In 2017, Fawn Weaver helped reveal a story that reshaped the history of Tennessee’s official sippin’ whiskey.
Weaver discovered Nathan “Nearest” Green, a former slave, was the first master distiller and mentor of a young man named Jack Daniel. After her revelation, in July 2017, Uncle Nearest, Inc., created a whiskey honoring the legacy of Nearest Green. She then founded the Nearest Green Foundation, which honors the legacy of Green and launched "Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey," by working with two Tennessee distilleries, but not Jack Daniel Distillery. Uncle Nearest is distilled in Bedford County.
She will share that story when she delivers the keynote address at the third annual Equali-Tea, which will be held 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the MTSU Miller Education Center, 503 E Bell St, in Murfreesboro. The keynote address is sponsored by First Tennessee Bank.
The (hats optional) High Tea raises scholarship funds for MTSU college women students, and also marks Equal Pay Day, the day that symbolizes how long women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Honorary co-chairs of the Tea are Dr. Phyllis Washington and Meagan Flippin.
Weaver, CEO, co-founder and chief historian of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, describes herself as a serial entrepreneur who has silently invested in real estate, tech and lifestyle brands for the past 24 years.
She is a TED speaker, as well as a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author who has appeared on popular radio, morning and talk television shows around the world, and been featured more than a hundred times in publications.
Green’s story, lost in time, was uncovered by Weaver and a team she brought together consisting of 20 archaeologists, genealogists, historians, archivists and conservators. She is currently overseeing 12 projects all related to honoring Green, with her favorite among them being the Nearest Green Legacy scholarship which provides full tuition and books for all Green descendants in college.
Currently, there are 10 Legacy scholarship recipients attending universities across the U.S. ─ from Texas A&M to the University of Missouri to Auburn University ─ with that number expected to increase exponentially in the years ahead.
The Equali-Tea raises scholarship and programming funds for the Middle Tennessee Fund for Women and Girls, a nonprofit organization in support of the mission of AAUW Murfreesboro: to level the playing field for women and girls in education and in the workforce.
The event is also the stage for the annual presentation of the Tempest Award, which is given to a community leader who has worked to better the status of women and girls in Tennessee.
The 2019 Tempest Award recipient is MTSU’s Associate Athletic Director Diane Turnham, who will be honored for her career-long fight to ensure women athletes have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
Turnham was chosen for her work supporting female student-athletes at MTSU and other universities.
For the inaugural Tempest Award, former Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg was honored in 2017 and Dr. Phyllis Washington was honored in 2018.
Reservations are required and offered at no cost and can be made at Equali-TEA.org. Attendees will be invited to make a contribution to the Fund at the event. Your sponsorship of the event and your donation are both tax-deductible.
For more information about the 2019 Equali-TEA, visit Equali-TEA.org or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equal-TEA is brought to you by MTSU June Anderson Center for Women & Nontraditional Students, Jennifer A. Sexton & Associates, Friends of AAUW Murfreesboro, Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, Tommy and Jeanne Bragg, Rayna Corp., Spring Consulting, Dr. Susan T. Andrews of Family Practice Partners, and Keynote Speaker Sponsor First Tennessee Bank. Sponsorships are still available.