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Livingstone College celebrates womanhood with March assembly

Under the direction of humanities Professor Da’Tarvia A. Parrish, Livingstone College hosted its annual Women’s Month Celebration Assembly on March 20 with the theme “W.I.S.E.: Women Inspired and Spiritually Empowered.”

The assembly was held in Varick Auditorium with students Aamari Morrow and Jardin Lesane greeting members of the student body, faculty and staff with W.I.S.E. keepsakes and programs. The celebration began with Nike’s “Dream Crazier” advertisement narrated by Serena Williams.

Livingstone senior Ajia Long welcomed the crowd, and sophomore Emoni Jennings said the opening prayer. International exchange student Jainyfer Lakra presented the international women’s month theme, and sophomore Carlee Patterson followed with a focus on black women.

To celebrate the endurance of African-Americans in North America from 1619 to 2019, Miss Livingstone College contestants Shontavia Wright and MonaLisa Paulk led the assembly in a 400 Years Litany, coupled with the first stanza of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice.”

The celebration continued with a Black Girl Magic runway. Participants spoke about and dressed in the style of their projected career aspirations. The young women challenged women and men to “wise up.”

Runway participants included Daisha Gilliam, Tashya Campbell, Shontavia Wright, Damia Marshall, MonaLisa Paulk, Jainyfer Lakra, Eryka Praileau, Katherine Perkins and Anna Kyles.

Loghan Burkes followed with a rendition of Denise Williams’ “Black Butterfly.”

After the performances, the Rev. Tajuan Kyles delivered a message asking students to “P.R.E.S.S. Moreover”: pray; resist temptation; endure; shut up, sit down and stay humble; and do it with style.

Kyles said she wanted to include the men present so she added to the “W” in W.I.S.E., saying it represents both women and warriors.

“It was an on-time message, and it was very relatable and relevant,” said sophomore Patterson. “This is truly one of my best moments in undergrad.”

The program closed with announcements from junior Darra Walker and remarks by State Alexander, executive assistant to the president.

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