The St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section (SPMS) has kept the momentum, fulfilling the vision and mission while providing services and building partnerships with others in their community.
Our mission is to advance programs that provide the quality of life for women and young girls of color. Members have opportunities to represent NCNW as a volunteer in matters to advance the quality of life for families and your communities.
Purpose: The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. is an organization of organizations that promotes empowerment and unity among black women and other women in matters affecting the educational, cultural, economic, social and spiritual life of people.
For 79 years, SPMS has represented the interests of black women in the community, energized by concerned individuals.
Congratulations to our SPMS Sisters of the Year!
Valerie ‘Penny’ Williams and Lynn Harrell-Johnson
Valerie ‘Penny’ Williams Sister of the Year for 2019/2020
Valerie Williams Legacy Life Member, who has assisted the St Petersburg Metropolitan Section of The National Council Of Negro Women, during the pandemic zoom meetings, reports and helping members with computer questions. Valerie is truly a servant leader in our community through her love and passion for serving at church, NCNW, and I can only imagine where else she shares her time and talents when available. Valerie makes herself available at church for administration duties, church functions and worships services to make sure to offer her talents as needed. Read more.
Sister of the Year for 2020/2021
Lynn Harrell-Johnson, since becoming a member of the St Petersburg Metropolitan Section of the National Council of Negro Women, has shared her wealth of technical knowledge that has assisted the section in areas of technology during the pandemic. Lynn has worked tirelessly since joining our Section in 2019. Her expertise in the area of technology has made for a system within our organization one to be admired. Read more.
We salute our amazing St. Petersburg, Florida NCNW Sisters that are educators: some retired and some actively teaching and educating others through their strong contributions and commitment to educate and empower families in our St. Petersburg communities.
50 years – active
Education is not the piling on of learning, information, data facts, skills or abilities – that’s training or instruction – but is rather making visible what is hidden as a seed.” Thomas Moore
45 years – active
“It’s not your aptitude but your attitude that determines your altitude. If you are not struggling, you are not learning”
“Time spent teaching children is never wasted time.”
“Find the good and praise it” – Alex Haley
41 years – retired
“Get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding.”
38 years – retired
“Follow me as I follow Christ.”
38 years – retired
“I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me.”
38 years – retired
“Education is not just preparation for life, education is LIFE itself.”
37 years – retired
“A good education can change anyone. A good teacher changes everything.”
36 years – retired
“Go forth and be a credit to the race.”
36 years – retired
“Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.”
35 years – active
“Today is a great day to learn something new.”
Dr. Cynthia Parker White
35 years – retired
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.Luke 12:48”
35 years – active
“Strong towers have mighty powers an Educated mind, a Warm heart, a Physically fit body, and a Spiritual soul collectively Contribute to a Strong tower with Mighty Powers…”
34 years – retired
“Reading is the key.”
Dr. Tonjua Williams
34 years – active
“From our Founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune who is also known as the “First Lady of the Struggle” – “if we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs.”
Apostle Clarice Pennington
33 years – retired
“Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom and in all thy getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7”
32 years – retired
“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the Difference.”
Dr. Sharon Jackson
30+ years – retired
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
30 years – retired
“Man look at the outside but God looks at the heart.”
27 years – active
“So many of the smiles in my heart are there… because of you.”
25 years – retired
“With God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26″
Dr. Marva Dennard
20 years – retired
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
18 years – active
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams…” – Eleanor Roosevelt
16 years – retired
“Educators are essential to helping our community and world thrive, because we have been entrusted with the children that will lead, advocate, invent, and continue to shape society. I was blessed to share their journey.”
13 years – active
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.–William A. Ward”
11 years – active
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world .” – Nelson Mandela
7 years – active
“You can accomplish many things by working hard and remaining focused.”
7 years – retired
“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105″
4 years -active
“It is a privilege and a great responsibility to be a part of shaping the perspectives and ambitions of young people.”
2 years – retired
“Education is the Key to the Future.”
Dr. Sharon Brown
“Education doesn’t make us smarter. It makes us whole.”
Dr. Yvonne Williams
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepared for it today.”
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
Mary McLeod Bethune
“Education is the great American adventure, the world’s most colossal democratic experiment.”
“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.”
“Education allowed me to develop competent and courageous leadership among African-American women.”
Congratulations to our SPMS Educators for impacting the growth of our familes and communities. Our educators – some retired and some actively teaching through their contributions and commitment to educate and empower others.
