My BWOPA Experience
by Emerald Holdman, Mission High School | 9th Grade
My experience at the 2014 BWOPA Leadership Summit was great! There were a lot of good speakers with inspiring stories one thing that I learned from Congresswomen Barbra Lee speech was that the U.S Army made a law that African American women cannot wear then natural hair. That law was changed within 90 days it was changed by efforts of a powerful black woman like me, Congresswoman Barbara Lee. The other thing I learned is that 30% of the Army is made up of African American women, and I plan to enroll after college to be that extra 1% one day.
The Lady of BWOPA would like to make health care available to all women. The AIDS epidemic is lamely taking a toll on African American women and the minority AIDS fund is being largely reduced. This means that as the aids rate for African American women increases the health care avalibitiy decrease, which means more African American women are left with diseases and one unhealthy.
At the Leadership Summit, we also talked about how votes that come from southern states are not, being counted. In the South, African American voters are being repressed and are being repressed and are being discouraged to vote or even being allowed to. Congresswomen Barbara Lee recalled a conversation that she dad with people in North Carolina who said they would rather vote for yellow dog than a Republican.
I want to thank Ms. LaNiece Jones, Executive Director of BWOPA for making sure I could attend the Leadership Summit.
My BWOPA Experience
by QunSi Dominguez, Mission High School | 10th Grade
At the BWOPA Leadership Summit, I had a good time. I met people I would have not met otherwise. I also made long lasting friendships with girls from my school. I learn many ways to reach out and help my community. I learned the importance of voting and I also learned the importance of having an actual say in your community. I learned that women are very powerful.
I met women such as Dezie Woods Jones and Bev Kearny, they are very powerful and upstanding women and I was lucky that they even considered to acknowledge me. Ms. Bev told me that I am worth everything even if at any point I think I’m not. Ms. Dezie also showed us that young women can be spunky and still give their best efforts at any time in your life. I was able to make new connections and see a different part of politics, not just the men’s side of things. I see how important of a role women and African American women are to politics and everything in general. I also saw the importance of speaking, and the importance of listening and having an action plan. Also to keep things going, you have to keep moving, keep everyone.
Even though I did become a little restless towards the end, I’m glad I went all together. if I would have decided to stay in bed rather than attend this event, I would not have the motivation or even the ideas I have now as to where to start to help my community. I would also have no idea how much help my community needs. I would also not have a new way to look at politics. Sure I could have read about it somewhere, but being there myself to experience it myself, I now see politics from a women’s point of view. I would not have known how important it is for African Americans to vote in the south and that they are basically loosing there right to vote. I needed this exposure in my life I think it’s good for all kids my age to experience something like this at least once in their life. If I did not have experiences like this I feel as if I would be blind to the real world. I would not know things for what they really are. I would be blind to the real world.
I would not know about the past and how strong a role my race has played in it. I would have never been introduced to the BWOPA or the NAACP. I’m really glad that I decided to attend this event and I had a wonderful time.