The YBBW Community BY Sha'Ron Nichols

YBBW IS An all FEMALE ORGANIZATION, OPEN TO Any female student INTERESTED. This organization was created for THE PURPOSE OF UNIFICATION and values LEADERSHIP, Empowerment, Sisterhood AND scholarship. AS A GROUP, THE MAIN GOAL IS TO BRING SOCIAL AWARENESS TO THE COMMUNITY AND CULTURALLY ENHANCE THOSE IN OUR GENERATION HERE AT FERRIS STATE.

You Beautiful Black Woman was led by Ms. Terri Houston, former Director of Student Activities at Ferris State University. At first, it started as a bi-weekly conference, to discuss social issues and solutions to help make a change through unity among african american women. With the help of Delta Sigma Theta Inc., and little sister organizations, YBBW became recognized for its individuality in Fall of 1991.

Mrs. Terri Houston
Kappa Diamonds
Omega Pearls
Sigma Doves
Little sister organizations that helped.

The first conference theme was discovering the true essence of black women through inspiration of class and virtue. These key aspects can be used as a foundation to strive to be successful and make a name for yourself through your own accomplishments. YBBW values being successful because as an African American Woman, we have to find a goal, make a plan and achieve it to feel as equal as the next woman in line. With the legacy of powerful women, some have set the bar high to make a positive impact on younger generations.

Leadership

YBBW's mission is to send a powerful message to at least one woman and let her know that she is unique and a "Queen by Nature," no matter what her situation is. When a woman develops this mindset, it moves her to want to do better and it helps uplift her, which will influence her performance both business and personal wise. As a woman, when we’re feeling upbeat and happy, we’re more likely to have an inclusive focus than a self-centered outlook, and to perform better on demanding tasks.

Be inspired by an exceptional group of women.

"Don't use your beautiful energy for negative thoughts, for we all are all Kings and Queens by nature." - GVSU Beta Chapter

The second conference became a two-day affair, where the running theme "Queens by Nature" was indoctrinated. Its membership included all students, regardless of race and gender to ensure an open and diverse organization. The vision of You Beautiful Black Woman was brought to the campus of Grand Valley State University in the fall of 1993. Former student, Ms. Julie Reynolds, transferred from Ferris State University to Grand Valley State University to work on her Bachelors in Journalism. Through her guidance, determination, and drive to share her positive experiences of being a member of the Sisterhood, she founded the first charter chapter in 1994.

SCHOLARSHIP

YBBW's main value is through education because you have to invest into yourself before you invest into others. In this nation, education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women, it is also an area that offers some of the clearest examples of discrimination women suffer. YBBW feels that it is important to not only educate yourself book wise but street wise as well. Having knowledge in a variety of areas, opens doors for future opportunities. Girls having a basic education is one way of giving them much greater power, of enabling them to make genuine choices over the kinds of lives they wish to lead. An educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker and citizen. An educated woman will also be more productive at work and better paid.

HAVING A VOICE

Through empowerment, you enhance as a growing woman while being apart of YBBW. Surrounding yourself around other women that are likeminded, gives you that extra boost of morality. You're able to find your purpose and stay motivated to make a change not only in this community but in your self as well.
You learn the importance of confidence in unity while being apart of this organization.

Social Awarness

Through the triumphs that women encounter daily, it is important to bring awareness to others who aren't. Meaning having discussions about common issues on a variety of topics. It paves the way of letting people know that they are not alone through whatever their personal situation is. There is always someone else who can relate to what a person may be going through. Followed below are a few events hosted by You Beautiful Black Woman on issues that has taken a toll on us as a community.

Community Service

Giving back matters to YBBW because if it wasn't for the community, they wouldn't have an audience to reach out to. It is simply implied that with out an audience, you aren't able to be recognized as a positive role model without giving back to those who look to you as a mentoring group.

Personal Value

Being a part of this community motivates me to commit more to growing as a woman in mind and soul. I take interest in helping in any kind of way to make a positive impact for the better in other people’s lives. All it takes is a little words of encouragement from one person to catch the eye of another, who has a vision of success for the near future. I also value my education and gaining knowledge from not only books but experience as well. I am able to gain wisdom, apply it to everyday life, and make better choices. It took hard work and dedication from an exponential group of woman to have the rights that stand today. It is our responsibility as generation to keep moving forward with a legacy left behind and spread the word on social issues if we want a positive change.

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