Making space for women to be heard

Photo courtesy of Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs

To kick start Women’s History Month, the Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs (CDIA) presented “Black Women Your Voice Matters.”

The event consisted of a panel of four black women, including Dr. Tiyahri Wilson, students Naima Bradshaw and Faith Adjei-Sarpong and SHSU President of NAACP Dierra George.

The panel answered questions from a mediator and the audience consisting of discrimination, stereotypes, representation and inclusivity.

The event was held March 3 in the Lowman Student Center from 5-6 p.m.

“This event is mainly to showcase diversity among black women on campus,” Digital Media Director for CDIA Veronica Nformangum said.

The purpose of this event was to start an open conversation and for black women to share their experiences with discrimination. Panelists gave examples from their own lives of how racism impacts their daily lives.

They also talked about the negative light the media portrays black women in.

It was also discussed on how to create more inclusivity in the classroom, at jobs and in the media.

“A better environment for black women is simply just to listen to black women, even if black women are angry just understand that we have a right to be angry,” Nformangum continued. “Allow black women everywhere, even in LGBTQIA spaces as well, because I know that’s often very overlooked when it comes to black women.”

Some of the panelists were brought to tears while answering difficult questions.

Although some panelists did not agree on every question, this event was an intimate and safe way for people to have meaningful conversations and share their opinions. This event was not just for black women; however, it was also for those who want to be allies.

“I think it’s really important to stand up for us even when we’re not present,” George stated. “Communication and educating people, I feel like that’s really important to help break stigmas and to break stereotypes.”

CDIA has more events lined up for Women’s History Month. On March 9, they will be hosting their monthly Chat & Chew. On March 23, the Virtual Diversity Speaker Series will be presented. 

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