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Antionette Carroll recognized with award from Sue Shear Institute

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 23, 2013 - By directing her great passion in advertising, design and the arts to advocating for what she seed as crucial social issues, Antionette D. Carroll, a 2007 Sue Shear Fellow and graduate of the 21st Century Leadership Academy, has been named the 2013 Amethyst Award honoree.

The Amethyst Award from the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life  is based on a person's inspiration to others by overcoming great personal odds, emerging as a strong voice in her chosen field and raising awareness of an important issue to a new level, according to a news release.

Carroll is a communications manager and copy editor at Rodgers Townsend, an advertising agency. She is also the co-founder of Emerging Leaders in the Arts-St. Louis, an organization that seeks to create a strong network among those who are up and coming voices in the area's arts and creative sectors.

Carroll credits the 21st Century Leadership Academy, which she attended during her junior year at UMSL, with helping her understand how to be effective. She says that at first she had no idea how the academy’s mission of public policy fit into her interests, but she learned non-traditional and creative ways to get important messages out to low-income communities.

“It’s about the collaboration and thinking beyond yourself and thinking about how someone else will benefit from something that you know. ... It’s all about becoming a change agent for something that’s important and creating change for the betterment of society and the community.”

Two years ago she created the brand CHAx365, which stands for challenge, champion and change. She said she has worked with others working for change  to promote their efforts. “While I was OK with promoting corporate brands, I’m more gravitated toward social justice issues and non-profit concerns.”

The Sue Shear Institute, named for the longtime state legislator, was started to help women develop the interests and skills necessary to succeed as full participants within government. Carroll said, “I love that they always help you nurture your career even after you’re out of the academy.”

Getting the phone call about the award was one of the happiest moments of her life, besides, she said, getting married and having her two kids, of course. Carroll, a 2007 Sue Shear Fellow, said, “Just being honored by them a second time is monumental for me. Sue Shear was such a phenomenal woman, and the change that she created in Missouri alone is so impactful. To receive an award in her honor times two, there’s truly no words for that.”

Carroll will receive the award at the 21st Century Leadership Academy keynote dinner on May 23 at the St. Louis Woman’s Club. Jo Ann Emerson, the former Republican member of congress from Cape Girgardeau who now heads the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, will be the evening's speaker.

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