Discovering Greensboro’s Treasures
A message from WPF President, Ashley Madden
When I was a young girl, bespectacled, a little nerdy, and filled with tomboy spirit, Hamilton Lakes Park was my go-to place to explore. I could walk to the Park from my house and spent countless hours playing in the creek, riding my bike, having little picnic parties with neighborhood friends, and reading the hours away nestled at the base of the trees. Now, decades later, Hamilton Lakes is still one of my favorite places to get away from it all. However, my creek playing days have transitioned to walking the loop trail, catching up with a girlfriend, or listening to a book on my headphones. But I love my time in the park just as much as I did when I was that young tomboy. For all of us, the opportunity to explore outside spaces has been more important than ever, as a safe way to interact with others in person, as well as boost our physical and mental health during the pandemic.
I am certainly not alone in appreciating our wonderful park system. Greensboro was recently rated the top city in North Carolina for recreation by a recent WalletHub study. Greensboro’s Parks and Recreation system expands far beyond places to soak up nature and get in your walking steps. There is a strong focus on the “recreation” component by supporting tennis, bocce ball, cornhole, fitness classes, soccer, volleyball, fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, disc golf, golf and even community gardening. There are several parks that provide play areas for those with special needs including LeBauer Park (downtown) and Keeley Park (northeast Greensboro) which feature the largest inclusive playground in North Carolina. Since the pandemic started, there is even more focus on virtual programming including fitness classes, social clubs, baking workshops and story hour for kids. There is, quite literally, something for everyone through Greensboro Parks and Rec!
This month, we welcome Nasha McCray, Director of Greensboro Parks and Recreation as our speaker. I have served with Nasha on the Board of Directors for Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc. for the past few years and have seen firsthand the commitment and creativity she brings to overseeing our Parks. I hope you will join us for her presentation at our March meeting! Our attendance via Zoom has been really strong for the first two meetings of the year and members are loving the opportunity to interact and visit in the Connection Rooms before our meeting starts.
I also encourage you to check out what our SIGs are up to. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, we’re gearing up for lots of great SIG events – from discussing great reads to exploring wine and cocktails to learning more about diversity. You’ll find all of our SIG events on website (see the link at the left) and here in our newsletter.
PS: Be inspired! Get involved with the wonderful activities offered by Greensboro’s wonderful Parks and Rec Department! Click here to check out their seasonal guide.
MARCH MEETING …March 10, 2021 on ZOOM
Enhance. Expand. Connect. with Nasha McCray, Director of Greensboro Parks & Recreation
We’re excited to welcome Nasha to our March meeting to share the amazing work of Greensboro’s Parks and Recreation Department and the many offerings they provide.
Named one of the “40 under 40 Most Influential African Americans in the Triad” by Black Business Ink Magazine, Nasha is active in our community and serves on numerous Boards and committees. Last year, Greensboro Parks and Rec., under her leadership, received the National Gold Medal Grand Plaque that honors communities throughout the United States who demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.
Nasha McCray has been with Parks and Rec. since 2009, serving as Planning and Project Development Division Manager, Deputy Director, and Interim Director before taking the Director position in 2018. Nasha came to Greensboro by way of Jacksonville, NC, where she worked as Senior Planner. Prior to Jacksonville, she held various positions with the city of West Palm Beach, FL. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, holding both her undergraduate and Master’s degrees. Join us in welcoming Nasha who is making a difference for the residents of Greensboro!
WPF FOUNDATION NEWS: Building a World of Understanding
A Message from Jean Pudlo, WPFF President Jean Pudlo
As the Foundation works to create opportunities for women and girls to achieve their leadership and professional dreams, we help change the world. We can do this because of your ongoing financial contributions to the Foundations’ work. Thank you.
An example is such world changing support is for NCCJ of the Piedmont’s ANYTOWN program. WPF Foundation provided sponsorship of four young women to attend the program in 2020, but like everything else, they had to pivot because of COVID-19. Here’s their report:
The pandemic made NCCJ’s regular summer programming impossible this year, forcing us to cancel both planned ANYTOWN sessions – even as the nationwide protests and conversations about policing and systemic racism made it vitally important for young people to have opportunities to come together, process their feelings, and learn how they can take action to make a difference.
To address this need, NCCJ created STARR: Students Talking About Race + Racism, a brand-new, 3-day program for high school students. STARR is a hybrid (part virtual, part physically distanced) program that provides students with a safe space to ask questions about race and racism without fear of judgment. We piloted it in July, in partnership with the International Civil Rights Center. Students learned about the pivotal role Greensboro and High Point played in the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s, and how longstanding racial injustices affect them and their communities today. You can learn more about it: https://www.nccjtriad.org/2020/08/15/starr/
Both Digital Teen Hangouts and STARR are now part of our ANYTOWN Anytime program offerings. For 30 years, ANYTOWN has been transforming young people in our community into passionate leaders.
New Grant Cycle: WPF Foundation is preparing to further change the world in 2021. The initial grant application deadline just passed at the end of February, and the Grants Committee co-chaired by Erica Parker and Robin Hager will be deliberating and making their recommendations to the board for approval in April. We’ll let you know the choices at the May WPF meeting, traditionally our update to membership.
