Courtesy of Akyia Westley
The Student African American Sisterhood, Aztec Schol
ar’s Initiative, and Women’s Resource Center collaborated on Feb. 24 for the first official Sister to Sister Luncheon organized to help black women on campus feel “connected, motivated, and inspired to make sisterhoods” as described by Donika Brown, marriage and family therapy graduate student and coordinator for the event.
The event began with an icebreaker where students and faculty shared details about their major or job position on campus as well as their favorite experiences of black sisterhood, which ranged from weekly SAAS meetings to finding like-minded black women on campus who support each other in a more intimate setting.
After eating lunch provided by the Faculty and Staff Club on campus, participants engaged in a panel of students and faculty, moderated by Dr. Tonika Green, who answered questions centered around the theme of the luncheon, “Black Sisterhood Takes Action.”
Panelists included sociology senior and Afrikan Student Union Executive Board member Jonei O’Bryant, Africana studies Assistant Professor Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers, San Diego Community Housing Corporation Community Coordinator and Town & Country Village Youth Program Coordinator Veverly Anderson and Student Affairs graduate student Myisha Butler.
Discussions ranged from topics surrounding the role of black women in political settings, the relationship between black women and men, challenges faced when trying to promote black sisterhood and the “angry black woman” stereotype.
Anderson spoke about some of the negative stereotypes black women face.
“Being intelligent makes (others) really hear you don’t give people what they expect or want to hear from me,” she said.
Liberal studies graduate student Tanesha Moore said her biggest takeaway from the event was to learn how to be poised in situations in which she encounters rudeness and disrespect.
“I learned to approach all situations in a way that I’ll be proud of later on,” she said.
This philosophy is attributed to Alameen-Shavers, who said she always makes sure what she says to someone is something she will be proud of three years from now when looking back.
Brown said her initial inspiration for the event came from hearing about the Brother to Brother luncheon hosted by the Student African American Brotherhood.
“We are constantly talking about our black brothers, which is important, but we often forget about ourselves,” she said.
“Black sisterhood is important and we talk about it without knowing how to take action,” Brown said. “This is an event that we want to keep going for years to come.”