I Am That Girl

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Terry Hernandez shared these wise words that were said by tennis player Arthur Ashe to the I Am That Girl club at Drake University at Nov. 21 meeting.

President Eden Kreighbaum was excited to welcome the organization’s first guest speaker, Hernandez.

The meeting opened by discussing the club’s latest fundraiser, a bake sale. Kreighbaum reiterated that volunteer slots were still available to table 11 to 1 p.m. Nov. 29 in Olmsted Center and 4 to 7 p.m. in Hubbell Dining Hall. The money raised will be donated to Chrysalis, a nonprofit organization in Des Moines founded to inform and empower young women.

Hernandez, a Chrysalis representative, spoke to the club for half an hour on empowerment in young women.

“What you’re doing with the program around I Am That Girl,” Hernandez said. “Is that you’re telling yourself and each other that you’re strong, willing to do things and proud in being a woman.”

The newly founded club, I Am That Girl, has been official for one month. Kreighbaum began the club after reading a book, “I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl,” earlier in the summer which sparked her interest to how she could incorporate what she learned and localize it. She went through an extensive training process to bring another safe space to Drake’s campus.

“In high school, I was so used to having discussions about women in the media in literally every class,” Kreighbaum said. “It was these types of discussions that were worked into my entire academic experience and I was really missing that at Drake.”

Madeline Hession, vice president of service, joined the club because she was looking for a unique organization that opened an opportunity to provide a support system from different women.

“I’m getting a perspective from other women that I wouldn’t have gotten if I hadn’t joined this group,” Hession said.

A major factor in I Am That Girl is the importance of inclusion.

“There’s definitely a need for a space in our world for girls and women to talk about issues affecting them,” Kreighbaum said. “For a change to happen it needs to involve other people outside of a small group.”

Hession stressed the significance of diversity.

“I think intersectionality is super important,” Hession said. “If we were just a group of white women discussing the issues that affect white women, it’s not as productive as if we were a diverse and inclusive group discussing the issues that affect everyone.”

Kreighbaum opens every meeting with housekeeping and leads into an activity in which attendees partake in. Individually, the members share why they are ‘that girl’ for the day. During a typical meeting a topic of discussion would then be announced and then followed by four open- ended questions the club answers.

Meetings are held at 8 p.m. every Monday in room 235 Meredith Hall.

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