February Highlights in African American Women’s History

February 1, 1930 (d. 1986) – Ruth Ross, magazine editor, helped found inaugural issue of “Essence” (1970), which included articles of leading African-American scholars and writers, however the Black Perspective, first to address issue of race in the media, feared advertising losses and removed her so the magazine became “less black”

February 1, 1978 – First postage stamp to honor a black woman, Harriet Tubman, is issued in Washington, DC 


Girls Write Now by Sade Swift


Girls Write Now…where girls share their own stories, with their own voice through their own medium of writing. GWN gives the platform for young women like myself to express themselves in the way they feel most comfortable…and that is writing. I was guided to attain the skills and support and to fully grasp how much power and importance my story had. I learned that my story was not my own to keep, but the world’s to hear.  GWN provides each young woman with a mentor, who is a professional writer, and week by week the mentor fosters her voice and style while building a relationship.  Every month GWN holds a monthly workshop that’s centered on a specific genre. These monthly events allow all the girls and mentors to come together, collaborate and share ideas. At the end of the year there are readings where all the girls and mentors have the opportunity to showcase what they’ve been working on all year and to be applauded for it by friends, family and all other GWN community supporters. For many of the girls, this is a major milestone because it’s the first time that they share their work with a large crowd of people. Alongside the readings there is an anthology that is created as a gift to recognize how much the girls and their peers have grown and to understand the stories they have told, and how important they are. Getting prepared for college is one of GWN’s biggest goals. 100% of the girls that attend GWN graduate high school and they have made it a large part of their motto to make sure that all these girls are prepared for college. Through workshops and one on one meetings GWN mentors are able to provide the resources needed for college readiness. In essence, GWN helped me further discover and develop what I love to do. They have given me the opportunity to share my story with others and be heard and respected. One thing I enjoyed the most was going to my weekly meetings with my mentor and finding out that not only was I learning from her but she was learning from me as well. Having the ability to create community while enhancing the art medium that makes you happy is priceless!

A trip to South Dakota by Mark Rakhmanov

The end of my freshman year at Parsons amounted to many changes in my life. One of the most significant things I did was taking part of changing someone else’s life by working with Habitat for Humanity in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. The opportunity was a wonderful chance for me to explore architecture and to learn about the work that goes into building a living space. However as the week went by, my experience was enriched with much more than just education. It made me appreciate the high contrast of the city with the natural world and the connection with the residents of South Dakota. I was very grateful to take part of this opportunity and very proud to be one of the youngest students there. Our main task was to build and repair houses for less privileged. Everyday we took part in fixing floors, cutting out window and doorframes and putting everything together. In the short period of a week, our team made a lot of progress, which was visible to a naked eye. We spent a lot of time outdoors, visiting many famous landmarks and met incredible and inspiring people. This trip has given me a broad experience with the use of many power tools as well as working in groups. I have gotten a well rounded outlook on life outside of the city, a deeper understanding of nature as it opened the door to understanding of myself and my interests.
Check out photos here!