The Board of Directors of Women in Training, Inc. elected two new members at its April 2022 meeting. The board unanimously elected Akiesha Anderson, Esq. to the position of Legal Counsel, and Sandra Whatley Washington to the position of Development Director.
Ms. Anderson, who currently serves as Policy Director, Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, was instrumental in the unanimous passage of Rep. Rolanda Hollis’ House Bill 50 in the Alabama House of Legislature and Senate. On April 14, 2022, Alabama Governor Kay signed into law the “period poverty bill,” as it is often called. Alabama is only the seventh state in the nation to have a mandate to provide menstrual hygiene products to students at no cost. The other states with laws to end period poverty are California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Utah and Virginia.
Anderson said Alabama’s law, which goes into effect in August 2022, provides $200,000 in funding to the Alabama State Department of Education for grants to Title I schools to provide much-needed menstrual supplies to students. One in five young menstruating youth nationally miss school or work because they lack menstrual supplies.
“As someone who experienced period poverty growing up, I am beyond honored to have been able to assist with this crucial piece of legislation,” Ms. Anderson said. “I can’t applaud WIT and Rep. Hollis enough for being zealous advocates regarding this issue that silently affects too many members of our communities.”
Ms. Anderson is a legislative attorney and the owner of Anderson Admissions Academy. She is also the author of two books designed to help first-generation, low income, and minority students navigate the law school admissions process.
Ms. Anderson earned a law degree from The University of Alabama School of Law with a Certificate in Governmental Affairs, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Auburn University - Montgomery, and an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Business Management from Alabama State University. Ms. Anderson is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the incoming Chief of Staff for the Alabama House of Representatives’ Office of The Minority Leader.
Ms. Washington, who serves as President, Jack and Jill of Montgomery Associates, was the lead fundraiser for the Inaugural WIT Mother Daughter Brunch held at the Capital City Club on March 12, 2022. Thanks to Ms. Washington’s fortitude, Women in Training, Inc. surpassed the event’s fundraising goal by 50 percent. Proceeds raised from the brunch supports the WITKITS® Campaign to provide bags of menstrual and hygiene supplies each month to hundreds of families in the River Region.
“It is certainly my pleasure to serve this outstanding nonprofit. I pride myself in assisting in any way I can to help our citizens in need. Mrs. Bennett [CEO of Women in Training, Inc.] and I connected immediately, and I assured her I would do all I could to help this worthy cause. Our young women need to be assured that they have someone who cares and can get them the help they need regarding period poverty.”
Ms. Washington was also instrumental in advocating for HB 50 in the Alabama State House.
Ms. Washington taught at Southern Union Community College before working in the Alabama Department of Youth Services as a teacher at the Wallace School. Previously, she worked in the last administration of Governor George C. Wallace.
Ms. Washington graduated from Auburn University with a Master’s degree and AA Certification in Vocational Business Education. She completed her undergraduate studies in Business Education and English at Alabama State University. Ms. Washington is a member of the Alabama Writers’ Forum Board, a Sustaining Member of Junior League of Montgomery, and is a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Dr. LaToya Clark, MD, serves as President and Chairwoman of the WIT Board of Directors. A complete list of board members can be found here.