Message from the Executive Director
Gale McKoy Wilkins
Gale McKoy Wilkins
Executive Director

Executive Director's letter

April is a time of new beginnings: Spring beckons us outdoors, numerous charities and agencies sponsor fundraising walks to raise awareness and much-needed contributions and volunteers receive recognition for time donated to worthy causes. At the NC Council for Women we kicked off a new Walking Well program in downtown Raleigh. The eight-week program is collaboration with Raleigh Personal Training that’s designed to help employees and others build strong hearts, strong bones and healthier lives. We believe strong women and strong hearts are a winning combination!

Strong women and men were present during the Council’s first ever Living History Symposium held on March 31. Thanks to partnerships with NC CASA, a statewide alliance working to end sexual violence through education, advocacy and legislation, Holly Austin Smith, child trafficking advocate and survivor, author of Walking Prey, How America’s Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery, and the Governor’s Office of Constituent Affairs, the educational event was a huge success.

The event featured educational workshops, keynote speakers Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., direct descendant of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington Jr., as well as survivors of human trafficking. We’re thankful to Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School for hosting the plenary session and allowing over 300 students from neighboring counties to participate in the morning panel presentations for teachers and students.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

In the U.S. April marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). During SAAM activists raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent it. The 2014 (SAAM) campaign focuses on healthy sexuality and young people. This April, join me in using your voice to impact our future. Learn how you can play a role in promoting a healthy foundation for relationships, health and sexual violence prevention.

NC CASA and sexual assault agencies across North Carolina will sponsor awareness events during April. Visit www.nccasa.org to learn more and support activities, college campus advocates, rape crisis service providers and those of us who know the value of prevention to reach thousands of people. Speaking of strong women, I encourage you to join me at the NC Women Veterans Summit and Expo on April 17 at the NC National Guard HQ in Raleigh for a day devoted to Empower, Educate and Enrich women veterans. The NC Council for Women is a proud partner with NC Veterans Affairs, on this Summit & Expo. Reservations and photo ID are required to attend, visit www.ncvrac.org/2014summit to learn more.