When Annie Sykes was 14, she became a "Standard Oil Gas Girl" which, in 1965, was for a black girl a rarity. She lived through the Civil Rights movement working for the YWCA and continued her lifelong commitment to non-profit service organizations when she came to Tucson. In 1973, she went to work for the Pima County Juvenile Court System. Two years later, she was a Housing Counselor for the Tucson Urban League, all the while volunteering with the Ododo Theater, a black theater group in town.
In 1976, joining with Alison Hughes, she became a charter member of the Black Women's Task Force, under the umbrella of the Tucson Women's Commission. Her next professional appointment was with the Young Women's Company, an organization which trained young women to work in non-traditional jobs, such as painting, plastering, electrical wiring, and landscaping. She became a YWCA board member during that time and served as Secretary when Iris Dewhurst was President. Later she was a member of the Clarion Newspaper Board, southern Arizona's only feminist newspaper.
Today, the Black Women's Task Force still raises consciousness, awards scholarships to African-American young women, and distributes computers to needy youth.
Welcome Annie to the Women's Plaza of Honor, and to your many admirers in the Plaza and looking on.