RACINE — Professional Women’s Network for Service named two local women the winners of the 2019 Inspiring Women Leadership Award. The Awards Dinner was held Aug. 2 at Roma Lodge, 7130 Spring St.
Hicks has been a member of the Racine community for over 70 years. She is a proud graduate of Horlick High School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College and a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
She was employed as an educator with the Racine Unified School System for 34 years. Hicks has a true passion for civil rights, education reform and community volunteerism. She has served as the president of the NAACP Racine Branch for four terms and presently serves on the branch’s Executive Board and Education and Political Action committees and is the current president of the NAACP Wisconsin State Conference of Branches.
She has also served as a tireless advocate for the NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, a high school academic competition program. She has worked to help register eligible inmates to vote at the Racine County Jail and has advocated for the right to vote for homeless citizens.
As a retired Racine educator, Hicks formed a volunteer group with retired black teachers committed to sharing their time and talents at Julian Thomas Elementary School. Hicks continues to volunteer in the community, working with youth in Racine and with Harvest Outreach, a community food pantry. She is the proud mother of two sons and one daughter.
Dr. Stacia Slaughter Thompson
Thompson was born and raised in Racine. Her community service and outreach activities began around the time of her 1993 graduation from Case High School. She was involved in student government, multi-cultural clubs, athletics and the NAACP ACT-SO competition and the NAACP Youth Council.
In 1998 she became one of the youngest board members of the Racine NAACP and served as the chairperson of the ACT-SO program. Within that capacity she organized the local competition and then took the local winners to the national competition each year.
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Under her leadership she had two national medalists. After enjoying the volunteer work she was doing with ACT-SO, Thompson decided it was time to make a change in profession. Her passion was working with the community and with youth.
Since then she has worked at the Bray Center with the GEAR UP Program, UW-Parkside as an academic advisor for Student Support Services and the director of Upward Bound, at Gateway Technical College as the project director of the Health Professions Opportunity Program and ACT for Healthcare and director of Workforce Strategies. While at UW-Parkside she volunteered as the staff advisor of the Black Student Union and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
All of these programs allowed Thompson to continue with her passion of creating educational opportunity programs for the community she lives in.
While at Gateway, she also assisted with writing and was awarded an Inspiration Grant by the Gateway Technical College Foundation to help create a more inclusive learning environment at the college.
In this capacity and beyond her role at the college, she began going from meeting to meeting and classroom to classroom delivering professional workshops on inclusiveness and cultural competencies to Gateway employees, something that had not been done in the past. Because of these efforts, an official Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee was chartered at the college, which now has delivered its first cultural climate survey to the college’s faculty, staff and students.
Thompson’s reach has extended into the community, delivering the same services to the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha. Because of her extensive educational background and workforce development footprint, she is often asked to present to various community groups about the new opportunities for training and employment in southeastern Wisconsin. She is always willing to share opportunities with those who will benefit from them, whether it be a room full of people or one of the grandchildren of a fellow church member.
She is a member of New Omega Church, where in the past she has served as the church historian and served in the youth department. Currently, she is a member of the hospitality committee. In addition, she also volunteers her time offering NCAA Clearing House workshops to local sports teams and athletic camps, driving home the message of the importance of educations and success off the courts.
For more information, call 262-456-7427 or visit www.pwnsinc.org