Reel Works’ Girls Empowerment Group launched its first meeting last night at 7 PM. One of the girls, Cassidy Mojica, shared what being a woman means to her:
“I think being a young woman means being undefeated.”
The group, primarily composed of young Black women, wrote out what being Black means to them, then drew what it means to also be a woman. Pictures of womanhood ranged from a girl with the power sign (above!) to a drawing of the “strong arm” emoji. The girls frankly discussed their positive and negative perceptions of Blackness, including how Black identity is often misrepresented in the media. By combining their writings of what it means to be Black and drawings of what it means to be a woman, the group discovered the inextricable link between racial and gender identity.
Roshanna Paul, Spring ’13, noted that “Women are strong even though we face challenges”. Roshanna also shared her observations of how women are often forced to focus on their reputation, looks, and style more than men. Brittany Broderick, Summer ’14, shared about her journey to accept her heritage regardless of how others may view her: “I am Black, Irish, and Scottish. If people want to put me in a box, then that’s their problem.” Two other members of the group expressed similar thoughts on their identities as a dark-skinned Latina and a mixed-race young woman from Kenya.
I enjoyed participating with the group and providing a woman-centered space for expression. Using film and other forms of media as a platform, the Girls Empowerment Group is available for young women at Reel Works to engage in critical discussion, social justice, and self-reflection. Next week, Monday (2/16) at 7 PM, the group will discuss Intersectionality, Identity, and Female Role Models in History.