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Black History Month event speaker: ‘love yourself unconditionally’

Shaping our Generation — Promoting Positive Images of Black Women event was held at the Ohio Union Cartoon Room on Feb. 27.

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Loving yourself unconditionally is the advice one speaker had to give to Ohio State women.
With Black History Month coming to a close, more than 30 members of an African-American women’s society and more than 50 professional women gathered to celebrate the “4th Annual Gathering of Women: Shaping our Generation – Promoting Positive Images of Black Women” at the Ohio Union Cartoon Room on Wednesday evening.
The Society of Sisters event provides opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and professional women to connect with both local and national female leaders and take part in relevant conversations on various topics impacting women today, according to the Office of Student Life website.
Attendees included Javaune Adams-Gaston, vice president for Student Life, and motivational speaker “The Amazing” Tei Street.
Street told the group to “love yourself unconditionally” and without apology.
“When you carry yourself on this campus and in this world, you have to learn to love yourself unconditionally,” Street said. “I think it’s important that all women (try) to really understand that so much of who we are is who we are on the inside and not the outside, but so many of the images that we see in popular culture, that we see whether we’re black, white or Asian or Latino and we see these images of who women are supposed to be but really who we are is that which is on the inside, and what we have on the inside should emanate outward.”
Street also talked about refusing to accept the messages the media sends young women.
“When you love you, you don’t allow other people to degrade you, you don’t allow men to make you subject, when you are the owner of yourself,” she said. “When you learn to love yourself unconditionally, you don’t fall for all the messages that the media is sending to you.”
Adams-Gaston was invited to the event by the Society of Sisters.
“One thing that I think is important for us as a university is to keep the community engaged and inclusive,” she said. “I am always interested in individual’s journeys, where they came to be where they are, and I think that it is a great message to our young students to hear about those journeys.”
Nadyah Harper, Society of Sisters event co-chair and a second-year in fashion and retail studies, said Street was an effective communicator with a great message.
“I think the event was great, we had a lot of professional women and influential women in the room … it was really conducive to networking as well,” Harper said.
Aisha Durley, president of the society and a fourth-year in actuarial science, said the work that went into planning these kinds of events pays off.
“It’s stressful getting everything together, making sure everything is in place for the evening but in the end it is very rewarding because we always have great events that speak to the needs of women on campus,” she said.

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