Queens Uplifted highlights women’s empowerment


Photo by: Nyaharika Rai

Queens Uplifted held their second annual expo Saturday, April 13 in the Thad Cochran Center. The event focused around the theme of what it means to be a carefree black girl.

The program started off with a welcome to invite everyone into the ceremony and get them prepared for the rest of the activities throughout the day.

President of QU and senior public relations major Imani Harris said the event was open to anyone that wanted to attend and did not exclude those who do not identify as African American or female.

“Don’t be afraid to join or to come experience what the life of a black woman is because you’re not a woman or black because we do have people here even at this event that do not identify in that way,” Harris said.

The expo was broken down into three rooms with different panel discussions inside. Attendees rotated between the Carefree Music, Young, Gifted and Black and Food for Thought rooms.

Elizabeth Winder, vice president of QU and junior therapeutic recreation major, elaborated on the panels.

“The Young, Gifted and Black room is designed for recent college graduates to come back and just give advice to us about what to expect after college. Our carefree music room is for listening to various songs, just seeing how we identify with those songs and how it makes us feel, like does it help us solidify our blackness within ourselves and within our community. Our food for thought room is just reminiscing on our favorite foods,” Winder said.

Harris said the expo started out as the organization wanting to do something huge on campus.

“The expo was a way for us to combine all of the things that we do as an organization into one big event. Our values are wellness, inclusivity and self-consciousness, so every room and every aspect of this event embodies all of those values. Our mission is to really just create a safe space for black women, so this event does that,” Harris said.

Xena Proctor, a junior art major and member of QU, expressed how joining organizations like QU has helped her throughout her collegiate journey.

“To me [Queens Uplifted] has just given me a safe place to just come together. When I came into the organization, I was timid, but as the years passed, I’m more charismatic. It just made me want to be helpful to the community and people like myself,” Proctor said.

Harris said that she is proud of how the event has grown.

“It has grown, and we have been able to unfold the vision of it a little bit more. And it’ll continue to do that and get bigger every year,“ Harris said.