Today: Jun 16, 2024

Women’s appreciation day embraces cultures

Kaitlyn Hoffman, Duaah Galal, Lytasha Blackwell, and Ashiah Richeme, among others, received the 2011 Legacy Scholar Award.

Monica Szakacs, News Writer:
Women and men from students to faculty to visitors, gathered for the Women’s Appreciation Day event last week that honored women, on and off Southern’s campus, who work to improve the lives of others.
During the welcoming speech, Dian Brown-Albert, coordinator of the Multicultural Center, said, “Students make our university great. March is the time to attribute to the women who contribute to society.”
Brown-Albert also thanked all the men who came to the event and said it was a time to pay tribute to the female students who help women all around the world.
The program featured a key¬note address from Judith Rozie- Battle on the topic “Your Legacy: What will It Be?.” Rozie-Battle is an attorney, social worker and educator who has years of experience in human ser¬vices. She said she advocat e s for the people who have no voice in society.
“Making a legacy is much more than just a resume, you have to have the passion,” said Rozie-Battle. “If you have a vision and commitment, you’ll have no problem with making things happen.”
Rozie-Battle gave a quote from Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, “If you don’t like the way the world is, then you have an obligation to change it. You just have to do it one step at a time.”
The audience stood, clapped and cheered for the recipient of the Legendary Award, Miss Lula Mae White who is a Civil Rights Freedom Rider activist who was arrested in the Trailways Terminal in Jackson, Miss. on July 9, 1961, after she and seven others rode a bus from Montgomery, Ala., to Jackson, according to Southern’s webpage. White said she was thrilled to receive the award.
“It brings back the memories of fifty years,” said White. “You’re not only honor¬ing me, you’re honoring everyone who took part in the Civil Rights movement—thousands of people, black as well as white, men as well as women.”
White said she was glad to see so many people and talents at the event, because she said when she went to college there was no women’s history month or appre¬ciation day.
“People should realize that the struggle goes on and that we build on the past,” said White. “We stand on the shoulders of all the people who came before us and there is always something that can be done, if there is a will.”
There were 16 students who received the 2011 Legacy Scholar Award and three who were the Legacy Award Honorees. These students have shown exemplary academic efforts as well as taking part in charities, fundraisers, orga¬nizations and clubs on campus.
There were two different dance styles performed that honored women from different cultures. Elina Flit, Southern alumna, did a Middle Eastern tribute through belly dancing. She hypnotized the audience with her hips and precise hand gestures.
Felix Reyes was first to dance a flamenco tribute. He represented the Organization of Latin Ameri¬can Students on campus. When Reyes performed, he embodied the essence of the strong female. He said the flamenco is a strong dance that represents so much emotion, which he said sums up the event of empowering women.
“Because of the society we live in, it is good to shine the light on women and their efforts and what they add to the community,” said Reyes. “I think it is important, just to get everybody aware and say thank you for what you have been doing.”
Lytasha Blackwell had the crowd cheering loud for her poetry performance. The poem that she wrote was about continuing her mother’s journey and the future of legacy of women.
Three singing performances took the stage of the Adanti Stu¬dent Center Ballroom. Adrian Garner, sophomore business major, and Kevin Michael, sophomore performing arts major, performed the song “Don’t Change” by Musiq Soulchild, which was a Legacy Awards tribute to the scholars and honorees.
It is a song about skin deep beauty and appreciation, which Garner said he wanted the people to take from the overall event, because he said women are not being appreci¬ated as they should be.
“This is a great event to have,” said Garner, “because it lets everyone know, espe¬cially to the honorees, that we do appreciate you for what you are doing and to keep doing what you are doing and give them that strength to keep pushing forward.”
The first performance of the afternoon included Chelsea Hebert, freshman, who had the audience clapping along in her rendition of “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. Hebert dedicated the song to her mother who she said always told her “in order to get respect you have to give it.”
Tra’Nisha Blackwell, Southern alumna and aspiring R&B singer, was also among the performers who sang “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys. Blackwell dedicated the song to Rozie-Battle, which is a song about the everyday hardworking women of society. She said the event was a great experience both to be a part of and watch.
“This was about women embracing other women and to keep inspiration in younger women and honoring the young women here at Southern,” said Blackwell. “No matter what, keep striving because when you think no one is watching you—someone is always”

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