On August 17, I had the opportunity to speak at The Author’s Workshop, a community event held by The Virtuous Women, LLC in Lithonia, Georgia. The event brought together local authors who shared their publishing experiences and why they chose to write with the community. The goal: to inspire those who may have a story to tell but not know how to do it. I met some wonderful people that night and decided to share a bit more about the organization to those of you in the Atlanta, Georgia area who may be interested in joining in future events.
Let me share a little bit about the organizations director, Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman.
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman is a Special Education Teacher with the Dekalb County School System. She currently serves as the Department Chair of the Special Education Department. Dr. Harris-Coleman has over nine years of experience working with special needs students. Prior to working with the school system, she worked for the Department of Juvenile Justice in the capacity of the statewide transfer coordinator where she was responsible for the assignment of students to specific learning campuses throughout the state
MJ: Welcome, Dr. Harris-Coleman! I’ve visited your blog site and see the idea for your organization stemmed for a get together with your family. How did that turn into reaching out to the community?
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: It went from a chance to get to know the newest member of our family, my sister-in-law, into a big event when one of my sisters who helped plan the party invited over 20 friends. In turn I invited a few people who own small businesses. We had jewelry, massages, and a few more things available for the guest. In the end we had over 60 people squeeze into my home. By the end of the night, people were asking when was the next event. We prayed on the matter and decided to do it again. We found a location to hold it in. Later, I began researching the term ‘virtuous women’ and discovered it had to do with health and wellness, which has become what we strive to promote with each event.
MJ: That is amazing! What is the general message or goal of the organization and how long have you been around?
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: We officially had our first event in June 2013 which was on Women and Safety where the Dekalb County female officers came out to share safety tips for shopping, going on vacation, and home. July we did a Taste of Dekalb which featured different food vendors. The latest event was The Author’s Workshop. We are looking to reach more than the men and the women in the community, and strive to provide events that are good for the entire family as well. Our focus is on how to better the whole body, mind, and spirit. Each event is geared towards these themes.
MJ: How does your organization assist the community and its businesses?
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: We help small businesses by inviting them to participate in events where their product compliments the event theme. The interaction with members of our organization gives them the opportunity to test out their business ideas to see if it’s worth pursuing, and if it is, allows them to reach a customer base.
MJ: What has been your most memorable event?
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: The last event held, The Author’s Workshop which was co-sponsored by Barnes & Noble. We had a lot of positive feedback and have been asked by those who were not able to make it ask when the next event will be held. Learning the truth behind why authors write was very touching. It’s not the same as reading about the author on the back of the book. I also enjoyed watching the children’s reactions and how they were in tune with what they learned.
MJ: I must say I really enjoyed being a part of that event and am happy you invited me to participate. You know I will happily do it again in the future! Are you looking for volunteers? If so, how can they get in touch with you?
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: We appreciated having you! And yes, we are always looking for volunteers! Those interested can call 404-820-9210, or reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need volunteers to assist with vendor set up, signing up potential members, and greeting members at events. Communicating with members and vendors between events would be a huge help as well.
MJ: You host events monthly and feature the calendar of events on your webpage. How can a vendor or someone interested in becoming a member find out more information?
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: Visit the website for detailed information for membership and to sign up as an event vendor. We encourage people to become members for as little as $10 per month. We have been hosting one monthly event, but are looking to do events twice a month. Joining as a vendor gives you the option to host an event at the location as well. Keep an eye on the calendar to keep up with the events. More information is available on the website, or people who are interested can contact us by phone or email for more information.
MJ: Are you looking for sponsors?
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: Yes! Anyone interested can contact me at the above information.
MJ: What is the next upcoming event and how can people find out more information?
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: In September we will be focusing on relationships. We have been blessed to have Life Coach Robin May come and speak to the group about Women and Relationships. We would like to incorporate vendors that are geared towards the event theme; so again, anyone interested can contact us via email or call.
MJ: Dr. Harris-Coleman, it has been my pleasure speaking with you today, and I applaud what your doing to strengthen the community, and look forward to participating in future events.
Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: Thank you for having me!
The Next Community Event:
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