The newly chartered Mid-Columbus Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs hosts its first Women's History Program at 11 a.m. March 2 at the Mildred Terry Library, 640 Veterans Parkway. The guest speaker will be Gloria Battle, who taught in the Museogee County School District for more than 20 years and was head librarian at Dawson Elementary, Radcliffe Elementary and Harrison Avenue Elementary. She now work as a part-time evening librarian at Columbus Technical College and is the owner/president of Battle & Battle Funeral Home in Phenix City. (Read more about her on page 9).
NANBPWC, Inc. was founded in 1935, as a non-profit organization to promote and protect the interests of women business owners and professionals. The national group's mission is "to promote and protect the interests of African American business and professional women; to serve as a bridge for young people seeking to enter business and the professions; to improve the quality of life in the local and global communities; and to foster good fellowship."
The Mid-Columbus Club has monthly meetings for members and special programs such as the Women's History program, that are open to the public.
Mid-Columbus Club president Marlene Sharpe and first vice president Brenda Chambers say their goals for the group are to uphold the national group's mission and help local professional women reach their goals.
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They're concerned about the jealousy and envy they see between women in the workplace, at church and in social groups.
"We all have something to offer," Marlene says. "Let's put all our opinions in the pile and decide together."
Brenda agrees that women need to be careful not to take a "my way or no way at all approach... We are all leaders and have strong personalities. We have to agree to disagree," Brenda says.
Honest and open communication is a goal they have for their group.
"We have harmony and love for one another," Marlene says.
Both retired teachers are keen on volunteering and point out the importance of helping high school girls reach their dreams.
"You need to get a focus. Love yourself. You need to decide what you're going to do," Brenda says.
They would like to see high school drop-out rates and teen pregnancy rates drop. Communicating with teens is key to having those goals realized, they say.
Marlene says, "We want them to know they can be somebody, too."
Women's History Month reminds them to focus on the future and offer support to women who are working hard to grow their businesses and advance their careers.
"If women feel like they've arrived, you need to reach back and pick your sister up," Brenda says.
That's what they hope their new chapter of NANBPWC, Inc. will motivate women to do.
The Women's History event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact publicity chairperson Virginia Dickerson at 706-593-5942.
Visit the national organization's website at www.nanbpwc.org