Atlanta-based non-profit Sisters of Today and Tomorrow celebrated 10 years of “transforming the lives of girls and the women who raise them” with an anniversary celebration at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The organization’s founder and executive director, Carla Morrison, said she was inspired to create the nonprofit because she wanted to expose young people to new ideas and new ways of thinking.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities to meet some wonderful and amazing people, history makers, and I’m one of those people who likes to share,” Morrison said.

Morrison said she is proud of the organization’s accomplishments.

“We’re developing leaders,” she explained. “We’re exposing young girls to self-esteem building, education, health and wellness and entrepreneurship. We do it through different programs but in a fun and energetic way.

“(Our programming) also includes the women who raise the girls,” she continued. “That could be their grandmother, their mother, their older sister or whomever. I’m all about the village helping to raise children. The village raised me.”

Taliah Waajid, the founder of World Natural Hair Show and CEO of the Taliah Waajid hair care brand, served as the event’s keynote speaker.  Waajid, who talked about the importance of empowering young women, said she loves being around young people because they’re smart and challenged attendants to move beyond their comfort zones.

“Ask yourself, ‘What can I do today that will make me successful?’,” she said. “Self-esteem and self-love is the foundation of everything and, when you love yourself, you can operate in any environment.”

Further, Wajjid implored the audience to continue to support Sisters of Today and Tomorrow and other organizations like it.

To date, Sisters of Today and Tomorrow has produced over 25 community programs, impacting over 5,000 youth and adults. The organization hosts a number of signature programs for girls aged 11-18, presented throughout the year, including a women’s history program each March as well as a couple of leadership conferences hosted every July in Atlanta and each December in Morrison’s hometown of New Haven, Connecticut.

Courtney Britton, an alumna of Sisters Of Today and Tomorrow, shared with the audience about what it was like growing up in a single-parent home and being very shy.

Britton admitted that she would not have been able to speak to a group like this without the encouragement from Carla Morrison and Sisters of Today and Tomorrow.

She credited the nonprofit with teaching her how to get around Atlanta and helping her to become a student at her dream school, Spelman College.

FOX 5 reporter, Marissa Mitchell, who serves as the mistress of ceremony for the anniversary program, revealed that she is one of Morrison’s biggest supporters.

During the program, Mitchell read aloud proclamations from Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal and the mayor of New Haven.

“I love what (Morrison) stands for and what her organization stands for—it’s about empowering women and girls,” Mitchell said. “And I think first that starts with giving back. And I just want to be a part of that movement.”

Sisters of Today and Tomorrow hosted its 10th anniversary gala and reception. Beauty brand founder and CEO Taliah Waajid (right) served as the keynote speaker. (Photo: Cheryl Collier / The Atlanta Voice)

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