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“Her Essence is a Gift”

Khadija Greenidge Staff Writer


In celebration of Women’s History Month, several clubs on campus partnered up with the Student Caribbean Association’s (SCA) first women’s history program “Her Essence Is A Gift.” The other clubs included: Omega Phi Beta, TWIce as Nice, Student Dance Association (SDA), LIU The Runway, NAACP, Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

SCA’s Vice President, Tatiana Marshall, said, “This program is dedicated to educating the LIU Post community on historical women figures and other women leaders that are un- known to the public.”

The program’s name was inspired by the poems “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou and “Strong Woman” by Anonymous, whose last stanza reads, “A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.” To begin the program, SCA’s Public Relations Chair, Kiara Braithwaite, recited the poem to the guests. During the event, the clubs honored live and deceased women, ranging from athletes to en- trepreneurs of all ages and ethnicities.

Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority Vice President of Programming, Bianca Singer, honored two of the sorority’s big sisters (older members of the sorority) Elizabeth Glasel and Lauren Weisberger.

Singer said that Glasel was a carrier of the AIDS disease, which led to her being the found- er of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Weisberg- er was a member of the sorority while attending Cornell University. She is most famously known for her book “The Devil Wears Prada” published in 2003, which became a movie of the same title in 2006.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority also honored their sisters Dr. Betty Shabazz and Vashti Mur- phy McKenzie. Shabazz is well known as Betty X due to her marriage to the late Malcolm X. Dr. Betty Shabazz became a member of Delta Sigma Theta in April of 1974 at the University of Massachusetts.

The Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy of New York, a program designed for young girls ages eleven through fourteen to enhance interest in careers where minority women are scarcely represented, was named in honor of her contributions as an out- standing educator and exemplary role model for young women.

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, grand- daughter of Delta founder Vashti Turley Murphy, became a member through the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter. She now serves as the national chaplain, member of the clergy who conducts religious services, for Delta Sigma Theta.

Rechelle Abalos, the Special Events Programmer of the twin club TWIce as Nice, spoke about identical twin sisters, Venus and Serena Williams. Venus was the first African American woman in tennis to be ranked the world’s number one single player. Serena also received the title five times within her career.

Samantha Vega, president of LIU Runway, picked two women who changed the concept of the traditional woman’s figure. For this, she chose Tyra Banks and the Marylyn Monroe. Monroe broke the barrier for nude modeling with full appreciation of her full figured body. Banks became the first African American model to make it to the cover of Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) and Victoria’s Secret catalogues, break- ing both the barrier of race and having a fuller physique in modeling.

There were three trivia questions, asked by SCA’s president, Rockshana Desances, and vice president, Tatiana Marshall. Winners were awarded with an H&M gift card, a Target gift card and a Bath & Body Works gift card.

The three questions focused on the year women were allowed to vote, the secretary of state, and the name of LIU Post’s new presi- dent. Many students in the audience did not know that the new president of the university is Dr. Kimberly Cline, but expressed elation that a woman would be in charge.

SCA’s Marshall ended the program with a dedication to her mentor, Dionne Springer, the founder and Corporate Executive Officer of Island Girl Lifestyle organization. Island Girl Lifestyle encourages “Island Girls,” girls who are of Caribbean descent, all over the world to stand tall and proudly showcase their culture, style and vision for the world to see. The mission for the organization is close to the hearts of the executive board of SCA.

Junior Speech and Language Pathology major and Alpha Epsilon Phi sister, Justine Lopez, said “The event was amazing. There was a great diversity in the room and it was great to work with different organizations on campus to open our horizons and support each other.”

Freshman Forensic Science major, Bri- anna Bell, said, “It was a very informative event for Women’s History month. The trivia was a great addition, allowing the audience to participate. Overall, a great event.”

“We hope to continue this grand collaboration of organizations in the future and make Women’s History Month known throughout the campus,” said Desances. The SCA presented a personally engraved honorary plaque to each organization that was involved in the event.

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