Black Girls Rock founder Beverly Bond has a message for TSU students: “Anybody can be a voice to make a difference.”
Bond, who is also CEO of the global nonprofit mentoring organization, was the keynote speaker at TSU’s Ninth Women of Legend and Merit Awards dinner on March 22.
She said before the event that she wants to empower and encourage students, particularly young women, to be leaders, and realize they have a purpose.
“Through my journey, I’m hoping to share wisdom and encouragement and inspiration on how to step into the next leg of your own journey,” said Bond, who spoke at a luncheon on campus and participated in a lecture series before the dinner. “The process is probably, if not more important, it’s definitely as important as the destination. And I think that sometimes people miss that. And so, I’m hoping my story inspires others to see that anybody can be a voice to make a difference.”
Founded in 2006, the mission of Black Girls Rock is to empower young women to lead, innovate, and serve.
“Black Girls Rock builds the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of color by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons and providing tools for self-empowerment and efficacy,” according to the organization’s website.
TSU student Kaila Boyd is a fan of Black Girls Rock. She said Bond’s message and the organization’s mission are inspiring.
“My generation, we’re about to be up next,” said Boyd, who is a sophomore majoring in communications. “We have to empower each other in order to reach that goal of success.”
TSU President Glenda Glover said she’s glad Bond was able to come to Nashville, and that “her amazing achievements truly embody the University’s motto of think, work, serve.”
Five women were honored during the awards dinner, which benefits TSU’s Women’s Center. They are: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; businesswoman Jacky Akbari; Nashville Circuit Court Judge Angela Cox; Dr. Sandra Holt, former director of TSU’s Women’s Center and Honors Program; and Latrisha Jemison, senior vice president and regional community affairs manager at Regions Bank.
“The Women’s Center serves a critical role by empowering women through mentorship and education programs that create stronger bonds and professional development opportunities for students and faculty alike,” said Barry, the city’s first female mayor.