Demopolis grad makes Mobile ‘a little better”

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2006

As the daughter of Jessie M. and Bob Crawford Jr., both retired educators, Joy Crawford-Washington has always placed community service high on her list.

After graduating from Demopolis High School in 1982, where she was

a member of the student council and the Twilight Club prom committee and service organization,

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Crawford-Washington attended Alabama State University in Montgomery.

But even as she was busy earning a bachelor of arts degree in radio/television broadcasting with a minor in English writing,

Crawford-Washington still found time to serve her community by joining Delta Sigma Theta Inc., a service-based sorority.

“Through volunteer work I’ve gained experiences I never thought I would have,” she said. “I volunteered to help, but my work helped me grow into the person I am today and I’ve met some truly wonderful people.”

Though she never expected to be honored for doing something she always had a desire to, Crawford-Washington was nominated for Compass Bank’s “Just a Little Better Citizen Award” for her community service work in Mobile, and more recently, she was featured in the April 2006 issue of the “Mobile Bay Monthly Magazine” as one of its top 50 women leaders.

The article titled “Impact 2006,” addresses situations which affect the Mobile and Baldwin county area and identifies the driving force for women that makes them work to solve them.

“I’m just humble to have the opportunity to be in the midst of these women,” Crawford-Washington said, “When you are doing your work, you don’t expect to get awarded for it. But at the same time, you know that good deeds come full circle.”

Currently serving as a public relations specialist in the office of public relations at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Crawford-Washington is also the immediate past president and member of the YWCA of Greater Mobile Board of Directors. During her four years at the community center, she worked to help re-establish the 101-year old association back into the core of the Mobile community by putting to action the association’s mission of eliminating racism, and empowering women , girls and families.

“A continuing goal of mine is racial justice and we are actually planning an awards ceremony to recognize citizens for dedicating their time to eliminating racism,” she said. “I don’t look for honors, I am just trying to make a difference one day at a time.”

And great changes seem to follow her wherever she goes. As the past president and current member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Mobile Chapter, the organization was awarded the Chapter of the Year Award, the highest honor given by the state chapter, under her leadership.

Even with a want to dabble in every community endeavor she can, Crawford-Washington said she sometimes have to turn down projects.

“You can’t do the best job for every organization at one time,” she said, “and I want to do quality not quantity. I want to do well in everything I am trying to achieve.”

As a graduate of the YWCA Leadership Institute and the United Way of Southwest Alabama’s Project Blue Print class, her career has changed from announcer

for a CBS affiliate and the Alabama Radio Network to public relations at University of South Alabama. But Crawford-Washington’s devotion to service hasn’t altered.

“I’m steady evolving and I may go back to school to become a teacher. I see myself doing something else at some point in time,” she said, “But I have to balance my life and organize the things that are important to me.”

For Crawford-Washington her list is composed of God, her husband Terrell Washington and her family, work, and community service – in that order, she said.

“Everyone needs to give back something to the community because none of us got where we were without the help of someone else,” she said. “The want to serve my community is always there and everyone should feel that way. It’s what God challenges us to do.”