On January 18, 2021, twin 13-year-old sisters, Breanna and Brooke Bennett, are leading the charge to create the "Beloved Community" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned. The organization the twins founded, Women in Training, Inc., or WIT, is hosting the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Love in Montgomery, Alabama, to promote racial healing.
"Dr. King said it best: '"Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.' That is simple, yet so powerful," Brooke said.
"Love is an action," Bree added. "We will demonstrate our love by giving away ingredients to make Dr. King’s favorite meal, MLK tee-shirts, and personal hygiene and COVID-19 personal protective items to celebrate the 92nd anniversary of Dr. King’s birth."
Montgomery is a significant location for this Day of Love. Montgomery is where Dr. King pastored the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, and led the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott that resulted in the desegregation of America's public transportation system. The MLK Day of Love will be a day "on," not a day "off!" Volunteers from all walks of life -- rich and not-so-rich; Black, White, Hispanic, Korean, Indian and Native American; women and men; gay, straight, transgender; young and old -- will all work together to care for the poor. Volunteers will lovingly distribute WITKITS, or Women in Training baskets filled with the major ingredients to cook Dr. King's favorite meal: Southern fried chicken, collard greens, blackeyed peas, cornbread and, for dessert, pecan pie. They will also distribute Women in Training WITKITS of menstrual and hygiene supplies, plus much-needed COVID-19 personal protective equipment.
Women in Training is a youth empowerment organization that advocates for menstrual equity and menstrual education, and engages girls and nonbinary youth, ages 10 to 18, in community service and social justice. WITKITS is the organization’s signature program for supporting people in need.
Since the onset of COVID-19, one third of Americans who menstruate report that they cannot afford menstrual hygiene products. Prior to the pandemic, one in five American girls and young women reported that they missed school or work because they did not have sanitary pads or tampons.
When Brooke learned a few years ago that there are girls who “spot” on their clothing because they cannot afford sanitary pads, she was very sad. “That’s not right,” Brooke told her twin sister, Breanna. “Every girl needs menstrual items to stay clean and healthy during their period.”
Together, the girls started Women in Training, Inc., or WIT, a youth empowerment organization. WIT’s signature program is the #WITKITS Campaign to help #EndPeriodPoverty. WIT provides monthly donations to at-risk girls and non-binary youth of #WITKITS, which are branded canvas bags full of menstrual, hygiene and dental products. “I thought it was important for the recipients to feel loved, so we also include hand-made bracelets, journals in which we draw inspiring pictures, and fuzzy socks!” Breanna said. To date, WIT has distributed more than 800 WITKITS to girls, young women, and nonbinary youth living in poverty.
WIT, under the guidance of WIT Board President and Medical Director Dr. LaToya Clark, published "The WIT Guide to the Menstrual Cycle," which they distribute at no cost to youth organizations globally and nationally. To date, WIT has distributed 22,000 copies of the brochure. Dr. Clark also makes a menstrual education presentation at WIT programs.
Breanna and Brooke are young filmmakers who produced, in collaboration with the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University, the 30-minute "Architects of Change Documentary." The video above is the film's trailer. The twins won the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for Alabama Middle Schools in 2019 and 2020; the Points of Light Daily Award on February 28, 2020; the Alpha Phi Alpha Martin Luther King Legacy Award for Community Service in 2020; the Ethics Project’s Ambassador Andrew J. Young Outstanding Student Award in 2019; Leadership Montgomery’s Heroes in Montgomery in 2019; and Southern Black Girls and Women Consortium's Black Girl Joy Award. U.S. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama featured the WIT co-founders in a Black History Month video series.