of the East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, and as a board member of the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.
Just like last year’s inaugural recipient, Mayor Madeline Rogero, Justice Lee is being awarded “The Lizzie” at this year’s Summit in recognition of her ongoing dedication to the principles so strongly demonstrated by the award’s namesake. The recipient of the Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award must demonstrate four leadership characteristics that were so much a part of the life of Lizzie Crozier French.
As one who has repeatedly broken new ground for women in her profession, Justice Lee’s work in the community has previously been recognized by YWCA of Knoxville with their Tribute to Women Award and by the Woman of Achievement Award from the Girls Scouts of the Appalachian Council.