Women In Training Joins Mutual Aid Montgomery Event to Give Away Hygiene and School Supplies
Women In Training, Inc. (WIT) distributed 100 WITKITS® of menstrual, hygiene and dental products to underserved families at a distribution event organized by Mutual Aid Montgomery on Saturday, November 14, 2020, at The King’s Canvas, 1413 Oak Street in Montgomery, Alabama.
Mutual Aid Montgomery is a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services that allows community members to care for one another. It was first established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020. The informal network enables community members to volunteer services like transportation, grocery pick-up and delivery, childcare, and other services to those in need.
“Mutual aid is the practice of community members helping other community members, and we believe that everyone has something to offer to this community, and everyone has something they need,” said Katie Wu, an organizer for Mutual Aid Montgomery who helped pack the WITKITS®. “We are thrilled for our first-ever distribution event and are excited to be doing this alongside Women In Training, who will be distributing menstrual and hygiene products along with our other free products to members of the community.”
WIT’s signature program is the WITKITS® Campaign to provide menstrual products and hygiene items to young, low-income people who menstruate.
“We, too, are excited about partnering with Mutual Aid Montgomery to distribute 100 WITKITS®, especially to girls who need them,” said Dr. LaToya Clark, M.D., the president and chairwoman of Women In Training, Inc. “One in 5 people who menstruate stay home from jobs, miss school or lose out on other opportunities because they don’t have the products they need, and that number has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away even more of their family income. This distribution event will help us in our efforts to eradicate period poverty.”
WITKITS® include menstrual pads, soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, deodorant, socks, a journal and a hand-made bracelet with a positive message. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, WITKITS® have also included personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and bottles of WIT hand sanitizer.
Since its founding in July 2019, WIT has distributed more than 1,000 WITKITS® to teenagers at Tears Runaway Shelter for Girls in Tuskegee, Alabama; to homeless women at the Salvation Army Montgomery; to girls in need at Brantwood Children’s Home; That’s My Child; New Beginnings Educational Center; Common Ground Montgomery and to women at Aid to Inmate Mothers. WIT has also inspired state Rep. Rolanda Hollis to introduce a bill that would require schools across Alabama to provide free menstrual products for menstruating youth.
WIT 5K was a Success! Funds Raised will Start the WIT Youth Leadership Circle
Photos by Jill Friedman
Thanks to the generosity of our friends and supporters, Breanna and Brooke Bennett, the Women in Training, Inc. co-founders, realized their vision of combining their love for running with their passion for raising funds to end period poverty!
Thanks to the support of Leadership Montgomery’s Torchbearers Class XII, WIT surpassed our goal of $5,000 by raising $6,683.31 to begin the WIT Youth Leadership Circle in January 2021. We will groom young people to develop the leadership skills necessary to end poverty! Period!
Leadership Montgomery & WIT Host Virtual 5K Race Kickoff;
Race Continues to October 31
Photos by Jill Friedman
Women in Training, Inc. is collaborating with Leadership Montgomery’s Torchbearers Class XII in the WIT 5K Virtual Race to End Period Poverty, from Oct. 10 to Oct. 31, 2020.
The race kick off was on National Period Day, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare Garden, 1 Festival Drive in Montgomery, Alabama. The culminating award ceremony will take place on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at the same time and location.
Participants may walk or run the 5K at any location – including their home treadmill, their gym, through their neighborhoods, in a nearby park, around the block a few times or anywhere else they choose. Supporters may also simply donate money to the race to fight period poverty.
Women In Training, Inc. is organizing the WIT 5K Virtual Race in conjunction with Leadership Montgomery's Torchbearers Class XII, which is providing logistics and marketing support for the event. Leadership Montgomery is a diverse group of community leaders who embrace change, leverage diversity and address critical community issues. The program was designed to offer its participants leadership training and a safe environment to learn about the various aspects of the community and to voice openly and freely their perspectives and concerns with one another in hope to work together for a better community for all. Leadership Montgomery has assembled and graduated over 1,400 community leaders from the original program.
The WIT 5K Virtual Race was selected by Leadership Montgomery Torchbearers Class XII to directly impact our community and support the mission of WITKITS®. This collaboration is one of eleven community projects currently taking place in Montgomery.
Women in Training will host its first WIT Virtual Race to End Period Poverty
Women in Training will host its first WIT Virtual Race to End Period Poverty from October 10 to 31, 2020. Leadership Montgomery's Torchbearers Class XII is working in collaboration with WIT to provide logistics and marketing support for the WIT Virtual 5K Race.
The race kicks off on National Period Day, Saturday, October 10, 2020, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Blount Cultural Park, 1 Festival Drive in Montgomery, AL. The culminating award ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 31, 2020, also from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Blount Cultural Park.
The Leadership Montgomery Torchbearers Class X11 members working in collaboration with Women in Training on the WIT 5K Race to End Period Poverty are as follows:
Jada Davis, Team Leader
Kim Bell, EdTech Academy, LLC
Regina Coley, Leading Ladies of Legacy, Inc.
