ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ann Arbor has some really inspiring women. From past history makers to those currently changing the community for the better, women in Tree Town have made an enormous impact on our lives.
They’re our mother, sisters, friends, cousins, neighbors, chefs, business owners, managers, coworkers, community leaders, doctors, educators, faith leaders, protest organizers and more.
For Women’s History Month, we asked which women from around the city inspire you.
Here they are:
“Aubrey leads a phenomenal organization, Avalon Housing. She is a tireless advocate for housing as a right. Avalon is growing under her leadership building on the work of the founding director, Carole McCabe. Aubrey is compassionate, professional, articulate, and very knowledgeable. Housing is a complex service to fund from a variety of every changing sources and supporting tenants. Tenants often come with chronic illness, poverty and a host of issues. Leadership takes a balance of content expertise as well as true love and concern for employees on the front line serving our community’s most vulnerable. Aubrey carries it all off exquisitely.” - Deb V.
“Patrice is a local resident, author and pastor. She runs Back to Family Ministry, holds community bible study where all are welcome, regardless of denomination. She is very involved in her local community with many local charities. Every holiday or community event- she is making sure children are not forgotten - school supply gathering, distributing backpacks filled with those supplies, distribution of winter coats, and more. I could go on and on, suffice it to say, her community feels her presence and is grateful for her.” - Dawn C.
“She has helped many on a personal level as well as working at the state level mandating changes in address confidentiality. Her most powerful work is with teenagers, helping them recognize and respond to the red flags of abuse at this most vulnerable age.” - Sally S.
Dr. Felicia Brabec
“She is an incredible mother, who happened to become involved in politics several years ago. She first served as a Washtenaw County Commissioner. She is a licensed psychologist who has become a notable advocate for mental health in the state of Michigan. In 2020, she was elected to the House of Representatives. She has also served with Food Gatherers to assist our neediest neighbors. She is fighting for issues that deeply impact our local communities and our state. I would not be surprised to see her continue to grow in her recognition or her positive impacts.” - Laura H.
“She is an amazing inspiration! She genuinely cares for everyone, not just with words, but actions! She’s an awesome mother, friend and neighbor. Doesn’t think twice about going out of her way to help someone. She’s been such a beautiful inspiration to my daughters, showing them they can achieve anything they want in life! Not to mention all she’s done for Washtenaw Co., Now onto Lansing!” - Angie M. K.
“She is a soft, intelligent, kind, expansive family woman. She’s raised 3 awesome, talented kids and is happily married for over 30 years. They still act like sweethearts and nurture their family- the individuals and their dreams. She is humble, private and yet can hold her own in conversation without being overbearing. She leads by example and even followed her own passion to learn to speak French and one day live in France for a time period. She now writes a blog about French culture and is a super writer despite graduating from U of M in Computer Science!” - Carol G.
“Marsha Mumm has directly influenced the lives of hundreds - if not thousands indirectly - of young ladies (young men, women, families) in the Ann Arbor Area. I met Marsha over 20 years ago as a young 13-year-old new to employment. Marsha was my supervisor as a referee at Ann Arbor Rec Ed. I learned a great deal from her at the time along with so much more since then. Through Marsha’s mentorship and investment in me at such a young age, I gained confidence and a passion for youth/community sports that now encompasses my professional goals. I currently work for AAPS, have coached A2 Elementary, Middle, and High School Sports for over 15+ years, am an active A2 community member, along with presently being immersed in obtaining my Master’s of Science Degree in Sports Management. I honestly owe the course of my life to Marsha Mumm and she doesn’t even realize it - and I KNOW that I am not the only one she impacted so deeply.
Marsha Mumm has inspired students, players, youth, and families of all kinds through her leadership within Ann Arbor Rec Ed for 40 years, her 32 years of teaching at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, and her countless associations with recreational/athletic/wellbeing initiatives in the A2 area.
There is so much more that Marsha has been (and still is) involved with and touched; these are just a few notables from one of the many she resonated with. I hope you have a chance to look up Marsha or talk to her. She is a force worth following.” - Jamielyn G.K.
Hajirah and Ayesha Nadeem
“At 14 and 16, these sisters have taken up the task of teaching coding, cybersecurity, AI and many basic STEM-related skills to girls from underprivileged backgrounds. As 2nd-degree black belt holders, they also encourage Muslim girls to play sports, specifically martial arts. Between both of them, they have spent close to 1,000 hours promoting autism, green/earth-friendly projects, have worked with AAACF and YCF in granting funds to local organizations, tutoring, mentoring middle school robotics team and Michigan chapter leaders for Girls Computing League. They have been teen advisors for Ypsilanti District libraries working to promote social justice and mental health solutions for youth of Washtenaw County. They have helped in implementing that visible Muslim women be included in the library’s BLM and anti-racism features. They have won several local and national community service awards including United Way Washtenaw County service award and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award-Gold.” - Khadija
Jenn Cornell Queen
“Jenn is passionate about her community, inspires others to be better, and is both a coach and a role model for young women — especially her daughters. She is a straight talker who walks the walk and holds herself accountable for making the world around her better.” - Laura B.
“She is always a joy to be with. Puts her 100% into everything she does. Is very kind and generous to everyone she meets.” - Sandra S.
“She has been the director of Jewish Family Services in Washtenaw County for over 25 years. She has seen the agency grow to support the county population in refugee services, food insecurity, transportation to medical visits, older adults support and more. She is a visionary in the way she can see and respond to issues, and during COVID has helped the agency pivot to help by using virtual engagement and worked with food gatherers to provide meals when people could no longer come to the pantry. She is awesome, a true community collaborative leader.” - Susan S.
Want to see another list of amazing Ann Arbor women? Submit your nominations here.
Check these out: