New women's group aims to empower
March 8, 2011
Six Clovis and Portales women have created a new organization intended to empower women.
The idea for the organization, called We Organize Motivate Educate and Nurture, or W.O.M.E.N., came to Clovis counselor Sistar Yancy while preparing to speak at a women’s conference in California in 1990.
Yancy said the idea lingered with her for years. In 2007, Yancy began sharing the idea with other women in both communities.
“It became clear to me that the Lord wanted me to start a women’s group,” she said.
The group was founded by Yancy, Dr. Anne Grayson, Tamara Moore-Callahan, Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, Annetha Adeniji and Lois Bean.
The organization is moving from the planning stages and hoping for expansion with a meet and greet planned for 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Master’s Center conference room.
W.O.M.E.N. will provide educational workshops, rap sessions, career development seminars, guest speakers, mentoring and community outreach for women.
Yancy said the organization’s founders will serve as mentors for other women in the community. It would be a place for women to come and share in a safe environment, she said.
“We want to be able to help wherever we can or are needed,” Yancy said.
Yancy said the organization’s founders each have roots in a different realm. As an example, Grayson, a surgeon at Roosevelt General Hospital, can mentor women who work in the medical field.
She said the six founders are working for non-profit status.
Grayson said when Yancy called on her to help, she immediately said yes.
“She (Yancy) provides services to so many people that when she calls on me, I answer,” Grayson said.
Grayon said when in 2007 Yancy brought up the idea to her, a few things had happened to women in the community.
“Those things accentuated the need of an organization like this,” Grayson said. “We want to be able to provide guidance when these things happen. Often, people are empowered when they have the knowledge and the information to solve problems.”
Grayson said people often don’t know where to go for advice or information.
“This is a great opportunity for us to pool our resources and when I say resources I mean our expertise resources,” she said.
Grayson said as a surgeon, she might not be the person a patient needs to see, but she has the resources to point someone in the right direction.
“We can be a source of information and support,” she said.
Yancy said groups in California, where she is from, have expressed interest in starting chapters of W.O.M.E.N. in their community also.