Captain David James, Montgomery Fire/Rescue
MaryKathryn Fletcher, Alabama Higher Education Partnership
Blake Sanders, Saint James Church
WIT Celebrates One Year as Congressman John Lewis Transitions
July 17, 2020
Photos by Julius Shanks
In observance of the first anniversary of Women in Training, Inc. the WIT Youth Ambassadors visited historic Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, an icon of the Movement, died on July 17, 2020, exactly one year after the formation of WIT.
Congressman Lewis' body traveled heroically from Selma to Dexter Avenue in Montgomery by horse-drawn carriage. His body laid in state at the Alabama Capitol on Sunday, July 26, 2020. It is noteworthy that just 55 years ago, on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, then 25-year-old Lewis led a nonviolent march for voting rights from Selma to Dexter Avenue in Montgomery. Lewis was beaten so badly by Alabama State Troopers that his head was cracked open and he thought he would die. Ultimately, Bloody Sunday led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The WIT Youth Ambassadors also celebrated the 13th birthday of WIT founders, Breanna and Brooke Bennett.
WIT Ambassadors Distribute WITKITS in Low-Income Housing Projects
July 15, 2020
It was a joy for Women In Training Youth Ambassadors and volunteers to spend the day at Paterson Court public housing project with Joseph Jones of One Day One Power, and students from Alabama State University. The ASU students distributed brown lunch bags of home-made sandwiches and chips, and boxes of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Photo by Kelsey Babcock
WIT volunteers walked through the housing complex to hand-deliver #WITKITS filled with chlorine-free sanitary pads, unscented soap, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, lotion, toothbrushes and toothpaste, socks, journals, and hand-made personalized bracelets. We also gave out free copies of WIT’s “A Young Woman’s Guide to the Menstrual Cycle,” a health education pamphlet written by Dr. LaToya Clark, WIT Medical Advisor.
June 19, 2020
Women in Training WIT Ambassadors at the Southern Poverty Law Center Juneteenth celebration on June 19, 2020, at the Civil Rights Memorial Center.
Justice for George Floyd Solidarity Protest
Alabama Department of Archives and History
June 6, 2020
What's next? That is the first statement 12-year-old Breanna Bennett made after she gave her speech at the Justice for George Floyd Solidarity Protest, held in Montgomery, Alabama, on June 6, 2020, at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.Breanna intuitively knew that the global movement for justice and peace did not end when the protest signs went down. Bree and her twin sister, Brooke, have decided to update their 30-minute film, Architects of Change Documentary, to include information about this new movement to put a stop to police brutality and systemic oppression. Please give generously to the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization they co-founded, Women In Training, to support the film update.
WIT goes to the State House to advocate for HB-237
February 19, 2020
Women In Training - WIT founders Breanna and Brooke Bennett met with Rep. Rolanda Hollis and Rep. Tashina Morris in the State House on February 19, 2020, to advocate for HB-237, a bill inspired by WIT's work to provide menstrual products to youth who lack reliable resources for these monthly needed items. Rep. Hollis' bill will require schools to provide free menstrual products to any Alabama students in grades 5 through 12 who need them. Not often that 12-year-olds help to shape state policy, but for Brooke and Breanna (and their very proud family, WIT Board members, and friends) it's the logical next step in their work for health and wellness equity. Here's some photos of the momentous occasion.
Photos by Jill Friedman
Common Ground of Montgomery
February 14, 2020
The Women in Training Valentines Day giveaway at Common Ground Montgomery of #WITKITS overflowing with menstrual, hygiene and dental products was a love-filled experience! Dr. LaToya Clark of Jackson Hospital chatted with the young ladies about menstrual health; they raised some “real” questions about the menstrual experience. Kelsey Babcock then led a fun exercise about our secret nicknames for the period. Brooke Bennett, the 12-year-old Women in Training co-founder, sweetly gave out the #WITKITS. A special treat was the beautiful bracelets that were hand-crafted by Professor Lee A. Farrow of Auburn University in Montgomery. The new #WITKIT bag was generously sponsored by Barbara Jean Gilbert Wells of Capell & Howard P.C. Attorneys At Law.
Photos by Jill Friedman
“I was honored to make this, ‘How to Prevent STDs’ presentation to the young ladies,” said Dr. LaToya Clark, Women in Training, Inc. President and Board Chairwoman. “They listened attentively and asked pertinent questions.”
On Friday, November 6, 2020, Dr. Clark, supported by Dr. Stephanie McCorvey, WIT Board Member, and Ms. Dorothea Ligon-Hawley, WIT volunteer, visited the Bridges TEARS Shelter for Runaway Girls in Tuskegee to conduct a health education program. Breanna and Brooke Bennett, the WIT co-founders, had a conflicting school obligation, but they sent gifts for the young women.
“Someone requested that we return monthly,” Dr. Clark said. “We certainly will continue making monthly donations to the young ladies of menstrual, hygiene, and COVID-19 PPE supplies.”