Evangelist Denise Cooper left Marlboro County in 1979 and returned more than 30 years later with an expanded world view and a mission: to educate and empower women.
That is part of the mission statement of the Marlboro-Chesterfield Sisterhood Empowerment Agenda, a non-profit organization founded by Cooper to help women of all ages reach their full potential and improve their quality of life.
Her hope is to bring back home some of the things she learned in her years away from Marlboro County and make them available to women here who otherwise might not have access to them.
It’s a holistic approach that focuses on mind, body and soul.
Cooper is a Clio native who graduated from Clio High School in 1979. She left Marlboro County for college, ultimately earning both bachelor and master’s degrees and finding success in the field of counseling.
About 17 years ago, her experiences as a counselor led her to establish a non-profit organization focusing on child and family services. Returning to Clio in 2011, she decided to shift the focus to women’s issues, and the Sisterhood Empowerment Agenda was born.
The organization is led by Cooper and a board of directors including: Tina Davis, Ashley Nichole Quick, Betty Jean Powe Hicks and Patricia Evans Morrisey. The organization achieves their mission through developing policy and promoting activities and workshops that will help women.
“Women in this area are hungry for information on how to be empowered and move forward in terms of their careers, families and lives,” she said. “They want to know how to improve their quality of life.”
Cooper got involved in women-based ministries in Charlotte, NC, and became more and more inspired by what she was learning. After she moved back to Clio, she continued to be involved in these ministries and began to take people with her.
Now her goal is to bring the experiences home. “I wanted to share what I had learned while I was away. People here can’t always afford to go to workshops in other places,” she said.
The Sisterhood Empowerment Agenda will sponsor it’s second Women’s Empowerment Day and Brunch at the Bennettsville Community Center, Saturday, November 21.
Called “Shifting the Atmosphere Part II,” the event will feature speakers on topics ranging from “getting unstuck” to abstinence and healthy living and a special treat this year what men really want from women from a male perspective.
There will also be a panel of women sharing their stories of overcoming obstacles in their lives.
This years speakers include: Pastor Gregory Woods House of Faith Ministries Clio.
Evangelist Tina Criss, FaithKingdom Builders Florence, Author/Life Coach Jordone Branch Orangeburg , Prophetess Teresa Allen Bennettsville, Evangelist Gervonia Manning Laurinburg, NC,Patricia Evans Morrisey, Cheraw, Andrea Morrison Ford Dillon and Tonya Ford Purvis, Bennettsville.
Brunch is included in the $10 ticket price, and there will be vendors and entertainment. For more information or tickets, call Cooper at 843-439-3892, Tina Davis at 843 344-3859, Betty J. Hick 910 544-8050, Andrea Morison Ford 843 506 2182.