The Queens Empowering Every Other Notable Sister (QUEENS) Organization hosted “Black Queens” in room 102 of the Vincent Science Center Wednesday, a discussion aiming to educate attendees on the history and achievements of women of color in today’s society.
The event was guided in part by Jariah Campbell, senior public health major and president of QUEENS Org., who collected the research for the discussion in the second half of the proceedings. The discussion’s focus, Campbell said, was to teach people about historic figures that they may have little-to-no knowledge on despite their accomplishments.
“We wanted to showcase women who had been the first to do certain things – the first to be part of a particular organization, the first on congress or the first to hold a specific career,” Campbell said. “We also wanted to show really powerful women, such as our previous First Lady, and how owning a position of power can be challenging as a woman of color.”
The event was split into two halves; one part activity, one part discussion. For the activity portion, attendees were challenged to identify the names and achievements of various women of color who were pictured at different stations.
Afterwards, a powerpoint revealed the identity and accomplishments of the women at each of the stations. Some – such as Michelle Obama or Beyonce – were known by almost everyone, while others – like Claudette Colvin, the 15-year-old who refused to give up her seat on a bus nine months before Rosa Parks did the very same thing – had even the event’s organizers surprised.
“That was the raw point we wanted to show: that there are women out here who you may not have even heard of, and they’ve accomplished so much,” Campbell said.
For Campbell, Black QUEENS Org. was a chance to show people a part of history which tends to fall to the wayside. One of the primary goals for QUEENS Org., Campbell said, is simply to educate others on the role women of color have had in shaping today’s society.
“We try to educate everyone on women of color and emphasize that us women of color are out here accomplishing a lot, that we’re really doing our thing,” Campbell said. “However, some of us aren’t even getting credit for what we do.”
At the very least, Campbell expressed hope that the event’s attendees learned something they didn’t know about women of color in history. Beyond that, however, Campbell seeks to empower women of color both on and off campus with the help of QUEENS Org. – including herself.
“I look up to these women as role models,” Campbell said. “Seeing them and their accomplishments gives me the feeling within myself that I can become something just as great as they are.