Updated: Jun 3
Ms. Claudia Thomas Mitchell, Vice President, and Ms. Tania Johns, Vice President for Youth Development, Women in Training, Inc. will present the first-ever WIT President’s Volunteer Service Award at the 2023 WIT Annual Meeting on Thursday, July 20, 2023, at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The event will begin with a catered reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a formal meeting at 6:00 p.m.
President George W. Bush’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2003 to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.
The PVSA has continued under each presidential administration, honoring the volunteers who are using their time and talents to solve some of the toughest challenges facing our nation. Led by the AmeriCorps and managed in partnership with Points of Light, this program allows Women in Training and other certifying organizations to recognize their most exceptional volunteers.
"We want to celebrate the invaluable contributions of volunteers, for they are the change-makers, igniting hope and restoring the dignity of every woman, one period at a time,” Ms. Mitchell said. “WIT volunteers are illuminating the path towards a more equitable world for all women. Their selfless acts of service embody the transformative power of collective action, reminding us that the fight for menstrual dignity requires not just words, but hands and hearts united in solidarity.”
Ms. Claudia Mitchell and Ms. Tania Johns, Co-Chairwomen of the 2023 WIT Annual Meeting
"The Annual Meeting aims to involve the community in WIT's efforts to empower young people and promote menstrual equity without boundaries," Ms. Johns said. "I am inspired by the purpose and enthusiasm with which WIT approaches this mission, and it is a privilege for me to serve as Co-Chair of this event."
As the 2023 Annual Meeting Chairwomen, Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Johns will highlight Women in Training’s accomplishments during the July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, fiscal year, and recognize community stakeholders and major donors. Ms. Alonzetta Landrum-Sims, Treasurer, will present the State of WIT Finances to share the organization’s 2022-2023 Annual Report of income and expenditures.
The incoming WIT Chairwoman will recognize WIT board members, including the following four members with terms ending on June 30, 2023:
Dr. LaToya Clark, MD - Outgoing Chairwoman, President and Medical Director
The Honorable Brooke E. Reid - Outgoing Board Member
Dr. LaKeshia Thomas, DMD - Outgoing Community Outreach Chairman
Ms. Tonya White-Evans - Outgoing Board Member
The WIT board elected three new board members who will serve terms ending on June 30, 2026. They are as follows:
Ms. Kimberly Brown, WIT Board Member; Ms. Alonzetta Landrum-Sims, WIT Treasurer; and
Ms. Elizabeth Johnson Sellers, WIT Secretary
The incoming WIT Chairwoman will announce the first Women in Training board member to earn Board Member Emeritus status. The WIT Board bestows the honor to a board member who has made significant contributions to the organization and has reached her or his term limit.
Ms. Kimberly Brown, Chairwoman of the WIT Strategic Planning Committee, will present the Women in Training 2019-2025 Strategic Plan. The plan was first drafted in 2019 by the WIT founders, Brooke and Breanna Bennett, when they learned that there are girls who “spot” on their clothing because they cannot afford menstrual supplies and skip school because they are ashamed. Ms. Adeyela Bennett, WIT Chief Engagement Officer, refined and finalized the initial strategic plan.
Brooke and Breanna Bennett co-founded Women in Training on their 12th birthday in 2019
"Motivated to end period poverty, Brooke and Breanna resolved to find a way to help girls in their community," Ms. Brown said. "For the past four years, Women in Training has made it its mission to advocate for menstrual equity, menstrual education, and to engage girls and gender expansive youth in community service and social justice."
“As Women in Training continues to grow and expand its reach across the region, state, nation, and the world, our CEO, Adeyela Bennett, saw the necessity to begin the process of creating a new strategic plan that will take the organization through this decade and into the next,” Ms. Brown continued.
Ms. Brown explained that the initial part of the strategic planning process was to expound on the following five Women in Training Core Values:
“Members of the WIT Strategic Plan Steering Committee expounded on the WIT Core Values by creating objective statements to guide the work of the organization through 2024,” Ms. Brown said. “These objective statements, along with the mission and vision, will also serve as a foundation for evaluating the work of Women in Training,"
The next phase of the strategic planning process is to gather partners and stakeholders in continuing to craft the strategic plan for 2025-2030.
"Through collaboration, Women in Training will be poised to address the needs of girls and gender expansive youth well into the next decade in order to realize the vision of our founders to End Poverty. PERIOD!” Ms. Brown concluded.
Ms. Akiesha Anderson, Esq., WIT General Counsel and Governance Committee Chairwoman, will give a report at the 2023 WIT Annual Meeting on Alabama's "period poverty law." Ms. Anderson drafted the HB 50 bill, which was introduced by Alabama State Representative Rolanda M. Hollis of Jefferson County. The Alabama House of Representatives and Senate passed the bill unanimously. Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law on April 22, 2022.
Ms. Akiesha Anderson, Esq., WIT General Counsel
Dr. LaKeshia Thomas will give a report on the WITKITS Campaign to provide branded canvas bags of menstrual, dental and hygiene supplies to menstruators in need. Ms. Tania Johns will give a report on the WIT Leadership Development Academy.
Ms. Sandra Whatley Washington, WIT Development Chairwoman, led the fundraising effort to underwrite the costs for this event.
Donors who supported the 2023 WIT Annual Meeting include the following:
Adeyela and Bradley Bennett
Dr. LaToya Clark, MD
City of Montgomery Commission Chairman Charles Jinright
City of Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed
Dr. LaKeisha Thomas, DMD
Sandra Whatley Washington
Sandra Whatley Washington, WIT Development Chairwoman
To register your intent to attend, please click HERE!