Black Pearls in the Holiday Spirit of Giving purchased Christmas gifts for the elderly at two nursing home locations. The Black Pearls was able to serve South Heritage – 66 residents (33 Females and 33 Males), Concordia Manor – 25 (6 men and 19 women).
This video captures the 2020 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Give-Away that our section hosts annually. While we had to overcome obstacles regarding Covid-19, we were determined to make the required changes for this project to be successful. We were truly blessed so that we could be a blessing!
Join Us to Support the Mission of SPMS NCNW
Let’s share our gifts of giving to help someone else in an effort to continue to make our world a better place. Support the mission of NCNW St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. Join us to serve and give back – not just for GivingTuesday on December 1, 2020, but for every day.
Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor out, showing up to assist people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who are in need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.
Event: SPMS Honors President Bruce for Years of Service 2016-2020
Surprise Drive-by Parade Salutes President Bruce
On Saturday, August 29, 2020 the Sisters of the St Petersburg Metropolitan Section honored
our outgoing president, for her extraordinary leadership and service as President of the St.
Petersburg Metropolitan Section from 2016-2020, with a surprise drive-by parade.
Section members full of excitement, met at the Lakewood Sports Complex early to deck out their vehicles with balloons, poster’s, lights, and streamers. Colorful balloons and elaborate posters were snugly placed on their cars. Cars lined up at 11:45 a.m. with horns tooting and arms waving and off they went for an endearing surprise.
Members wanted to express their gratitude for her endless hours of service, enthusiastic energy, and unflagging commitment to our section. As president, Ms. Bruce has to her credit, under her leadership, these major achievements.: (1) Fannye Ayer Ponder House capital improvement, (2) increased membership, (3) increased social media footprint and (4) expanded community outreach projects.
As a token of gratitude, members showered her with gift of appreciation. A beautifully crafted customized denim jacket presented to President Bruce by Red Elephant Embroidery, owner Audrey Lane. Other members presented keepsakes baskets of her favorite indulges and cards. Blessed to be a blessing was echoed as members dropped off their gifts, shouted accolades as they departed.
The St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section of NCNW, Inc. held it’s first backpack give-away on Saturday, August 22, 2020. The project was the brainchild of Lynn Harrell-Johnson who spearheaded the event along with her co-chair, Valerie Williams. A list of school supplies that were needed was issued to the membership and they wholeheartedly came through and furnished supplies to fill 150 backpacks. Members came together the week of to assemble the backpacks while others came out on Saturday morning to help distribute them. The entire project was a labor of love that infused ‘we are one’ in the community.
We are indeed pleased with the outpouring of support from the members and The Board for their generosity! Consider joining our Section or if you are a member consider what project can we do next.
Topic: Compassionate Conversation: Where do we go from here?
The St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section of NCNW, Inc. presents varying perspectives of the impact of multiple crisis, including the Covid-19 pandemic, on our lives. One spiraling effect is that of uncertainty. However, one thing of which we can be certain is that we are a strong, determined and resilient people. With God on our side we can overcome all obstacles. As we acknowledge the pitfalls, we also evaluate and strategize. Join us in conversation as we look forward to “Where We Go From Here “!
Celebrating Women from Past Trailblazers to Present History Makers
We salute some of our past NCNW women trailblazers in history and move forward to look at a few amazing St. Petersburg, Florida women leaders who are making history as public officials and community leaders through their strong contributions and commitment to educate and empower our St. Petersburg community.
Thelma Bruce –President of the St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW): A local women who illustrates ethical leadership and commitment to making a difference through community service.
Rene Flowers – Pinellas County School Board Single Member District #7: Well known as a civil servant who has held positions in city government and the school board and serves on numerous business and community board of directors
Dr. Tonjua Williams– President, St. Petersburg College: Rose through the ranks of St Petersburg College, serving in nearly all areas of the college and is now the college seventh President. The recipient of numerous educational awards and commendations.
Dr. Kanika Tomalin – St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor and City Administrator: Daily mission is to advance the City of St. Petersburg Planning Initiatives to successful implementation.
Dr. LaDonna Butler – Founder, The Well For Life: Dr. LaDonna Butler created a business that focuses on developing a space for individuals in need of mental health counseling and wellness.
Karen Davis-Pritchett – Vice President, Access & Inclusion for Empath Health: Amidst the odds, this distinguished lady oversees a large staff who provides integrative outreach support to individuals whose lives are facing adversity.
