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Listen to an empowering talk from Atlanta penitentiary's first female warden as WomenSource goes virtual
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Darlene Drew, the first female to work as warden at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, will speak during WomenSource's virtual Motiving Women Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8. Photo courtesy WomenSource

WomenSource has found a new way to empower ladies for its annual Motivating Women Luncheon. 

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8, the nonprofit will hold its program online to keep attendees safe during the pandemic. 

“It stinks that we can’t do it in person, but we’ve made the best of allowing people to still participate,” Elizabeth Burnette, executive director of WomenSource, said. “I hope when the program ends, that they have a renewed sense of ‘I can do this, and ‘we can do this, especially if we work together.’”

WomenSource’s Motivating Women Luncheon

What: Virtual luncheon featuring motivational speaker Darlene Drew

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8

Where: Via Zoom

To register: womensource.info/get-involved/mwl2020

How much: $25 per person

More info: womensource.info/get-involved/mwl2020

Darlene Drew is the afternoon’s keynote speaker. For 11 years, Drew served as the warden of three different facilities with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She was the first female to work as warden at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta. Burnette said Drew, who lives south of Atlanta, is now retired from the penitentiary system and runs her own motivational speaking platform.

“She has a truly powerful career story where she is the only female warden for the penitentiary in Atlanta,” Burnette said. “She was told, ‘You’ll never be able to do this job.’ People didn’t know how to refer to her because a female had never been in her position before. She has a very exciting story of fighting for her place in where she knew she belonged.”

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Burnette said WomenSource has held the luncheon on and off since the nonprofit became established in 2007. With each event, she said the speakers are asked the question: What can women do to take that next step to advance their lives personally and professionally?

“We ask speakers to share their successes, but also share their learning experiences and the failures where they grew,” Burnette said. “This year in particular, we have asked Darlene to really focus on women and resiliency, and persistence knowing that we’re all having to put one foot in front of the other. It’s more of a message of, ‘Hang in there, we can do this, and we can do this together.’”

The deadline has passed to become a sponsor of a table for eight and have food delivered to your home or business. However, individuals can still purchase tickets up until the morning before the luncheon. 

Tickets cost $25 per person. People can register by visiting womensource.info/get-involved/mwl2020. A Zoom link will be sent to those who sign up for the event. 


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