Key Women of America, Inc.
From the President’s Desk:
As I complete my first year at the helm as National President of Key Women of America, Inc, please allow me to thank you again for the opportunity to serve you in this capacity. I am humbled by your confidence in my ability to lead this fine organization and will continue to express my sincere gratitude to you for entrusting me to execute the duties and responsibilities as your National President.
During the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet many Key Women and enjoyed an exhilarating fellowship with my sisters which provided an opportunity for me to see Key Women in action. I have seen the consistent and continuous strong effort that you are making to uphold our Mission Statement of Investment in Children, and Our Community. What an inspiration you are!
During my term as president, I invite you join me in living up to my personal theme Together We Stand. If we all stand together as one and support each other, each Branch and our National Officers will do great things as we carry on the legacy of our Founder, the late Bertha Nelms Harris.
Thank you for all that you do as Key Women in your homes, in your communities, in your religious and civic organizations. Many of you have traveled to various Branch and Quarterly meetings and the attendance has been phenomenal. I do not take your support lightly. I appreciate your many acts of kindness and support. I am blessed to have such generous sisters and thank you for your many philanthropic gestures.
There are three Keys to having a prosperous organization:
Key to Service which it brings to mind the lyrics to an old spiritual that always brought the rafters down as our ancestors sang If I can help somebody as I pass along this way, then my living will not be in vain. To be Key Women is to be about service to our youth and our community. So, let us continue to do all the good that we can, whenever we can and for what we can.
Key to Leadership which reminds us that we should not be afraid of messing up, of falling short of our goal. Just remember that nothing beats failure except effort. Admit when you are wrong. Be open to new ideas. Remember a leader is no leader if there are no followers. Remember that Teamwork makes the Dream work.
Key to Sisterhood which evokes magical images of women supporting each other. Sisterhood is who will be there during the bad as well as the good times. This Key unlocks the seen and the unseen. As Key women, we open the doors of possibilities not only for this Organization but to other women and young girls inspiring them to become Key Women.
Finally, let us continue to remember the words of Maya Angelou - People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
As we approach the end of the 2018 calendar year, may each of you have a Season of Thanksgiving and Good Will that flow’s over into the 2019 calendar year.
Key Women of America, Inc., is a national organization of women who are sincerely interested in the progress and the welfare of children, young adults, senior citizens and their communities.
Our Founder, Mrs. Bertha Nelms Harris organized Key Women of America in 1954. She initially called on women who were community leaders to join her in a comprehensive program whose purpose was to encourage the success of young people academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually to ultimately become productive contributing citizens within their communities. The initial signature project was to strengthen families while temporarily placing children in homes with loving, caring parents. The organization grew to 46 chapters and 1,200 members.
Religious faith largely directed her life. She states that she felt that she definitely had a call from God. She said, “One morning in Detroit, she head the call three times—“Bertha, go out for me”. “Yes Lord”, she cried. “Will you go out for me?” “Yes Lord, I’ll go” she uttered with discernment. “It’s going to cost you something, will you go?” “Yes Lord”, Reverend Harris said.
Reverend Harris said that she believed in God to the extent that he was her partner. God said to Reverend Harris, “You are in my hands and when you do my work, no man living can stop you!”
Some of the goals of this organization are:
To prevent juvenile delinquency through mentoring programs planned to encourage youthful offenders to complete their high school educations and to seek opportunities to further their education on the university level, community college level, or pursue vocational or on-the-job training. This program strives to build self-esteem with the development of consequential thinking and communication skills as well as reading and writing skills;
To reach out to the senior citizens of the community providing seniors with quarterly activities to promote opportunities for socialization;
To encourage women who have been incarcerated to complete their educations, secure training in various fields, to gain interviewing skills to be successful candidates for employment and to reconnect with their families;
To provide elementary, middle and secondary school students opportunities to explore the arts, media
professional athletic competitions through trips to museums, research libraries, historical landmarks professional games and exhibitions, plays and concerts in the cities in which they reside. These programs are designed to enhance the personal development of young women as well as young men;
To give young women and young men scholarships to pursue higher educational opportunities. Volunteer tutorial services are offered to students in elementary, middle and high school;
To publish the Key News which is an information publication that is distributed twice a year. To also develop a website that would communicate our Key News to women and men within and without the organization. It would include information about branch projects and programs. I would also include information about areas of interests that can help individuals and families in their daily lives at home and in the workplace. Our organization also strives to preserve and maintain our valuable, historical Key Women documents in a protected archival environment.
Finally, Key Women of America, Inc., holds a National Conference every two (2) years in cities across the nation. There are workshops with renowned speakers from within and outside of our organization. These workshops provide opportunities for the development of leadership and for the branches to formulate programs to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
In October 2015, when we attended our 16th Biennial Conference in Dover, Delaware, one of our board members, Ms. Veronica Morris, expressed that our organization had initiated and implemented many projects. She then articulated that we still have opportunities to further impact our youth and communities. These statements were the catalyst for the theme of our organization for this term of leadership in 2016-2017—Our theme for 2016-2017 is “Key Women of America, Agents of Change; Moving Forward, Onward and Upward.”
The Greek word: Meraki explains exactly what Key Women of America, Inc. plans to do—Meraki (pronounced may rah kee) is a Greek adjective that means to do something with soul, creativity and love. It means to be so involved in the work that you put something of yourself into what you are doing. When you love what you are doing, you put your entire self into it and the love and happiness shows. As Mariya Dondonyan says, “The gracious being of your soul shines through and it manifests into the world. So in terms of leadership, we are taking this opportunity to not only serve but shine.
We will pray, plan, pursue, possess and achieve the goals that we have set out to accomplish excellently knowing that our youth, our elderly, the members of our communities will reap the benefits of our love and service.