Since 2006, the Madame Walker Theatre Center has honored our nation’s foremost leaders in entrepreneurship, civic engagement, philanthropy and arts & culture. These, the “Spirit Awards”, are given to pay homage to the legacy of Madame CJ Walker.
As the first female self-made millionaire in the country, Madame Walker demonstrated that will and tenacity are the underpinning of success. This award, given annually, recognizes a woman who has mirrored Madame Walker’s tenacity and perseverance leading to exceptional achievements in business as an entrepreneur over at least a five year period. This honoree represents and upholds the virtues and work ethic exhibited by Madame Walker including Madame’s philanthropic spirit and appreciation for cultural diversity, the arts, and education.
This award, given annually, pays tribute to an individual who leverages both personal and corporate resources to improve the quality of life of others through supporting arts, culture, diversity, and education.
This annual award recognizes a woman under the age of 40 who has made marked advancements in business ownership/entrepreneurship and who demonstrates the capacity to reach the level of success attained by Madame CJ Walker while making significant contributions toward improving the lives of others and expresses tremendous civic pride.
This annual award honors an individual who has an established track record of success in business ownership and/or corporate achievement. The honoree must embody all that Madame Walker represented particularly community and civic engagement and philanthropy in the area of arts, culture, or education. Additionally, this individual must demonstrate the ability to honor and advance the legacy of Madame CJ Walker through support of the organization which bears her name.