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WIT 5K Race Director Chats About International Day of the Girl

Updated: Oct 1, 2023


Laurie Edmondson, Race Director for the 4th Annual WIT 5K: Empowering Girls to Change the World, spoke with Women in Training's Media Sponsor, WSFA-12 TV, about the two-part International Day of the Girl celebration taking place on Saturday, October 7, 2023, in Montgomery, Alabama.

Cheerleaders from Floyd Middle Magnet School, under the guidance of Coach Ashle Myrick, will cheer on the runners and walkers at the 4th Annual WIT 5K at Saturday, October 7, 2023, at 7:00 a.m. at Old Alabama Town.

Please click Ms. Edmond's photo below to view the television interview.

Celebrated annually on Oct. 11, International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address challenges girls face, promote girls’ empowerment and promote the fulfillment of girls’ human rights. Dr. Nandini Mahabir Ramroop of Trinidad and Tobago is Chairwoman of the International Day of the Girl celebration in Montgomery that includes the WIT 5K at Old Alabama Town, and the Multicultural and STEM Festival at Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University.


"This two-part International Day of the Girl event is very significant to our city, especially for the youth, as it provides avenues to celebrate young women leaders, as well as learn about various cultures across the globe that are represented in our very own Capital City," Dr. Ramroop said. "The global presence and the accomplished women of our community serve as role models for our girls."

Dr. Nandini Mahabir Ramroop, Chairwoman, International Day of the Girl in Montgomery

Women in Training, Inc. is kicking off the day at 7:00 a.m. on Oct. 7, 2023, with the 4th Annual WIT 5K Run/Walk: Empowering Girls to Change the World! at Old Alabama Town in downtown Montgomery. The 5K race, the brainchild of WIT teenage founders, Breanna and Brooke Bennett, is a fundraiser for Women In Training, Inc.’s signature WITKITS ​Campaign to provide menstrual products and hygiene items to young, low-income people who menstruate.


Ms. Karan White will kick-off the race with an energetic warm-up exercise and cheerleaders from Floyd Middle Magnet School, under the guidance of Coach Ashle Myrick, will cheer on the runners and walkers.


Runners and walkers will walk or run on a hilly course along the streets of downtown Montgomery. will enjoy a visual tour of several historic sites in downtown Montgomery, including Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist 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 modern Civil Rights Movement.


“All along the 3.1-mile course this year, participants will have the opportunity to learn about many important girls and women – many of whom are working daily to effect change right here in Alabama – and to understand why organizations like WIT are vital to our communities," Edmondson said.


Tonya Terry, fitness advocate, marketing professional, real estate agent and former WSFA news anchor, is the Honorary WIT 5K Chairwoman.


"As an outspoken advocate for health and wellness and empowering women, I am pleased to serve as the honorary chairwoman of the 4th Annual WIT 5K Run/Walk: Empowering Girls to Change the World,” said Terry, who is known by many people for her many years as a morning news anchor and reporter at several radio and television stations across the Southeast, including WSFA.

Tonya Terry, Honorary WIT 5K Chairwoman

WIT is offering several race options on Saturday, Oct. 7:

  1. The WIT 5K (3.1-mile) Run/Walk Race, will start at 7:00 a.m. CST at Old Alabama Town, 301 Columbus Street, Montgomery. Participants will run and/or walk the 5K course for a timed result. For this race, WIT will have overall and age group awards based on time, and all participants will receive a unique WIT 5K T-shirt.

  2. The WIT 2K (1.75-mile) Walking Tour, will start at 8:00 AM CST at Old Alabama Town, 301 Columbus Street, Montgomery. Participants in this event can see some of Montgomery's historical sites and learn about changemaking girls and women, without the stress of a 5K race. There will be a generous time limit for this event so that visitors can enjoy and learn at their own pace.

  3. The VIRTUAL WIT 5K Run/Walk for those who want to participate but cannot make it to the race in person. Shirts, bibs and medals will be mailed to virtual participants, who can submit their results on the event website.

Yellow Hammer Fund will provide the "Repro Raven" bus, filled with water and healthy snacks for runners and walkers. They are also giving away supplies for babies and women, such as diapers, period products and safer-sex kits.

Smoothie King in East Chase will provide cold, healthy refreshments for participants.


After the 5K, Women in Training will host its first WIT Multicultural & STEM Festival at the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Rosa Parks Museum event is free, and open to all girls and their friends and family members. There is a small registration fee for the WIT 5K.


