Woman to Woman conference inspires students of Mesa college

Sade+Burrell+gives+women+words+of+encouragement+and+mental+wealth.+Photo+Credit%3A+San+Diego+Mesa+College+Office+of+Communications
Sade Burrell gives women words of encouragement and mental wealth. Photo Credit: San Diego Mesa College Office of Communications

Sade Burrell gives women words of encouragement and mental wealth. Photo Credit: San Diego Mesa College Office of Communications

Siera Matthews

Siera Matthews

Sade Burrell gives women words of encouragement and mental wealth. Photo Credit: San Diego Mesa College Office of Communications

Siera Matthews, Staff Writer

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As a woman, it’s refreshing to be able to unwind and let your voice be heard in the middle of a work day. The only place where this would be acceptable is the “Woman to Woman Conference” that was held this past Thursday at San Diego Mesa Community College.

The event was sponsored by the Student Success and Equity committee in partnership with UMOJA, Mesa Academy, EOPS, STAR TRIO, Communication Studies and the Career/Transfer Center. The program began with a Welcome Address from President Dr. Pamela Luster. President Luster opened the day with a question that left the audience in deep thought; “Who will you inspire?”

President Luster went on to explain how as women it is easy to be mean and judgmental to one another but if you were to put differences and labels aside, you would see how you alike, in more ways than one. She ended her address with a proposition, “find ways to say ‘you matter and I’m going to be there for you’”

Following President Luster was the keynote speaker of the day, the infamous Professor Starla Lewis. Professor Lewis gave a heart warming speech filled with words of encouragement and self-love affirmations. Throughout her time at the podium, Professor Lewis said, “Our challenge as women, is to get in touch with who we are.” Its common for women to fall victim to the predispositions society and men in power, have put on them. While in the midst of the #MeToo movement, women everywhere are slowly beginning to find their voice in this world and with the help of other women with the same struggle and same obstacles, that voice can finally be heard.

Lewis is known for promoting self-love and self-reliance and today those words were more than necessary. To close her speech, she made all the women in attendance repeat after her, “I am brilliant. I am powerful. I am limitless. I am love.” Truly it was a moment that every woman needed to experience.

Sade Burrell, the FAST Scholars Counselor and Coordinator, made an even greater lasting impression. Burrell shared her story about being a single mom, spending time in a juvenile detention center, and although she had all odds against her, she still prevailed.

Burrell explains that when women understand their worth and “protect their crowns”, anything is possible. She describes the meaning of protecting your crown as not letting outsiders or others influence your decisions, choosing your friends wisely, and you are only as good as the company you keep. When asked what the purpose of putting this program together, she said “as women it’s something about us, when we come together, were powerful. So, I just wanted us to all come together and be powerful together.”

To follow her speech, she introduced a crown-making activity. During this activity, every woman had a paper crown with jewels to decorate the crown as they desired. The purpose of this activity was to give women a physical representation of what they consider their crown and why they protect it. Upon making the crowns every woman had a chance to say out loud what they were “protecting”. Some answers ranged from peace, freedom, family, and their bodies. Even when some women didn’t have an answer, it gave them the opportunity to stop, and really think what they are working towards, and what they consider motivation.

To end the event, Vice President of Student Services, Ashanti Hands made the closing remarks. She briefly summarized President Luster and Professor Lewis by highlighting key points of their speech and added her own thoughts. To add to the crown activity, she believed that the concept is a positive and healthy way for women to be greedy with themselves. Not everyone is deserving of your time and attention, therefore be cautious with who you share your energy and wisdom with. She understands that being a woman in America is tough, but also understands that if nobody is willing to fight for the wellbeing of all women, no matter their race or ethnicity, then it will only get worse from here. If there was one thing to take away from her speech it would be these words of inspiration, “Take what your crown represents and guard it with your life.”

To any woman, who couldn’t attend this Woman to Woman Conference, its encouraged that you join these remarkable women next year, to experience the love and energy of other strong minded women. Until then, in the words of Sade Burrell, take on everyday ready to “Empower, Determine, and Inspire.”

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Siera Matthews, Sports Writer/Staff Writer

Siera is a 20-year old full time student majoring in Journalism with a specific interest in Broadcast Journalism. Since this is her last semester at San...

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