Monday, September 21, 2009

AZWP Founder Committed to Helping Women

Paula Cullison has devoted most of her adult life to elevating the status of women. She attributes her success to a “Can Do” attitude. A former New Yorker, Cullison has been a Phoenix Woman since 1974. She is also a 20-year breast cancer survivor and recipient of both the Macy’s For Her Sake Heart and Soul Award and the Susan G. Komen Foundation Ribbon of Hope Award for her long standing advocacy efforts.

With a degree in Industrial Psychology and extensive studies in languages, Cullison’s professional background entails over 25 years of experience in management, marketing, public and community relations, strategic planning, fundraising, program development and implementation, advocacy, and volunteer coordination. Her passion for international travel has led her to writing articles for publication. Cullison’s goal is to encourage women to experience the joy of foreign travel as they broaden their horizons.

As a longtime advocate of women’s rights and a supporter of issues affecting women and girls, Cullison was presented with the Susan B. Anthony Award in April 1999. This was an especially great honor for Cullison because Susan B. Anthony is one of the women she most admires.

Moreover, Cullison served on the Phoenix Women’s Commission for three years and was then appointed to the Phoenix Futures Forum. A finalist for the Athena Award and for the Valley Leadership Award, Cullison served on the board of directors for the Phoenix chapter of the American Association of University Women for several years.

Since 1985, Cullison has been advocating for the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination CEDAW by the US Congress. She has spoken on this issue numerous times to civic organizations and to on-campus student groups. Cullison recently met with AZ Congressional members to discuss CEDAW and will be a speaker at Phoenix College to address this issue, exemplifying the motto, “Think globally and act locally.”

Having presented at the UN Conference for Women in Nairobi, Kenya and the World Women’s Conference in Moscow as a member of the United Nations Association, Cullison recently organized and co-chaired the 60th anniversary dinner for the Celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights here in Phoenix.

Three years ago, American Greetings was not offering an e-card to recognize Women’s Equity Day, which celebrates women’s suffrage. Women were given the right to vote in 1920 by the 19th Amendment, so the holiday on Aug. 26 commemorates an important event. It took Cullison a year of phoning and e-mailing the headquarters, but her persistence paid off and an e-card card was created, which is free for users. She hopes that many will send out these cards.

Cullison’s most recent focus has been the Arizona Women’s Partnership, Inc., a non-profit organization which she created in 2002 to provide grants to grass roots charities that assist underserved women and children at risk here in Arizona. To that end, she also created the fundraising vehicle Wine, Women & Jazz.

AZWP is an all volunteer philanthropic 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of the local community. To date, AZWP has awarded over $130,000 in grants to more than 40 non-profits; their profiles are on the website To volunteer time, contact the non-profits directly. The annual fundraiser will be held on April 17, 2010. An AZWP Advisory Committee reviews the grant applications; the form is also available on the website

You may contact Cullison at, or on her Facebook page.

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