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.
This project was made possible by a service award from the 2020 MLK Day of Service sponsored by St. Petersburg College to encourage organizations to serve their communities on MLK Day and beyond. We are truly grateful for the sponsors heart of fostering the belief “we are our community, and everyone matters”.
NCNW community outreach efforts allowed us to supply over 125 recipients with a hot meal, care-kits and resources that will provide them with valuable information far beyond our one day of service that was held on January 25, 2020. Without your assistance of additional sponsors many recipients in dire need would not have had the benefit of knowing the services that are readily available by the organizations.