Members of the Williamson County Family and Community Education Clubs were presented with the 2020 “Spirit of FCL” award by the Tennessee Association for Family and Community Education (TAFCE) during its 2021 conference held in Cool Springs in November.

In July this year, during the 2021 National Conference held via Zoom, the National Association for Family and Community Education (NAFCE) likewise awarded the 2020 “Spirit of FCL” award to Tennessee, to the Williamson County Family and Community Education members, according to a press release. The belated award was due to the cancellation of both the 2020 National Conference and the 2020 TAFCE Conference, as a consequence of the coronavirus.

A team of Family and Community Education (FCE) members from Williamson County, partnering with Franklin First United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Women of FFUMC and UT Extension, worked with many organizations in Williamson County to host a successful Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Franklin in January 2018.

Presenters were from law enforcement, criminal justice, clergy, cyber security businesses and victim assistance organizations. Approximately 115 community leaders completed the conference with new information they could implement in their home and work settings.

The members of the planning team for this conference, and winners of this award, were Family and Community Education (FCE) members Evelyn Hilton, chairperson, Franklin; Theresa Bell, Nolensville; Sue Lance and Ginger Manley, Franklin; Mary Alice Weber and UT Extension Agent Patsy Watkins, Fairview; and FFUMC members/staff Betty Alzamora (deceased), Rev. Sarah Carty, Helen DeBuse and Jody Todd, all of Franklin.

A release says one of the hallmarks of the Family Community Leadership program is to assist FCE members of a community to take control of their lives and help change the world for the better by using the leadership skills that were learned through the Family Community Leadership (FCL) program. 

Based on a written presentation originally developed by NAFCE, FCE members presented an educational program about human trafficking to the local FCE Clubs in Williamson County, at the TAFCE, Central Region Leadership Retreat, and at the TAFCE, Central Region Annual Meeting. Williamson County FCE is committed to sending the message to all that Tennessee and Williamson County have zero tolerance for all forms of human trafficking.

Family and Community Education (FCE) is an organization of volunteers who work together to build strong families and communities. Educational materials are created and utilized to strengthen knowledge and skills. 

The release says resources are provided to develop leadership skills, enabling people to make a difference. Ultimately, FCE says it strives to make individual communities a better place in which to live.

For more information, contact Patsy Watkins, MPH, CFCS, Williamson County Extension agent, at 615-790-5721 or [email protected].