Pasadena Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Host Second Annual "Sister Chat" Event
From an idea by AKA member, Ruthie Hopkins, who developed "A Gathering of Grandmothers and Granddaughters" in 2009, "Sister Chat" was born and later adopted by the Pasadena Chapter AKA's. Ruthie Hopkins is pictured upper left with the small group of grandmothers and granddaughters.
The Pasadena Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. sponsored its Second Annual Sister Chat Conference on Saturday, November 17, 2012. The purpose of the conference was to inspire 14 -19 year old young ladies to find value in themselves, ask questions of concern and speak out on their own behalf so they can blossom and discover their fullest potential as they move into womanhood.
The young ladies started the day with ice breakers and games so they could get to know each other. Society has defined value in oneself through how we dress. Acceptable dress code has changed through the years.
As a part of the workshop, appropriate attire was addressed. The young ladies were asked to pick out appropriate outfits for different environments, i.e. school, church, a football game, a party, a job interview, a date or to go shopping.
As the young ladies proudly showed their selected outfits, they discussed why each outfit was appropriate for each environment and the importance of dressing in a manner that demands respect.
Guest speaker, Karen Robinson Smith, led a women's panel that discussed the "Ideal Woman."
This panel addressed questions on physical health, nutrition, hygiene, exercise, sleep, mental health, STDs, risky behaviors, viruses, tattoos, piercings, education, career planning and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, etc).
One person advised the young ladies to have an adult in their lives that they feel comfortable talking to about whatever is taking place in their lives. Too many of our youth are suffering from depression and low self-esteem because they may be comparing themselves to an unrealistic image that society has created instead of understanding reality.
Another panelist highlighted that once you put information in the electronic media world, it cannot be truly deleted. The young ladies were advised to think before posting or sending and to be careful.
The young ladies then had the opportunity to meet with a men's panel that was moderated by Cameron Turner on the "Ideal Man." The attendees defined their "Ideal Man", and this led to a lively discussion.
Topics covered during the discussion included chivalry, swag, relationships, money, respect, being responsible, being a leader and the importance of communication. At the end of the discussion, the young men advised the young ladies that they need to 1) Respect themselves, know what they want and carry themselves in a ladylike manner; 2) When in a new relationship, take it slow, have some goals and communicate with the other person; and 3) Don't rely on a man to take care of their needs. They should be independent, but not so independent that there's no room for anyone else.
Overall, the feedback from the attendees was that it was a good and enlightening day. One of the quotes was, "My favorite part of the day was hearing all the insightful information that I received from the men's panel, as well as the women." Another quote was, "I had a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the message today."
Overall, the young ladies felt that the day was beneficial, they would recommend it to a friend, and would come again.