Women and Girls of Color Wrap-Up
By now all have heard what an outstanding WGOCC conference NCNW women achieved on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Although our atten-dance was less than the 135 who signed up, we had nearly 90 participants, even several from Killeen who are very much interested in learning more about our project with pregnant and parenting teens. From among the 10 or 11 teens from Austin Can Academy who promised to attend the conference, only one young man kept his commitment. This young man spoke and was very moving in his desire to not become a father but to become involved in helping others in need. The young teen mother who spoke was very open and willing to share her story. Both young people were authentic and had a positive impact on the audience.
The audience heard from an adult resource panel that represented such agencies as Planned Parenthood and Travis County Parenting Teen Coordinator-Parenting Skills Educator, as well as Seton Healthcare Family, a Coordinator from Austin Can Academy, a Private School Owner, an At Risk Pregnancy Expert, a former School District Superintendent, and our very own Sheri Marshall. Some of these same speakers led small workshops which addressed the following topics: “Teen Talk-Whaddup?” “Parent-of-a-Youth Parent ‘Rap Session’”and “Be a Great Young Parent.”
At the lunch hour there were two presentations, one of which was provided by an adult financial planner who gave detailed information on financial management, and another on helping young people prepare for a job interview displayed in an enjoyable skit by NCNW Jay Howard and Shari Mitchell.
One of the final events of the day was the raffling of several bags of infant and toddler items to several lucky participants. Evaluation forms were distributed and results tallied; those results should be available tonight, in addition to notes taken at the three workshops.
The most enjoyable and meaningful aspects of this project was in the preparation of the conference. Working, coordinating, and planning with the women on the WGOCC committee was enjoyable in every aspect, and the women participated as fully as they could. As Chair of the committee I would like to express my sincere thanks and deep appreciation to each one and ask you all to show them warm appreciation for a job well done: Dr. Shirley Sprinkles, Sheri Marshall, Dr. DeAnna Harris-McCoy, Judith Howard, Arlene Youngblood, Polly Street, Diane Harris-McCoy, Shari Mitchell, Lisa Peavey, Crystal Bennett, Ethel Scott, Marilyn Johnson, and Doris Wilhite.
Marion Childress-Usher, Chair
Women and Girls of Color Committee
Images from the event can be found in the Gallery