Pine Bluff Branch NAUW continues to give back to community

The Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women recently began a new work year of service by continuing the efforts of community involvement through the PROUD Project Committee, chaired by Sharon Nicholson.

The BSP (Basic Primary School needs for Pre-School thru 6th grade level students) segment of the project presented backpacks and school supplies to the Jefferson County Department of Human Services/Division of Children and Family Services.

In keeping with the mission of the Division of Children and Family Services, the project was a brainstorm of Nicholson, a retired adoption specialist who saw a need to assist and support the agency in this area. With the commitment of the branch, this committee, along with the branch membership, supports this project by individually being responsible for at least one filled backpack per semester. During the branch’s annual Membership Retreat, the backpacks and school supplies are collected and subsequently presented to DCFS staff. The recent presentation was made by Nicholson and members, Lashondra Brown-Johnson and Etta Kuykendall.

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The chapter also recently celebrated its International Day/Black History and Heart Health program on the campus of UAPB in Henderson Young Hall auditorium.

The program began with a salute to international athletes of the Winter Olympics with a processional of costumes from around the world and red attire and fitness outfits for heart health.

Margarette Williams, LEAPS Initiative LLC, was the keynote speaker. Marikka Bender, local fitness expert, took attendees to “The Red Zone” with ways to improve heart health with low-impact exercises.

The International Day/Black History Committee included Joyce Bracy Vaughn, chair, Juanita Anthony, Felicia Fisher, Cheryl Hutchins, Birlee Lever, Andrea McBeth, Dr. Christy Walker, Varnell Wallace and Arlene Woody.

The Health Initiative Committee included Georgette Wiley, chair, Tonia Alisworth, Bender, Elfreda Boyd, Felicia Cooper, Mae Hawkins, Sharon Hildreth, Andrea McBeth, Florine McDonald, Betty Morris, Trudy Redus, Walker and Jeanette Wheat.

The National Association of University Women (formerly known as the College Alumnae Club) was organized in 1910 by Mary Church Terrell, Sara Brown, Fairfax Brown and Mary Cromwell in Washington, D.C. In 1945, Katie Jackson Pierre organized the Pine Bluff Branch of NAUW on the campus of AM&N College, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The oldest branch in the South Central Section is committed to the mission and percepts of the national organization.

Delores Y. Owens is national president and Mary Liddell serves as Pine Bluff branch president.