Black women leading new legacy

Black Girl Empowerment Club influences females on-campus

Senior Layna Walker has always felt that she needed to make a bigger impact and statement in her community. That is why she founded the Black Girl Empowerment Club this year.  

Walker explained her reasoning behind starting the club by highlighting the different treatment that she has felt in her years of high school. Walker mentioned that she has heard stories of girls being treated differently by teachers and students. “We get a lot of hate from all races, even our own, about our hairstyles, the way we talk; the way we carry ourselves is always being judged,” said Walker. “It was just really sad to see how many stories they were behind about what girls go through.”

In making this club, Walker said, “We can overcome the negativity with empowering each other.” 

The club meets to discuss the difficulties that they have faced. “A lot of African-American young ladies don’t feel like they fit or have a place here in our school. This [club] will make sure they have a place,” said the club’s sponsor, John Prothro.

While they have not planned any activities outside of their meetings, Walker explained that she wanted to get out into the community for volunteer opportunities, not only for group bonding, but also to get their name past Perry’s gates. Prothro reported that the reaction from both adults and students on campus so far has been positive. 

These conversations have opened a new light for young women who have never experienced a support group like this. “I’ve been to a few high schools, and…I’ve been to black student unions…but I’ve never had one that was just for black girls,” said senior Kylie Sanchez. 

The support group that these students have created has left members searching to leave a more impactful mark before the year is over. “I want to see this [club] go on and become a true official club…so [that] there is a positive environment for black girls,” said Sanchez. 

Beyond this school year, Walker aspires for the club to be extended not only to Perry, but to other schools in order to create a similar support group all around the valley. She hopes that her vision will be carried to even more girls than she has reached now. 

When Walker first pitched this club’s concept, she said, “As young black girls attend Perry, there’s not that many [of us]. I feel like this club would give the comfort of knowing that they’re not alone.”

Walker expressed her final thoughts and summed up exactly why she created this club. She said, “We are bigger than the hate. We are bigger than the stereotypes, and we need to let that be known on this campus.” The Black Girl Empowerment Club meets on select days during conference.