MADISON — First Lady Kathy Evers today announced that “Women Who Inspire,” a program of the Committee to Celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of Wisconsin’s Ratification of the 19th Amendment, will highlight Dr. Berdie Cowser, director of the Bureau of  Housing at the Center for Veterans Issues Ltd.

“As we celebrate women’s right to vote, from enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Voting Rights Act to the 2020 Centennial and all the progress women have made in the last 100 years, we recognize there is work still to be done,” said First Lady Evers who chairs the Committee, “That’s why the Committee chose to recognize women who are working today for social change and increasing parity for women and girls in Wisconsin.”

Dr. Cowser was nominated by State Representative LaKeisha Myers for her outstanding work with veterans.  “A United States Army veteran, she lives by the motto ‘committed to serve’,” said Rep. Myers. “This motto applies not only to her work, military service and family life, but also to her involvement in the community.”​

For nearly two decades, Dr. Cowser has worked with homeless female veterans in the Milwaukee-area. “I saw the impact that I was making as women worked extremely hard to improve their life situation,” said Dr. Cowser. “My goal is to share vital and essential information to empower and uplift women, ensuring each woman and girl is equipped to live her best life.”

Dr. Cowser earned both an MBA and PhD from Cardinal Stritch University. Among her accomplishments and awards, she serves as Board Member, Milwaukee County War Memorial; Chapter Commander, National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. (NABVETS); Advisory Council Member, Cardinal Stritch University; member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; 40 Under 40 Award Winner, Milwaukee Business Journal; and Black Excellence Award, Milwaukee Times Newspaper.

Committee members were invited to nominate and interview women who inspire them to feature on the Committee website with the intent of inspiring a broad bipartisan audience and bringing more diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, geography, background, and identity to the women’s rights conversation. All nominees that will be featured on the website were submitted by members of the Committee and will be featured on a rotating basis leading up to the 100th anniversary of enactment of the 19th Amendment in August.

The website separately highlights notable Wisconsin social activists and trailblazers, such as Vel Phillips, Ada Deer, Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Belle Case LaFollette and others with links to outside resources. The 19th Amendment Committee was formed by Executive Order 19​ on April 11, 2019 and is comprised of Wisconsin’s women in elected and appointed state office and other women leaders and experts.

A photo of Dr. Cowser is available here.

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