This week, Civitan International installed Birmingham native Kendyl Massey as their International President during the Centennial Convention held in Birmingham, Alabama, the birthplace of Civitan.
Founded 100 years ago
Founded in 1917, within 5 years of its establishment, the optimistic message of service to others had spread to more than 100 locations. Today, Civitan has more than 40,000 members in almost 50 countries.
“This year’s convention theme was “There’s No Place Like Home” and for me that was especially true for me being a Birmingham native,” stated Kendyl Massey.
Civitan has a long history breaking down barriers. It was the first of the civic organizations of its kind to break the racial barrier—removing any restrictions on race in 1943. Civitan was also the first of the civic organizations of its kind to admit women to full membership. 1974.
“At this year’s convention we celebrated our first 100 years of service, accomplishments and successes. I am especially proud that Civitan International was the first service organization to accept women as members. WOW! I bet they had no idea the impact that decision would have on our organization! I will be the 7th female International President to serve our organization and I am truly honored,” Massey added.
Civitan has a very long and rich history of community service and helping others in Birmingham and around the world. The organization adopted developmental disabilities as an official cause in the 1950s. In 1989, Civitan chose UAB over four other colleges as the site of the Civitan International Research Center (CIRC). Today, the CIRC is supported by Civitans all over the globe.
Best kept secret
The largest international service organization based in the South, Civitan is poised for growth.
“For my presidential year my primary focus will be growing our organization. We need to grow the number of clubs that we have, grow the number of members we have in existing clubs and spread Civitan into places that it was not exist today. We want to build on our current momentum in marketing and publicity to prevent Civitan from being the best kept secret around,” Massey concluded.