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Martin University honors Black women trailblazers at annual ‘First Lady’s Tea’

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Martin University is spotlighting Black women trailblazers in its second “First Lady’s Tea” held at the Hotel Carmichael in Carmel. Organizers say it’s important to spotlight women doing great things and raise scholarship funds.

On the surface, you see the fancy hats and clothes. That’s only part of what makes the women in the room who they are.

“Just hearing their stories are so inspiring,” Martin University First Lady Tosha Huddleston said.

Many are trailblazers that are laying the foundation for young women to follow in their steps. That is truly the purpose of the Martin University First Lady’s Tea.

Martin University continues to solidify itself in the community as one of the predominately Black places of higher education.

“Martin University is really a jewel in the city. It is a predominantly Black institution in the city. We need to continue to lift our people, build them, and inspire them,” Huddleston said. “A way to do that is for them to see it.”

Huddleston said she’s using her platform to give voice and recognition to women making a difference. A few hundred packed the room, ready to hear a message from two speakers.

“That’s what Black women deserve. Not after just bearing the torch, but carrying the world on their shoulders,” one of the speakers, and Rhodes Scholar MacKenzie Isaac, said.

They shared the stage virtually from Oxford, England. Dr. Colette Burnette, new President and CEO of Newfields art museum delivered the keynote address.

“To have Black women around me to lift me up, so I don’t feel like I have to bear the weight of the world as a young Black woman,” she said. “And even when I do, I don’t have to bear the brunt alone. There are blueprints constantly surrounding me.”

Even with so many here, it’s only a small sample of women leaving their mark and who will leave their mark.

Several artists work was auctioned off during a silent auction to further raise funds for scholarship and support local artists.