Our Year at a Glance
Women in Training, Inc. & Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Distribute Turkeys to Families
On December 18, 2021, Women in Training, Inc. collaborated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the second year to distribute turkeys to needy families in Montgomery, Alabama. Feed the hungry. End Poverty. PERIOD!
Second Annual WIT 5K Race to End Poverty. PERIOD!
The October 9, 2021, 5K race was a fundraiser for Women In Training, Inc.’s (WIT) signature WITKITS Campaign to provide menstrual products and hygiene items to young, low-income people who menstruate. Because of the economic fallout from the pandemic, the number of girls and women who cannot afford menstrual products has increased from one in five to one in four, causing them to miss school, class, work or similar obligations because they do not have the products they need. Many girls who struggle to afford period products resort to using paper towels, rags, socks and other items that place their health in jeopardy. The race began at the Court Square Fountain on historic Dexter Avenue. Participants walked or ran on a hilly course along the streets of downtown Montgomery. They enjoyed a visual tour of several historic sites in downtown Montgomery, including the church where Martin Luther King Jr. pastored while living in Montgomery during the Civil Rights Movement, the Alabama State Capitol where King gave a speech about voting rights at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, and the spot where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus, energizing the civil rights movement. Since its founding in July 2019, WIT has distributed more than 10,000 WITKITS of menstrual and hygiene products to girls and women in need across Alabama. Let's End Poverty. PERIOD! To donate, please go to: https://www.womenintraining.org
Lamban African Dance by WIT Rites of Passage Circle at Rosa Parks Museum
The Women in Training, Inc. Rites of Passage Circle performed "Lamban," at the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University on December 4, 2021. The traditional African dance, which dates back to the 13th century Old Mail Empire, was part of the 66th commemoration of the 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to desegregate public buses, started when Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. The WIT Rites of Passage Circle provides cultural enrichment and personal development training to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) middle and high school girls from counties throughout Central Alabama. “Our mission is to help cultivate girls into culturally competent, compassionate, savvy, and empowered global leaders by teaching them to care for themselves and the world around them,” said Adeyela Albury Bennett, WIT Chief Executive Officer. “We created this program to help middle school girls transition from the tumultuous “chrysalis” stage of puberty into the confident “butterfly” stage of womanhood. Incorporating the African concept of “It takes a village to raise a child,” WIT leaders collaborated with Valerie Adams, co-founder of the Alabama Indigenous Coalition, and elders from Nature’s Garden for Victory and Peace (NGVP) Sister Circle Collective to implement the program. The NGVP Sisterhood Collective collective consists of Dr. Muhjah Shakir, founder and CEO of NGVP; Councilwoman Norma McGowan Jackson, also known as Iyabode, City of Tuskegee; and Rev. Dr. Jacquetta Y. Parhams, founder and CEO of Whole-Self Ministries. Maya Bledsoe, founder of M2 Dance Studios, choreographed the performance.
WIT Experiential Learning Tour to Selma and Gee's Bend Quilters
Empathy, art and so much more! Seven of our Women in Training, Inc. Young Leaders locked arms while walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, in Selma, listened intently to the Gee’s Bend Quilters while stitching squares, and felt the cool mist on their faces while standing on the ferry as we crossed the Alabama River heading to Camden, Alabama. We were expecting to learn about how quilts became a focal point in African American history; however, we were unaware of the many uses of quilts that shaped African American culture. We were particularly surprised to learn that quilts were adapted to serve as feminine hygiene products! Our experiential learning time spent reflecting in the rain, driving over dirt roads and holding the hands of quilters ended where it began -- rooted in the mission of Women in Training, Inc: highlighting period poverty, alongside numerous inequities past and present. Dr. Stephanie McCorvey Vice President for Youth Development Women in Training, Inc.
WIT Young Leaders Meet Freedom Riders Shero!
On December 6, 2021, the WIT Leadership Development Circle participated in a More Than Tours by Michelle Browder. The tour included several historic sites, including the grounds of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Civil Rights Memorial. At the Memorial, the group ran into Dr. A. Lenora Taitt Magubane, who was on a pilgrimage to Montgomery from New York. As a Spelman College 1961 graduate, Dr. Mugubane was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (Atlanta Student Movement). She told the WIT Young Leaders that on December 11, 1961, while traveling by train from Atlanta to Albany, Georgia, she became one of the 11 Albany Georgia freedom riders who tested interstate travel by going to the white waiting room of the terminal, presumably to purchase tickets. They were immediately arrested and spent two weeks in the Albany City and County jails. “The law had been passed to desegregate interstate travel, but we realized southern states were not implementing the law,” Magubane said. “We were the last Freedom Riders, but we were not doing it to protest for a desegregation law. We wanted to file a lawsuit to implement the law that had already been passed by the Supreme Court in 1960 to desegregate interstate travel facilities, such as the terminals, water fountains and restrooms.”
WIT Young Leaders "Meet" The Mothers of Gynecology!
Music credit: Blk Girl Soldier by Jamila Wood We do not own the rights to this music. On December 6, 2021, the Women in Training, Inc. Young Leaders took a "More Than Tours" with the artist Michelle Browder. The highlight of the day was “The Mothers of Gynecology Tour.” The artistic monument–including 12-foot-high statues–commemorates Anarcha, Lucy and Betsey, who were among at least 11 enslaved teenage women on whom gynecologist J. Marion Sims operated between 1845 and 1849 at a backyard clinic on South Perry Street in the city. Sims operated on the women without anesthesia, and they did not have the freedom to say no to the youth empowerment nonprofit that hosts community conversations, arts-centered programs for schools and youth-led conferences. Browder unveiled the powerful monument in September 2021. “The history of Montgomery played an important role not only in the history of civil rights but also the history of medicine, and that’s why we are honored to take the young women of the WIT Leadership Development Circle on a tour of important sites that reflect significant achievements and sacrifices,” Browder said. “By learning history, these young women will also learn how to transform the world.”
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom