“I, Too, Am Beautiful” Empowers Women On Campus

Sarah DiMarco, Contributing Writer

For their annual Black History Month event, Baldwin Wallace Univeristy’s Black Girls Rock hosted “I, Too, Am Beautiful!” which featured guest speaker BW Alum, Kelly Jackson. The event was held on February 18th in the Student Activities Center.
The event included dance, song and poetry that shared the theme that Black women, and women in general on this campus, are beautiful in every way. Black Girls Rock, also known as BWBGR, promotes the success and presence of Black women at Baldwin Wallace. “I, Too, Am Beautiful,” is the group’s second annual event for Black History Month.
“I, Too, Am Beautiful!” started with an electrifying dance by Kiasia Parks that brought the audience to their feet. The event continued with various members of the group showing rhythmic skills in slam poetry. While Aminah Vargas showed off her soulful voice with her rendition of the song “I’m A Woman.”
All the performances led up to the main speaker, Kelly Jackson. Jackson graduated from Baldwin Wallace with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management, and a Masters in Business Administration; she founded the non-profit organization, Operation StandUp! in 2010.
Operation StandUp seeks to improve communities throughout the City of Cleveland where residents are often dissatisfied with the conditions. Jackson currently serves as not only the founder, but also as the Executive Director.
“As an alum, it is also a great pleasure to be back on the grounds of BW to recognize that some things remain the same, but also give accolades to the university’s endeavors to diversify the student body,” Jackson said.
Jackson spoke about how each woman has beauty, but that beauty is not necessarily what we see on the outside but what is expressed inside.
“What makes us beautiful is far beyond those things reflected into the mirror, far beyond our shape and size, the clothes we wear, the size we share or even how we choose to rock our hair. What makes us beautiful can only be defined as something beyond what the eyes can see.” said Jackson.
Jackson’s message was that Black women are beautiful for their accomplishments and their brains. Appearances make a person attractive, but the words spoken by a person are what make them stunning.
“I could go on excessively about our greatness, because we are just that much evident as to how we excel no matter what the quest. In business, academia, athletics and entertainment, there isn’t one arena where we don’t enter and shine radiantly, beautifully,” Jackson said.
Although the focus of the event was the beautiful Black women of the campus, anyone can relate to Jackson’s message of beauty and power.
“I dare you to let the words ‘I am,’ constantly fall from your mouth followed by anything that your heart desires, for there is no force comparable to a woman whose soul is set afire with worth,” Jackson added.
Jackson left the room with the empowering message of, “We are the ambassadors of today and leaders of tomorrow.”
The event concluded with more demonstrations of female empowerment, and a message from the group’s president, Doanise Thompson, who also spread the message of power.
“I believe in the beautiful Black women on campus. They are strong, beautiful and lead with greatness,” said Thompson.