Twin Cities (Minneapolis) - Women's Advocacy (5)

 Day 4     

            Today, the Minnesota Indian Woman's Resource Center put us in charge of repainting the walls that we had cleaned earlier this week. Something about painting a wall, putting a new coat of paint over the old one with the old scuffs and dirt, makes it feel like we were giving the hall a fresh start. It felt that we were giving the wall a new chance, a new life. It resonated with me so much because that was what this organization provides. It gives the resources to change someone's life, or at least the opportunity to have a new start. Being able to provide this service, to provide any service at all to help the organization achieve its mission, was so much more than I could have asked for. I was humbled to be able to make even the smallest difference in the outlook of the people who use these resources.
            After we painted, we ate a quick lunch and headed towards the Minnesota African Woman's Association. Unlike yesterday, we split up into two different groups to go to separate schools. I was a part of the group that went to the junior high, and we met some of the most amazing and intelligent young African girls. Just listening to these girls talk about issues that face them and society was incredibly moving. They were so wise beyond their years but at the same time were very innocent and energetic. It made me very happy to just listen to these girls talk about their passions and hopes for the future, and to be able to answer any questions that would help them along those paths. Today will definitely be an experience that I will keep with me.

Today with the Minnesota African Women's Association we worked with junior high school girls. It was a splendid opportunity to witness such intelligent young minds dream about their futures and voice their reactions to societal current events.  Our conversation traveled from racial tensions in the Minnesota community, to college majors, study abroad, and creative writing. The young womyn were informed and curious. They explained why it is important to have representation of African womyn in career roles and in the media. The girls stressed why it is imperative to see people who look like them in successful positions. One of the African girls, who wanted to be an OB/GYN, asked if we were feminist and wanted to know if there was a "specific feminist program." We wrapped up the conversation discussing ways they wanted to eradicate the prejudices they experienced for future young girls. One young womyn wanted to be an English Teacher to inspire her students like she's been inspired.
It was just another day chockfull of learning about humyns that aren't exactly like us and we know that we will continue to grow for the rest of the week.

Written by Danielle Swernofsky and Naomi Daugherty

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