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May Wright Sewall Leadership Award to be Held August 19

Please join us for the Propylaeum’s virtual ceremony celebrating our May Wright Sewall Leadership Award recipients, Ms. Cordelia Lewis-Burks and Ms. Sallie Rowland, on August 19 at 7:00 p.m.

The May Wright Sewall Leadership Award is given to outstanding women in Indiana who exude the spirit of May Wright Sewall. The Indianapolis Propylaeum is proud to honor Cordelia Lewis-Burke and Sallie Rowland with the 2021 May Wright Sewall Leadership Award. These women’s accomplishments have impacted the lives of girls and women through their work in both the public and private sector. Both recipients have been tireless advocates, mentoring countess men and women during their impressive pioneering careers and providing guidance through their volunteer activities. These women have made Indianapolis a more diverse and equitable place for women in the workplace.

Due to COVID restrictions, this event is being held virtually this year. We hope that it can resume in person next year. Admission is free. If you donate at the $25 level for this event, you will receive a leather Propylaeum coaster. Donations made at the $125-level, Sewall Supporters, will receive a gift bag. Sponsors and advertisers are still being accepted for this event. You can register for this event at

Cordelia Lewis‐Burks is known for serving the community by educating and empowering others though the political process and her union organizing. Her commitment has been to provide leadership and dignity for working families in the struggle for equality and economic justice though the vote and pay equity. She has served as Vice Chairwoman of the Indiana Democratic Party and as a precinct committee‐woman for over forty years. She believes there is only one day of the year when all people are equal— that day is Election Day if they are registered to vote.

She has received numerous acknowledgments for her work including Indiana’s highest honor, The Sagamore of the Wabash. Her lifetime of service honors the spirit of May Wright Sewall.

Sallie Rowland. From the time she graduated from Indiana University in 1954, Sallie Rowland has been known as an innovator in interior design, a historic preservationist, and a highly respected female entrepreneur. Throughout her career, she has combined her talent for design with a strong business acumen, and service to the community. Sallie was the first woman to serve as president of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, the first woman to serve as President of the Economic Club of Indianapolis and the first woman to chair the United Way Campaign for Central Indiana.

She is recipient of many of awards, including the Indiana University School of Business Hall of Fame, “Laureate” for the Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame, and the first “Honored Legend IN Design.” to name a few. Sallie Rowland, ASID, is a trailblazer and a May Wright Sewall recipient for 2021.

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