MURFREESBORO, May 3, 2016– The 3rd Annual Empowering Women Event, hosted by Rep. Bryan Terry and Rep. Dawn White, was held Saturday, April 30 at Sportscom in Murfreesboro. A multitude of women attended to learn about how they can get involved at the local and state levels, as well as how they can make a positive impact on policy and procedures. The event featured keynote speaker Republican Majority Floor Leader Sheila Butt. Other speakers included Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Operations Stephanie Brackman, and MTSU College Republican President Jami Averwater.
“By all accounts, the event was a success. Our speakers did a fantastic job inspiring our attendees, and showing them where and how to get involved. It’s my hope to continue to grow the event to help women of all ages in our community know the impact that they can make,” stated Rep. Bryan Terry
Rep. Butt gave a moving speech that drew praise from the hosts and attendees. From job creation to pro-life issues to Constitutional rights, she covered a wide array of issues with a message on how one can and should be bold and unafraid to take a stand. With several Rutherford County General Sessions judicial candidates in the audience, she spoke of the negative effects of judicial activism and the need to elect judges that are Constitutionally sound.
“I was honored to take part in such a great event. It is very encouraging to see leaders like Representatives Terry and White host this kind of community outreach, and it was even more encouraging to receive such positive feedback from women after the event,” commented Rep. Butt.
The event attracted women of all ages including college students and retirees. Jami Averwater, a MTSU senior, spoke to the crowd about various avenues to get involved. She spoke of our current situations in society and how women of all ages can make a difference for the future of Tennessee. Rep. White, in her comments, reiterated and expanded on the speech of Averwater explaining the various opportunities for women in the community for women.
Stephanie Brackman, in an engaging speech which included some of her struggles during her youth, spoke of building relationships in the community and how these relationships can impact everything from one’s business to public policy. With her diverse background and road to becoming Vice President of Operations of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, she provided attendees with an example of how one can use their skills to lead and get involved.
With his training in Self Governance, Rep. Terry echoed the importance of relationship building as one looks to impact policy or influence one’s elected officials. Terry encouraged all those in attendance to reach out to their elected officials and build a relationship with them. “As citizens, we have the Constitutional authority to have our voices heard, but having a positive relationship with our elected officials improves the chances that the elected official will take action. I, always, enjoy having the opportunity to teach others how to exert control over government,” commented Rep. Terry.
With Tennessee having many Republican women leaders, from Speaker Beth Harwell to Rutherford County GOP Chairman Donna Barrett, the event highlights the continued commitment from GOP leaders to encourage and recruit women at the grassroots level.