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‘Sisters Empowering Sisters’ aims to enhance lives of young women of color
‘Sisters Empowering Sisters’ aims to enhancelives of young women of colorMay 17, 2005Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Educating, mentoring and inspiring young women in underserved populations is the goal of the “Sisters Empowering Sisters” Youth Conference, to be held Saturday, May 21. One hundred female students of color, ages 13-18, from the Syracuse City School District and local community centers have been invited to attend.
“We want to enhance the lives of young women of color by instilling pride through educational initiatives and mentoring,” says Nicole Jones, founder of the Image Initiative, a nonprofit consortium of professional women of color from various fields. “There is very little being done for this particular target audience. Most major initiatives, funding and programming locally are provided to young men. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this, most young women are left to fend for themselves.”
Tiffany C. Rush, conference co-Chair, says “The Sisters Empowering Sisters Youth Conference is also a way to let young women of color in Syracuse know that we love them and care about them.”
The event will be held in Rooms 304 A-C of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center on the Syracuse University campus, and will run from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Students will be transported by bus from three local community center locations.
The conference is being put on by the Image Initiative. Sponsors include The Rosamond Gifford Charitable Corp., Vera House, the Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse, the Southwest Community Center and the Spanish Action League. SU sponsors include the Exploring the Soul of Syracuse Initiative of the Chancellor’s Office, the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the College of Human Services and Health Professions, University College, Hendricks Chapel, the Graduate School and the women’s studies, child and family studies and African American studies departments.
The keynote speaker will be Michaela Angela Davis, executive fashion and beauty editor for Essence Magazine. Davis joined the magazine in July 2004. Prior to that she served as editor-in-chief of Honey Magazine. She has contributed fashion features to numerous publications, including Mirabella and Vanity Fair, and has been tapped to write fashion and culture commentary for various books and magazines. She is also the creator of Essence Magazine’s year-long “Take Back the Music” Series, dedicated to addressing the images and representation of women throughout the music industry. She also serves as a frequent commentator on Metro TV and Women’s Entertainment Television’s “Full Frontal Fashion.” Davis wrote “Beloved Baby” (Atria, 1995), a scrapbook and journal for alternative families.
Other speakers will be: Yasmin Shiraz, an empowerment speaker, entertainment journalist, author and entrepreneur, who will facilitate a self-esteem workshop; Shanterra McBride, deputy executive director of the Empower Program; Monica Brown and Areathea Brown of Vera House, who will present a workshop on empowering relationships; Maria Davis, entertainment industry promoter and professional speaker and author; and Michelle Lopez, coordinator of the Access to Healthcare Program at Community Healthcare Network, a multiple-site medical care agency in New York, who will conduct a workshop on empowering one’s health and HIV/AIDS awareness.