By Victoria Jonas, News Contributing Writer
Posted 12:30 AM EST, Sat., Nov. 12, 2016
At Howard University, African-American women are the majority population. But less than 10 miles away, African-American women at American University stand as the minority. These women of the African Diaspora came together to create their own organization known as the Sister Sister AU. Founded by AU students, President Janaé Littlejohn and Vice President Aaliyah Lambert in January 2016, Sister Sister AU is a student run organization designed to empower Black women on American University’s campus.
On Oct. 29, Sister Sister AU held its first Sister Sister Summit in the Mary Grayden Center at American University. The conference featured lectures from successful Black female businesswomen. Dr. Mary Kennard, vice president and chief legal counsel of American University gave the welcome address, in which she discussed major topics that every Black woman should remember: networking and building yourself professionally to daring to be different and being unafraid to fail.
Brittney S. Carter, founder and CEO of B. Carter Solutions, LLC spoke at the professional development workshop. Carter spoke on building a brand, presenting your best self and using social media as a business tool. She connected with listeners by sharing her personal experiences/stories.
“Never forget people connect with authentic people,” stated Carter.
Further into the summit, a self-care and professional development workshop was hosted by Lauren Ash, founder of the Black Girl in Om lifestyle website. Her workshop pushed the audience to make more awareness of self-health and happiness.
The event then concluded with entertainment powerhouse and Howard University alumna Yandy Smith as the keynote speaker. Smith engaged the audience with her story to success.
“There are Dreams and Doers. Then, there are Dreamers that Do. Invest in yourself,” stated Smith.
Smith also referenced other successful women in her presentation, such as Oprah and Nicki Minaj. Smith also discussed fulfilling your purpose, accepting yourself, balancing life and success and building a team.
“As a woman we take care of so many people: children, bosses and community. But, we often forget to take care of ourselves and each other,” said Smith. “There are Dreams and Doers. Then, there are Dreamers that Do. Invest in yourself.”
Although not attending American University, the sisters hope that women not only on campus, but across the diaspora understand how important it is to build a community of strong, educated Black women.