Nikki Gaskin-Capehart – Director of Urban Affairs at City of St. Petersburg: Local young lady who spends her day investing her energy into nurturing and developing Southside families and neighborhoods, where she once played as a child.
Terri Lipsey-Scott – Executive Director – Carter G. Woodson African American Museum: Worked as city administrator for 37 years and is committed to removing barriers that impede unification.
Deborah Figgs-Sanders– St. Petersburg Council Member of District #5: Recently elected to the city council for district 5; brings a wealth of community service to her newly elected position
Dr. Cynthia Johnson –Director, Florida SBDC at Pinellas County Economic: A champion for entrepreneurship with a career spanning over 27 years as a public administrator.
Mary Murph – Founder, The Sickle Cell Disease Association of Pinellas County: A woman driven by family crisis who worked tireless to create a local organization to fight sickle cell disease and be the voice of so many that suffers from the disease.
Jacqueline Williams Hubbard, Esq. is the President of St. Petersburg Branch of The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, Inc. (ASALH); She is also Chair of the Community Remembrance Project Coalition (CRPC), which is working to install a lynching memorial in Pinellas County.
Gwendolyn Reese – President and CEO of Peaten Reese Peaten Consulting, Inc and African American Heritage Association: Dedicated community leader and equality activist. She is passionate about preserving the city’s black history and also the Co-Chair of the Community Remembrance Project Coalition.
Theresa Jones – City of St. Petersburg, Social Services Planning Manager: After a long successful career, with The City; returned to work to advocate for an often forgotten about segment in our community; homeless veterans
Lisa Wheeler-Bowman – St. Petersburg City Council District 7: Two term city council member and past city council chairperson. Chairs the Youth Services Committee and serves on six other committees
Maria Scruggs – President, NAACP Saint Petersburg Branch No.5130: Community activist that stands up for what she believes; a fighter for social justice and economic power.
SPMS Members Share About NCNW Involvement
NCNW mission is to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. Each member bring different ideas to SPMS to make the strong and cohesive organization it is today! Everyone’s voice count; read what some SPMS members have to say…
Valerie Williams After a trip to the Civil Rights Museum in AL, I joined NCNW/SPMS to continue the legacy of giving voice to women that are passionate about community service.
Ethel Robinson By joining NCNW/SPMS I saw the need where l could make a difference in my very own community. By providing my time and services to those less fortunate.
I am apart of NCNW/SPMS to continue the mission of our founder, Mary McLeod Bethune. To make a difference in people lives and to support women and their families.
Lynn Harrell-Johnson I’m a proud member of NCNW/SPMS; A great organization that recognizes the need for community involvement and willingness to serve our neighbors because everyone matters.
Gwen Anderson Holding firm to the mantra “Enter to learn, depart to Serve”, being a member of NCNW/SPMS is another opportunity and privilege to be of service to our people and community.
Irene Pridgeon The great leadership of President Thelma Bruce and second, because I believe in NCNW mission and want to be an advocate for the NCNW/SPMS to empower African American women, families and our community.
Dewana Mccarty I joined NCNW/SPMS because of the excellence demonstrated by leadership and the consistent dedication and sincere presence NCNW has in the community.
Cynthia Jenkins I believe in the NCNW Mission, which is indicative of the love and passion that we share with our members and community. My goal and attributions is to inspire, enhance and build a bond of unity.
Ester Eugene To “Pay It Forward” when the opportunity presented itself. That Opportunity Is NOW with this NCNW Sisterhood of Women who breathe Life into this Community!
Wanda Wilson I’m a strong African American Woman; Like our founder of NCNW Mary McLeod Bethune. A woman of integrity, courage and leadership to empower others. I’m also an enthusiast who enjoy the awesome “Sister to Sister Unity” we share.
Diedre Downing-Jackson This organization operates in excellence under the great and humble leadership of President Thelma Bruce, who is an inspiration demonstrating and reminding us that “We can do all things through JESUS CHRIST who strengthens us.” Philippians 4:13
Georgia Thomas Retired educator who hails from Louisiana and is a Proud NCNW/SPMS member who believes in service to others and ultimately only what you do for Christ will last.
Renee Waymon My commitment to NCNW is well stated by the founder herself, “The True Worth of a Race must be measured by the Character of its Womanhood.” I am delighted to serve in an organization that is committed to Women issues.