What financial worries keep you up at night? What is the difference between a Roth IRA vs. IRA vs. 401k? What should you be doing now to prepare for retirement? Is Social Security still a thing? If you find yourself pondering these questions over a glass of vino every night, we are the group for you! Please join us to learn about all things financial. We plan to have a different topic and speaker each meeting. Meeting dates TBD and currently held via Zoom. Please email Cecelia Anderson to sign up firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Interest Group Upcoming Events
BOOKS & ARTS
Pieces of Now Art Exhibit on Saturday, March 6 … Up to 6 people per group @ 10am, 11am, Noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm
GREENSBORO HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Pieces of Now features nearly 20 pieces of street art created as part of the 2020 summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, along with photos, objects and video interviews with artists and organizers. The exhibition also invites the community to share experiences, stories and objects related to the protests, pandemic and economic crisis.
On Saturday, March 6, Museum Director Carol Hart has generously offered to guide groups of up to 6 people at a time. The time slots offered are 10am, 11am, noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. It takes 35-45 minutes to view the exhibit and watch the videos. Admission is free. Email Nancy Radtke – email@example.com to tell her what time slot you prefer. You can also call Carol Hart at 336-373-2306. Her hours are Tues-Sat from 10-5. If you are not venturing out the exhibit can be seen here: Pieces of Now
Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead on Tuesday, March 9 @ 7pm via Zoom
We will be discussing Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead as well as the Pieces of Now exhibit at the Greensboro History Museum. Ronnie Grabon is leading the discussion. Contact Ronnie at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Nickel Boys won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and describes life in a reform school from the point of view of a young black teenager. Whitehead based Nickel Academy on the real-life Dozier School, a Florida facility that ran for over a century, until a university investigation publicized its racist and abusive practices.
Whitehead also wrote The Underground Railroad and will appear at the Bryan Series on April 12th (maybe people who have tickets can arrange some small group events to watch the Zoom presentation).
2021 Habitat Greensboro Women Build: Organizing Meeting on Wednesday, March 10 @ 6:30pm via Zoom
In 2019, we had a great experience for our first WPF Women Build team! Whether you donated, served food, or wielded a hammer, your generosity was so appreciated. Our fundraising goal for the 2019 Women Build was $3000; we knocked it out of the park raising $6951!! Leila, Nass, and their five children moved into their new home in early 2020, just in time before COVID took hold.
This year Habitat is organizing another Women Build for a single mother, Tameika and her 2 sons, Christian and Cameron. Click here to learn more about them.
Our goal is to learn more about the ways each team member can help and explore fundraising ideas for our team. Please join us for this first meeting, even if you cannot participate in the actual build. In the meantime, visit our team page to make a donation or sign up as a fundraise! To help us organize, join us on March 10; RSVP to Amy Meinecke at email@example.com to receive the Zoom link prior to the meeting.
DEVOTED TO DIVERSITY
Tuesday, March 16 @ 6:30pm via Zoom
Many thanks to all who participated in our Just Mercy book discussion in February. Thanks as well to Valda Ford for generously sharing her time, wisdom and guidance. We are fortunate to be able to be on this journey of learning and healing together with our WPF sisters!
Irish Drinks to (sham)rock your world! Tuesday, March 16, 6pm @ Ronnie Grabon’s
119 Nut Bush Road, Greensboro
Join host Ronnie Grabon as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style! Come taste the smiling “Irish Eyes” cocktail or the Irish Rose mixer. $15 Cover charge – Space is limited.
Please RSVP to Kim Trone by text or phone at 336 707-2136.
WOMEN OF WALL STREET (WOW)
Thursday, March 18 @ 6pm via Zoom
Our Topic Meeting is titled “2020 Review/2021 Outlook” and will be presented by Irene Apgar and Patty Blair of UBS Financial Services. This should be an interesting and informative meeting, so please mark your calendars now to join us. A Zoom invitation will be sent to members. See you on March 18th! Please contact Peggy Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.
Tuesday, March 23 @ 7:30pm via Zoom
We will be reviewing date/time and meeting options moving forward and planning topics for the next 6 meetings. Zoom link to be sent out by Marlee.
RSVP to Marlee Foster for zoom information- email@example.com.
BOOKS & ARTS
Wine & Design Painting Class on Saturday, March 27 @ 6:30-8:30pm via Zoom
We are excited about the opportunity to paint and play together privately during a virtual Wine and Design painting class via Zoom. If you’ve ever done a class at a Wine and Design Studio, this will be a similar set-up that is perfect for painting newbies, no experience necessary! You’ll pick up all your materials ahead of time from the studio in Jamestown (including paints and a pre-selected spring themed design outlined on a canvas to guide your painting.) During the live class, a teacher leads us through the instructional process via Zoom. Cost is $30 per person, and an optional set of 8 brushes is available for $5 more to anyone needing them. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to get instructions on registration and payment.
Wednesday, March 31 @ 6:30 on Zoom with Host Dede Potter
Join us in March for Dining Out on Zoom. To RSVP and get the zoom link and/or to get on the Dining Out email list, email Amy at email@example.com.