Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa and the Girl, Glow Up Leadership and Mentoring Nonprofit Organization are celebrating Women’s History Month by honoring the Phenomenal Women of West Alabama.

92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, 95.3 The Bear, ME-TV 97.5, Catfish 100.1, Tide 100.9, ALT 101.7, 105.1 The Block and our free digital news outlet the Tuscaloosa Thread is excited to recognize the empowered women of  Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties.

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Alabama gymnast Makarri Doggette is an incredible performer to watch. Her energy inside Coleman Coliseum is captivating and contagious. The way she continues to shine after hitting obstacles, like injuries, is inspiring. However, it isn’t just her on the floor performances that makes her so special, it’s how she represents herself, and Alabama gymnasts off the floor as well that makes her a phenomenal woman of West Alabama. 

Being on a team as successful as Alabama gymnastics takes a lot of hard work, and time management. Classes and workload can be overwhelming alone, but especially when someone is doing extracurriculars, like a sport, as well. Doggette has shown that you can have the best of both worlds when it comes to academics and sport.

In high school, Doggette made the National Honor Society while working on her craft as a gymnast. Since starting at Alabama, she has made the 2020 and 2021 SEC Academic Honor Roll and Scholastic All-American. 

Mental health is such an important topic. It seems like the world continues to find issues to add to our backs, after living through a once in a lifetime pandemic, where everyday seemed like the unknown. Since the NCAA implemented the NIL policy, it gives athletes the opportunity to make a change for the better with the platform they have, which is exactly what Doggette has done. 

One of Doggette’s biggest NIL deals is with White Flag app. White Flag is designed to help users struggling with his or her mental health to be able to have a space to talk about it anonymously. The app allows users to come up with a username, and matches those to others on the app in similar situations or who want to help others attempt to get out of that dark place. 

“Growing up, I never felt that I could speak freely about my mental health and keeping it all to myself felt like my only option,” said Doggette in an Instagram post. “With being a gymnast, and having to mask my insecurities, it’s taken me a long time to find enough self confidence to feel more than what my anxiety, depression, body image struggles, and paranoia made me believe I was. It took having real, open conversations in safe spaces to work through things and gain self confidence.”

Not only is it incredible to see someone who has the platform Doggette does to discuss mental health, and be open about her struggles, but also makes people like me, who struggles with the exact same issues daily, feel less alone and gives me hope and motivation that I can overcome it, and succeed both personally and professionally. 

Doggette has been an active voice in the Black Lives Matter movement, using her voice to share resources, petitions, donation funds, and more to raise awareness and help the communities around her.

“In our society today, people are more concerned about how many followers they will lose or how many hate comments they will get than they are about having strong morals. I do want to say that I take all of this seriously and have been actively protesting in Columbus, Ohio, and surrounding areas to make sure my voice is heard in the black lives matter movement and actively posting on my social media platforms,” said Doggette.

Doggette’s academics and using her voice for the betterment of the world around her, plus her love, passion, and commitment to UA is why she is one of our phenomenal women of West Alabama.

West Alabama is a thriving area of the Yellowhammer State with women creating history at every step. If you know of a woman that deserved to be highlighted for her accomplishments please email maryk@townsquaremedia.com

LOOK: Milestones in women's history from the year you were born

Women have left marks on everything from entertainment and music to space exploration, athletics, and technology. Each passing year and new milestone makes it clear both how recent this history-making is in relation to the rest of the country, as well as how far we still need to go. The resulting timeline shows that women are constantly making history worthy of best-selling biographies and classroom textbooks; someone just needs to write about them.

Scroll through to find out when women in the U.S. and around the world won rights, the names of women who shattered the glass ceiling, and which country's women banded together to end a civil war.

 

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