Gale McKoy Wilkins

Executive Director's Message

February 2015

February is Go Red for Heart Awareness Month and I'm proud to announce that the N.C. Council for Women will sponsor the 2nd annual Go Red event on March 31st at the NC General Assembly Legislative Building in Raleigh (The event was re-scheduled due to inclement weather). Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women. The Council is proud to partner with a host of state agencies and non-profit organizations to build awareness of prevention strategies to help women avoid heart disease and maintain heart-healthy habits. During the event the Council for Women will be standing alongside the American Heart Association in wearing red and sharing tips on living a healthier life and managing heart disease. Heart disease doesn't only affect men; in fact 1 out of 3 women die from the causes of heart failure or heart disease. "It's imperative that women take care of ourselves."

We have a lot of wonderful projects planned for 2015. The Go Red event will be supported by the efforts of two interns from William Peace University ; Nicole Webb and Victoria Taylor. Also joining our team as interns are: Christina Hawes, William Peace University, Nia Baskerville, NCCU, and Lashundra Long, Johnson C. Smith University. During Legislative Day 2015, Council for Women Board members and NC Domestic Violence Commissioners personally reached out to members of the NC General Assembly to increase awareness of the Council's mission, accomplishments and lives changed as a result of funding for vital services provided by 204 grantees agencies. Visit our website for copies of success stories shared during the event.

February 13-14 marks the kickoff of the Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative on the lovely campus of Livingston College in Salisbury, N.C. I am honored to be one of the keynote speakers along with the N.C. Independent Colleges and University (NCICU) executive director Dr. A. Hope Williams, and Lida Calvert-Hayes, a Council for Women advisory board member. Throughout the week-end students will learn about leadership, developing entrepreneurship skills, and developing careers. Young women of diverse backgrounds who are enrolled in Davidson College, Duke University, Salem College and Saint Augustine's University will also have an opportunity to participate in similar programs this year as part of the new Women's Economic Empowerment initiative.

Finally, we continue to advocate for greater awareness and community engagement in eradicating human trafficking. I will join U.S. Congressman Mark Walker on April 1st to present a Human Trafficking Roundtable. The invitation-only event will be held in Greensboro, N.C (The event was re-scheduled due to inclement weather). North Carolina is ranked in the top ten states most likely for human trafficking to occur. Results of the event will be presented to members of the Domestic Violence Commission on February 27th, during their quarterly board meeting led by new chairman Charles Campbell II.