New organization on campus encourages women to embrace their inner Queen

Published by , Author: Megan Bush - Rocket Contributor, Date: April 21, 2016

On April 11, a new organization focused on appreciating, illuminating and inspiring women of color was officially founded here at Slippery Rock University.  “QUEENS Org. is here to empower, encourage, and enrich the educational experience for women of color on our campus,” says the group’s official mission statement.
Makaela Blakeman, junior early childhood and special education major and president of QUEENS Org. at Slippery Rock University, said the organization got its start at Clarion University.  The founder of the organization at Clarion succeeded in reaching out to Slippery Rock students to establish QUEENS Org. as a group on this campus as well.
Clarion University’s website says QUEENS Org. stands to “help bring self-awareness of educational, professional, and personal skills and talents that may be hidden or not revealed at this time.  All will be done while uplifting and supporting women on the Clarion University campus.”
“There aren’t really many groups here on campus that focus solely on women of color,” Blakeman said.  “We believe QUEENS Org. is going to change that.”
Although QUEENS  is more concerned with women of color, Blakeman said that anyone who has the desire to join the group and participate in the programs is welcome.
Malika Fields, sophomore communication and Spanish dual major, said the group hopes to get the support of the students and of Slippery Rock.
“We want to make QUEENS Org. a prominent organization here on campus,” Fields said.
QUEENS plans to meet biweekly on Wednesdays on the third floor of Robert M. Smith Student Center, Blakeman said.
Jasmine Thompson, sophomore early education major and vice president of QUEENS Org., mentioned that, at the biweekly meetings, the group plans on recognizing a “Queen of the Week.”  This accolade will be awarded to a member of the organization who has done something worth recognizing during the week, such as doing well on a test, finishing an important project or even simply resetting a sleep schedule.
Fields said QUEENS stands to promote confidence, to bring women together as one and to be sure that every woman is appreciated for her accomplishments, especially those small triumphs that typically go unnoticed, like salvaging a scrambled sleep schedule, for instance.
Blakeman said the first event held by QUEENS took place on April 20; the group hosted a celebration and a mini workshop with the theme “What is your definition of a Queen?”
“It was a great turnout,” Blakeman said.  “We had an open discussion allowing everyone to share their definition of a Queen, and after the discussion, everyone decorated their own crowns.”
In the future, QUEENS hopes to work with a future organization, KINGS, and the group plans on hosting programs and events to uplift women, develop their skills and applaud them for things they have accomplished.  Blakeman said these programs and events will be held in the form of workshops concerning various topics such as Crown Check: Natural Hair Vs. Weave, Love the Skin You’re In and Make Up and Dress Up Seminars, to name a few.
“Through QUEENS Org.,” Blakeman said, “we want to help every woman get in touch with her inner Queen. Our overall goal is to uplift and inspire more confidence in the women here on campus.”


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