Those communicative bonbon hearts, so accepted for Valentine’s Day, bear fun letters like “Be Mine,” “Kiss Me” and “Crazy 4U,” but there are alike added important letters that all boyhood girls charge to hear — like “You are loved,” “You are special” and “You are worthy.”
More than 100 girls abounding an accident called “#Love&Lipgloss” at the Jack Minges Unit of the Boys & Girls Club in Greenville on Saturday night and heard those actual words.
The “Empower Her!” accident was sponsored by Daughters of Worth, a nonprofit alignment whose mission, according to its website, is “to educate, accouter and empower girls of all ages to become able women of access in their communities.”
Being able women starts with actuality abreast teens, and several speakers were on duke to action the girls activated admonition about issues like animal trafficking, dating abandon and amusing media safety.
One of those speakers was Sarah Tellis, architect of True Justice International, who batten about the prevalence of animal trafficking, which she alleged a anatomy of “modern day slavery.”
Tellis asked the girls to acquire a “Mission Possible” that calls for them to “know who you are” and “know your worth.”
“Thirteen years old is the boilerplate age of girls who are trafficked,” said Tellis, as she cautioned the girls to be acquainted of how traffickers dispense and alter their victims by arena on their vulnerabilities.
Detective LaChauncey Staton with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Appointment provided the girls with an amend on dating violence.
Dating abandon comes in abounding forms, including concrete and emotional, he said.
Staton told girls to ability out to a accurate developed if they anytime appointment concrete or any added blazon of abandon from addition they are dating, or if they accept a acquaintance in that situation.
“Somebody’s actuality for you,” he said. “Never alive your activity in fear.”
It’s not aloof about concrete violence, he said.
“If you are with addition who is analytical you, you don’t charge to be with that person,” Staton said.
One anatomy of dating abandon occurs aback addition uses a absolute photo adjoin you, he said.
“Do not accelerate (by argument or amusing media) a account you won’t accelerate your grandmother,” Staton said.
Desha Lane, association programs coordinator with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, broadcast on the affair of application amusing media wisely.
She reminded the girls that actuality consistently apparent to amusing media adds added burden for adolescent bodies today. Some studies, she said, accept apparent that “excessive use of amusing media leads to depression.”
Throughout the affairs the girls were reminded that the accident accident was a safe abode to ask questions and allocution to adults who affliction for their able-bodied being.
The girls accustomed not alone activated advice, but heard words of afflatus and hope.
Paula Dance, who is the aboriginal African-American changeable sheriff in the state, told the girls, “Be a trailblazer. If there is no path, accomplish your own.”
Dance aggregate her claimed adventure of growing up with two admiring parents and a big ancestors in rural acreage life.
She knew from an aboriginal age that she capital to be complex in badge work. But the adventure wasn’t consistently easy. Dance said she faced setbacks aloof because she was a woman.
Years ago, in addition town, Dance was told that she had to break central and assignment in the appointment alike afterwards she had accustomed her law administration training to be a deputy. That’s aback she activated to Pitt County and was able to abide the following of her dream.
Dance reminded the girls that their bodies are their own and that cipher has the appropriate to blow them after their consent.
“If you feel uncomfortable, that’s your clue,” Dance said.
Diane Taylor, administrator and architect at Taylor Fabricated Publishing, aggregate her claimed story, as well.
“I was dealt a abhorrent hand,” said Taylor. “I was built-in into (a home with) a physically abusive, alcoholic father.”
As a acknowledged administrator of books about bodies of color, Taylor has had the befalling to accommodated Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama.
Taylor said that she now lives “the activity I created, not the activity I was built-in into.”
She said that accessory a affairs like #Love&Lipgloss was a big to advice to her aback she was a teen. She apprenticed girls to advice one addition and lift one addition up.
“Hurting someone’s animosity carefully is (a anatomy of) bullying,” she said.
April Villeda, 16, a green at Eastern Wayne High School in Goldsboro, heard about the accident through her abbey and abounding forth with added girls and a abbey leader.
“I’m very, actual adored that I came. I abstruse a lot,” she said. “I mean, it aloof fabricated me anticipate because, like, sometimes I’ll accuse about article and again audition added people’s belief (made me realize) I am advantageous and I should be beholden for aggregate that I have. And I don’t know….Something in my affection aloof told me ‘Oh, you should help. You should do something”… Especially aback Diane Taylor talked — and the sheriff — it was like ‘Oh, I can absolutely do stuff.’”
Montasia Foreman, 16, who attends J.H. Rose High School, arrive a few accompany to appear the accident with her.
Foreman said that an important point that she got out of the accident was Paula Dance’s bulletin that “no amount what you abrasion or area you are or what bearings you’re in, it’s never the victim’s accountability because ‘no agency no’.”
Foreman’s friend, Raynise Corion, additionally 16, said the accident “opened your eyes to the achievability that this could happen” apropos to animal trafficking, dating abandon and added issues that had been addressed.
Jadaja Britton, 16, a apprentice at Greenville Christian Academy, said, “What stood out to me is that you accept to footfall out in faith. They talked about how you are so loved. You are a daughter. And you charge to apprehend what (type of) relationships you charge to get into afore you absolutely alpha to get into them.”
Liz Liles, architect and CEO of Daughters of Worth, said she anticipation the accident was “amazing.”
“We are so adored to accept such powerful, astounding women who are accommodating to not alone footfall up and allotment their belief of places that they accept appear through themselves, but to additionally aloof cascade that activity and affection and affection aback into their community,” Liles said. “ I anticipate the advice that was aggregate was all-important and admired and it’s a game-changer. So now it’s aloof up to the girls to booty these little accuracy nuggets that they accept been accustomed and to absolutely go and apparatus them.”
This was the aboriginal Empower Her! accident and added are planned for the future. The ambition is to accept these types of contest already a quarter, Liles said.
“It’s an absurd aboriginal step,” she said. “My affection is full.”
For added advice about Daughters of Worth, including advance opportunities, visit www.daughtersofworth.org or appointment them on Facebook.
Contact Karen Eckert at 252-329-9565 at email@example.com.
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