Women’s group meets in Natchez

Published 12:25 am Sunday, April 6, 2008

NATCHEZ — The 35th annual state conference for the National Council of Negro Women, an all-day event, took place Saturday.

Lee Braxton, youth director for the state conference, said three different workshops were given for the benefit of the 33 young ladies in attendance.

They were taught about finance, firstly, then were educated about career options.

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The girls were told that they could choose to do whatever they wanted and to start thinking now about their career paths.

They were also encouraged to involve their parents in this thought process and have their parents take them to meet professionals.

Braxton said the purpose of these workshops is to encourage children to do things that would make the community a better place.

The state convenor, Mary Jefferson Burciaga, said it’s all about keeping young people involved.

She said it’s also to encourage them to gain marketable skills.

Jasmine Foster, 17, of Kosciusko, said she was interested in the experience she would gain through the conference and she enjoyed talking about career goals.

“It was a good experience,” she said.

The adult women were taught socio-economic development, educational skills and child care skills.

The adults were also taught how to avoid identity theft and fraud.

Candice Beasley of Gulfport said she came to the conference to gain more knowledge.

“We’re learning how to protect ourselves,” she said.

Burciaga said reaching the 35 year milestone is great and the conference is bigger this year than ever before.

“It’s a big celebration,” Burciaga said.

“We’re called the organization of organizations,” Burciaga said.

The National Council of Negro Women work with women in several aspects — health, child care, the socio-economic status of women and education.

“Those are the four main thrusts that we work with,” Burciaga said.

The conference takes place every year and Brenda Johnson-Monroe, president of the Natchez branch of the council, said she was pleased the conference was in Natchez this year.

“It’s a great, great feeling,” she said.

She said all in attendance were having a good time and that everything was going smoothly.

“We’re keeping the dream alive of (the founder,)” she said. “We’re just women on the move.”