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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Black Girls Rock foundation amplifies Black women’s voices

Konner Hines
Taylor Woods (third from left) with the attendees of the Bake and Decorate event.

Black Girls Rock, a foundation celebrated and endorsed by celebrities and Black women nationally, seeks to continue to make Black women feel safe and accepted on the Baldwin Wallace University campus.

In 2006, model Beverly Bond founded “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!” Since then, people — such as superstar Rihanna and former First Lady Michelle Obama — have used their positions to spread the movement nationally.

Maya Polk, a sophomore international studies major, is the President chair of BW’s chapter of Black Girls Rock, an extension of BW’s Black Student Alliance.

“I create and run events, manage the Instagram and help BSA as far as their events go,” Polk said.

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BW’s chapter of BGR began in 2010 with the goal of amplifying and recognizing Black women for their accomplishments and community service.

Courtney Robinson, associate director of Cultural Programming Inclusion, said that incoming students are often excited and encouraged to see a group on campus that serves this specific community.

“Whe n I see first-year incoming students, they are so excited when they see that we have a
program specifically for Black women on campus,” Robinson said. “Having a safe space, a special space and dedicated programming for our Black women is super significant and important. I think it makes more people feel at home.”

Black Girls Rock hosts engaging events throughout the school year. Their first one, this past January and February, were their “Bake and Decorate” and “Galentine’s” events.

“I was just trying to get people here…just enjoy everybody’s presence. We ended up playing cards for more than half the time, which was fine with me,” Polk said about the “Galentine’s” event.

“I kind of just want to spoil the girls on campus, because some people don’t necessarily celebrate Valentine’s Day or have someone to celebrate with. I want everybody to be able to get their little necklaces or little heart candies and just have a good time.”

Taylor Woods, a first-year early childhood education major and member of the Black Girl’s Rock staff, said that committees such as Black Girls Rock and Men in Action – – B S A ’ s
subcommittee for Black male students –– are especially important on a campus that consists of mostly white students.

“We’re on a majority white institution…we don’t have a lot of Black girls here,” Woods said. “It helps Black girls or Black boys be able to have a space or outlet to where they feel heard and where they’re able to just be themselves.”

While Black Girls Rock is primarily targeted toward Black women, it is open to everyone.

“I always say everybody is welcome. Some of the girls that I’m friends with that aren’t Black come,” Polk said. “Show your support, even if you want to just hang out the whole time or hang out five minutes.”

Robinson said that Black Girls Rock is a vitally important part of BW because of its uplifting nature amidst a culture that is not always encouraging.

“I think even the name is just like to me, a battle cry… We do all these amazing things, and it’s almost like, if we don’t celebrate ourselves, who will?” Robinson said. “You need that encouragement because everything you’re getting from the outside is bringing you down, and this is a space to lift you up.”

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