A Reflection from Maivncais Her, event facilitator
Hi everyone! In case you missed it, last Tuesday, November 18, the first Women and Success Discussion Series: This is Me! Defining Myself- a discussion for women of color took place. It was a successful event with an awesome turn out of 25 attendees ranging from staff, faculty, students and alumnae.
As the facilitator for the event, I was elated and nervous at the same time. It was my first time hosting an event through the Women’s Center and I was not sure how it would go and if it would meet the expectations of the attendees. However, my nervousness was quickly dispelled by the great conversations and awesome performance by USlam poet Sarah Ogutu.
This is Me! Defining Myself was an event that was dear to me and something that I truly felt was needed within the University community.
As a little girl, I had never thought about who I am. I thought that I was just like everyone else; a girl who loves to watch T.V., play with her dolls, play dress up with an uncontainable imagination of conquering the world, all the while waiting for the prince to come and marry me. I talked non-stop in my own language as well as showing off my very little skills of speaking English.
However, from the time I entered preschool and on, I have struggled to figure out who I am and how would I fit in. I knew that I was different because of the color of my skin; I talk with an accent, and had a non-recognizable name. But I could not figure out why this all mattered.
I was also given roles, responsibilities and layer upon layer of identities that was not made by my own will. I felt alone and chose to avoid defining myself.
As a woman of color, I am still on my journey. However, this time I know that I am not alone and that there are many others who are on their own journeys too. And this event proved to me that everyone in the room had felt the same with their similar stories and from it, I felt that we all became stronger.
The end result of the event was more than what I could ask for as a facilitator. I am grateful for everyone’s honest participation within the small group conversations and the awesome sharing of their Haiku’s at the end of the event.
Even though you may have missed this first Women and Success Discussion Series; be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming discussions in February, March and April of 2015!