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, 1968, 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 1968.

 

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.

Juneteenth celebration 

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

Montgomery, Alabama

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 is Going International!

Menstrual Hygiene Day - Global! 

May 28, 2020

Earlier this year, we met the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders; they are part of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative Network. The Fellows were in Athens for a two-month training program at the University of Georgia, and took time to visit Civil Rights sites, including Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. 

While each young leader had powerful stories, WIT founders Breanna and Brooke Bennett easily connected with Ms. Christine Sabdio from Kenya, who manages The Better Generation Africa, a menstrual hygiene education and mentorship program. Women In Training - WIT is hoping to support Ms. Sabdio’s program by providing American mentors, menstrual supplies, and copies of WIT’s brochure, “A Young Woman’s Guide to the Menstrual Cycle.”

 

To help with this endeavor, please email Bennett@womenintraining.org

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
 #WITKITS® Giveaway

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.

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Photos by Jill Friedman

Temple Beth Or Montgomery

February 14, 2020

The Sisterhood of Temple Beth Or Montgomery invited Breanna and Brooke Bennett, the 12-year-old founders of Women in Training, Inc. to speak on February 14, 2020, during Shabbat Service about their menstrual equity and menstrual education advocacy work.

Photos by Jill Friedman

The Sisterhood then blessed the girls with a gift to support their social justice and charitable service.

WIT Board members supporting the young speakers included Board President Barbara Jean Gilbert Wells of Capell & Howard P.C. Attorneys At Law; Dr. LaToya Clark of Jackson Hospital; and Professor Lee A. Farrow of Auburn University Montgomery.

Thanksgiving #WITKITS® Giveaway

November 18, 2019

On November 18, 2019, Women in Training volunteers spent the afternoon at That's My Child for the second distribution of #WITKITS® — canvas bags full of menstrual and hygiene products for young people in our community. 

Photos by Jill Friedman

Women, girls and male supporters shared period stories, laughing and nodding heads the whole time to affirm familiar-sounding testimonies! Everyone left feeling heard and accepted, with #WITKITS® in hand, and knowing what still needs to be done to alleviate #PeriodPoverty.

Photos by Jill Friedman

WIT event at 1977 Books

November 9, 2019

The first Women In Training - WIT menstrual education event at 1977 Books was a smashing success!

Photos by Jill Friedman

Dr. LaToya Clark, obstetrician & gynecologist at Jackson Hospital discussed the three phases of the monthly menstrual cycle, and Ashley Lala Edwards of Foreword South sweetly encouraged menstruating youth and adults in the full house to share their period stories.

 

This was no easy task, because the period is the best-kept secret ever; it's something we have been trained to only whisper about to our closest friends. Lesbian, straight and transgender women laughed, teared-up and learned from each other's experiences.

 

Brooke and Breanna spoke about their #WITKITS® campaign to provide sanitary pads and hygiene products to at-risk youth.

 

We also debuted the pamphlet, “A Young Woman’s Guide to the Menstrual Cycle©.” You may order free copies of the brochure here.

Photo by Jill Friedman

National Alabama Period Day Rally

October 19, 2019

WIT founders, 12-year-old twins, Brooke and Breanna Bennett, enjoyed hanging out with other #StopPeriodPoverty allies and supporters at the inaugural National Alabama Period Day Rally in Birmingham on October 19, 2019.

Photos by Jill Friedman

New Beginnings

September 17, 2019

Women In Training (WIT) hosted its first giveaway September 17, 2019, at New Beginnings Educational Center, 806 S. Decatur Street, Montgomery. New Beginnings is an after-school program located directly across the street from Paterson Court public housing complex, where many of the girls live. WIT volunteers and co-founders, Breanna and Brooke Bennett, distributed sanitary pads, toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, loofahs, shampoo, hair conditioner and lotion to girls in the after-school program.

 

Breanna and Brooke came up with the idea for the WIT KITS® Campaign when they realized that young women around the world, including right here in Montgomery, often lack the basic hygiene items that they need during menstruation. This causes girls and young women to miss classes or lose wages because they cannot show up for school or work during their periods.

 

The issue – commonly referenced as period poverty – keeps one out of five girls from going to school during their monthly cycle, according to data released in August by Always, a popular brand of feminine hygiene products. 

Photos by Jill Friedman

Architects of Change Screening

February 16, 2019

The Architects of Change documentary screened in its entirety for the first time on February 16, 2019,  at the Civil Rights Memorial Center. After the 30-minute film screening, there was a community conversation about the African-American people's triumphant journey. Panelists included Barbara Cross, a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham; Montgomery School Board Vice President Claudia Mitchell; Montgomery City Councilman Fred Bell; and Dr. Felicia Bell and Donna Beisel from the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University. Dr. Kavon Franklin, professor at Alabama State University facilitated the dialogue.

 

Breanna and Brooke Bennett produced the documentary with support from the Rosa Parks Museum. The film provides a fresh perspective of American history from slavery through current civil rights movements, emphasizing the leadership of numerous African-Americans, and others, in each stage of the struggle for freedom and justice for all. The screening  was standing room only.  

Photos by Jill Friedman

Trailer for Architects of Change

Women in Training, Inc.

P.O. Box 231394
Montgomery, AL 36123-1394

305-713-9200

bennett@womenintraining.org

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Tax ID: 84-2297948 

Women in Training, Inc. is listed by the IRS as a 501(c)3 non-profit. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

©2020 by Women In Training.