Why Advocacy Matters!

Why does WFET believe in Advocacy?

Advocacy seeks to ensure that all people in society are able to have their voice heard. When we advocate for someone, we serve to promote and protect their rights, ensuring their views and wishes are genuinely considered when important decisions are made about their lives, their futures.

What are some ways WFET advocates?

In 2014, we developed an Advocacy program, as well as an annual Advocacy Forum, to ensure that the voices of the low-income women and girls we serve, and the issues impacting their lives, were heard. We diligently work to make legislative changes that help to eliminate educational barriers, domestic violence, and human trafficking alongside our local legislative representatives. Additionally, we gained a seat as a partner in the Tennessee Women’s Fund Alliance, which includes three other women’s funds in our state – Chattanooga, Memphis, and Nashville – and whose collaborative efforts make a greater impact.

Why host an annual Advocacy Forum?

WFET seeks to reach a larger audience and raise awareness about the issues mentioned above, those barriers that prevent these young women from seeking post-secondary education and becoming self-sustaining. A second goal is obviously to raise perpetual funding along with this awareness so that every young girl has an equal opportunity to improve her life and create positive change for future generations in her family.

Can you tell us more about Janice W. Brumit, this year’s Advocacy Forum Keynote Speaker?

Janice is the perfect speaker to represent WFET’s Advocacy efforts this year. From a young age, Janice knew that education was the key to pursuing her dreams and has long been an advocate. She was the first in her family to go to college, earning a scholarship and graduating from Appalachian State University. “Education is the great equalizer,” she said. “You can take a child that’s lived in generational poverty, provide education as a foundation, and give them an opportunity to succeed beyond your wildest imagination. With the right resources, you can develop talents you never knew were possible.”

Today, Janice and her husband, Joe, have a considerable impact on their community as owners of 53 Arby’s restaurants. Janice has received numerous awards for her community service and is a champion for the needs of women and girls.


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