WIT is partnering with the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University to produce the festival. Girls and their families can experience a display of Troy University's Rosa Park Museum exhibits on Rosa Parks and The Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The exhibits are possible, thanks to a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Transit Management of Montgomery is providing a replica of the Historic Rosa Park Bus for girls to experience that moment that changed the course of world history when Mrs. Parks refused to give up a seat to a white man on a Montgomery public bus in 1955. Mrs. Parks' brave action started the modern Civil Rights Movement when African American children, women and men boycotted the city bus system for more than a year. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional.


The International Day of the Girl festivities at Rosa Parks Museum will open with a Land Acknowledgement by Tori Jackson, a descent of the Indigenous Mvskoke nation.


Performers in the festivities, among others, will include Kunmeng Dance Ensemble from China; Shivalaya School of Indian Classical Dance; Kash Kinetics Dance who will perform Caribbean dances; Salma Ali, who will choreograph a Middle Eastern fashion show; Kam Sidhu, who is sponsoring henna hand decorations; Dr. Ritha Menon, who will sing the Indian national anthem; and Nyoka Samuels-Gilchrist, who will lead participants in singing a traditional African call-and-response song.


JustServe volunteers will freely distribute Women in Training WITKITS of menstrual, dental and hygiene supplies to girls.

There will also be a screening of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and, in the conference room, girls and their families can meet with volunteers from FamilySearch, the world’s largest free genealogy service to begin searching their family history.


In the Children's Museum of Montgomery section, girls could learn about Ladies of #STEM, make their own slime, build star constellations, design rockets, construct a marshmallow house and more!


1977 Books will sell books by and about girls and women.


"Everything about this International Day of the Girl celebration aligns perfectly with Women in Training's core values of womanism, global citizenship, intersectionality, liberation and decolonization," said Adeyela Albury Bennett, President and CEO, Women in Training, Inc. "We want to empower girls in our community to see the global possibilities for their future."


In the main Auditorium, there will be a panel discussion featuring international girls and women leaders. Ariel Lenise Dixon, Miss Huntingdon 2023 and Ms. Krischula McNear-Edwards, President of Mayor Steven Reed’s Young Professional Council, will moderate the Panel Discussion of WIT Girls and Women of Excellence.


The panelists represent the diversity of Alabama's community, and include girls and women from a wide range of professions and nationalities. They include:

  • Dr. Caroline Abolade, a psychiatrist and entrepreneur; from Nigeria

  • Breanna and Brooke Bennett, age 16, founders of Women in Training, Inc.; their parents are from The Bahamas and the United States

  • Dr. Mary Casals, Chief Medical Officer, Montgomery VA Clinic, Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System; from the Philippines

  • Mrs. Pauline Ford-Caesar, Founder and Immediate Past President of the Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization; from Jamaica

  • Namrata Goswami, PhD, an author, professor, strategic analyst and global consultant on great power politics, space policy and conflict negotiation; from India

  • Priya Menon, PhD, a professor of literature at Troy University and Fulbright Scholar and Ambassador; from India

  • Dana Taunton, Esq., Principal, Beasley Allen Law Firm, and a Board Member for Women in Training, Inc.; from the United States

  • Clare Weil, community leader, entrepreneur and owner of Ms. Gotrocks LLC.; from the United States

  • LeNetta Banks Williams, PhD, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, is the assistant dean of the Civilian Associate Degree Program at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base; from the United States.

Montgomery's International Day of the Girl celebration is possible, thanks to the following generous sponsors:

PLATINUM LEVEL SPONSORS:


Montgomery County Commission

Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University

Dr. Nandini Mahabir Ramroop

Transit Management of Montgomery

Yellowhammer Fund


MEDIA SPONSOR:

WSFA 12 News


GOLD LEVEL SPONSOR

Dr. Ritha Menon

SILVER LEVEL SPONSORS:

Montgomery MultiSport

Kam Sidhu, Proprietor, Avalon Montessori School at Ray Thorington Rd

Walmart and Sam's Club


BRONZE LEVEL SPONSORS:

7 Healing Waters

Ms. Salma Ali, Choreographer, Middle Eastern Fashion Show

Chappy's Deli on Carmichael Road

Cloverdale Playhouse

Intuitive Touch

Ms. Sudha Raghuram, Artistic Director, Shivalaya School of Indian Classical Dance

Smoothie King in East Chase

Ms. Sandra Whatley Washington, Development Chairwoman, Women in Training, Inc.

Sergeant Shantavia Peters of Maxwell Air Force Base is managing volunteer logistical support for the International Day of the Girl celebration taking place at the Rosa Parks Museum on October 7, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Volunteers for the event will come from JustServe, led by Wendy Palkki; Women of W.I.L.L., led by Sheyann Webb Christburg; and Montgomery Catholic School, led by Cheer Coach Mrs. Sarah Northcraft Berg; and Maxwell Air Force Base.



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