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Mace & Crown | March 24, 2017

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Annual Sisterhood Symposium Held

Meng McLendon
Contributing Writer

“Black girl magic”, a phrase coined from the creators of #BlackGirlMagic, is an accurate description of the annual Sisterhood Symposium which took place on Friday evening. In the Big Blue Room of the Ted, more than 300 black women from both Hampton University and Old Dominion united in sisterhood to bond and uplift one another during a movement hosted by the Office of Intercultural Relations.

“From sister girl to sister woman, we are united, building each other up in the kinship of sisterhood… leave your ego at the door. Embrace your sister,” Sarah Millar said, reading the mantra of the event.

The program was divided into three portions, all of which focused on an aspect of health pertaining to black women, including how to manage a healthy self-image, maintain healthy relationships and care for personal, physical, sexual and mental health.  Throughout the program, the women were encouraged to elevate each other with kind words.

“Take a second out of your day to uplift your fellow black queen,” Jasmin Jackson, junior, said.

Dr. Tamara Williams, a guest speaker from Hampton University, spoke about self image, saying that black women must learn exactly who they are and be comfortable with themselves. She said that when black women split their identity into different pieces, instead of being all of who they are as one cohesive entity, they give less of themselves to their ambitions and desires. As a result they become ineffectual, as it takes the full identity of a person to fulfill a personal purpose.

“You don’t have any character flaws… be who you are.  Stop trying to classify yourself as something you’re not,” Williams said.

The program inspirited an impression of community and belonging for all black women in attendance. Guests were left feeling empowered.

“This was a very empowering experience and I’m glad to be surrounded by my fellow queens,” Jedaya Parker, a senior, said.

“One thing I’ve learned is the importance of self-knowledge and using that to empower others,” Shernae Valentine, a senior, said.