The African Student Union (ASU) at SVSU held a Women in Power panel on Friday, March 29, from noon to 2 p.m.
The panel was originally supposed to have six different women, but only four were able to make it the day of the event. All work in different SVSU departments and offered diverse views from their experiences.
Panelists were asked a variety of questions ranging from their thoughts on the stigma around women in schools to what advice they would give young women. ASU president Henrietta
Nwokeabia wasn’t afraid to ask questions that could make people uncomfortable.
“These questions need to be asked,” Nwokeabia said. “We shouldn’t try to bring it down, melt it or add a little sugar to it. We should ask them the way it’s going to be asked. The panelist is going to know how to answer these questions without making it awkward.”
One of the panelists was Latoya Peoples, an SVSU graduate and the senior events coordinator for SVSU’s Conference Center.
She shared her views on seeing women in positions of power and how women need to encourage each other to achieve that.
“We need to see more women in power,” Peoples said. “As females, we really need to encourage each other more. We degrade each other when we need to bring each other up.”
Professor of Education Leadership LaCreta Clark was another panelist that spoke. She wants people to see that women aren’t just their looks but also their intelligence. She also wants women to be their authentic self while still being professional and advancing their careers.
“We are more than just pretty faces,” Clark said. “We want people to see who we are authentically. Whatever we wear, whatever we put on, gives us different feelings.”
Clark also believes women should adopt a more apology-free approach.
“I think today we should be apologyfree women,” Clark said. “Too often, we apologize for being ourselves. We too often turn our light off when other people need to see it.”
Nwokeabia wants students to use this event as a way to connect with other people from the event and the women in their own lives.
“I hope that this event gets people in this room, if we see each other again, to give each other a smile,” Nwokeabia said. “We need to lift each other up because we know this isn’t something that’s being done in the general population. You have at least 19 other people you can now smile at.”
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