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Lycoming College hosted its second Annual Black Women’s Empowerment event in March on the Lycoming College campus. The event creates an environment and platform for black women on campus to come together and celebrate their strength in adversity, as well as empower each other to be the best versions of themselves.
Students Amina Keith ’19 (art major from Orange, N.J.); Kadija Tahirou (psychology major from York, Pa.); Jessalyn Smith ’20 (art major, entrepreneurship minor from East Windsor, Ct.); and Rochelle Adjei ’20 (political science major, French and business minor from Frederick, Md.) were at the helm of this annual event. The team, with resources, guidance, and encouragement from Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dan Miller, and from Executive Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life Barbara Eldred, aimed to ensure the workshop emphasized outcomes and goals that black women strive toward while being college students, and how to handle the difficulties they encounter along the way.
Topics are determined by what the committee deems most important to the black women population at the time, and will change annually. This year, discussions included: Professionalism, Self-care, Your Body Your Power (sex culture), and Being Black in America.
“It is important for all the black women on this campus to address issues that pertain to us. We appreciate the college aiding and giving us this platform.” said Adjei. The committee as a whole commented “Black women empowerment surpasses a workshop; it enables core values we must carry with us daily. The ability to have this workshop at Lycoming College is an honor.”
This year’s keynote speaker was Nahla Bee, a recent Temple graduate in criminal justice and Spanish, who doubles as a singer, lyricist, and song-writer. Her impactful music has reached nations and afforded her the opportunity to partner with corporations such as Dell Computers to market and promote her music. An annual headline performer for Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative: College Signing Day, at the Wells Fargo Center, Bee is well known as an international black women leader whose mission is to inspire, uplift and educate others, especially young women through her gift of music.
A truly powerful event on campus, Black Women’s Empowerment shows the true essence of black women and all the remarkable things they’re capable of through adversity and hardships they must face on a daily basis.
The value of this event is intangible, and goes deeper than physical rewards for many who attended. The sessions are led by woman in the Williamsport community and along the entire East Coast who have provided valuable lessons. The committee intends to expand the event in years to come to make Black Women’s Empowerment something that people can look forward to for many years to come.
After the event Karma Francis ’19 said “This event was so well organized and the people selected to represent us as black women were perfect. I left feeling a lot more confident in myself and I feel like I can accomplish a whole lot.”