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Community Empowerment Conference Brings Black Women Together for Expression and Mentorship By Marshelle R. Sanders a mentoring program to address Defender Contributing Writer the concerns of parents whose daughters struggled with self-image, especially about being a miPowerHer Women’s Confer- nority in America. ence is a weekend celebration of The Chrysalis Program is now black womanhood. The PowerHer a 501c3 nonprofit organization Conference will be held this weekend Friday, February 22 through that teaches self-confidence, acSunday, February 24 at the new countability and practical life skills Hampton Inn by Hilton at McCor- to minority girls age 5-17 through mick Place Chicago 123 East Cer- interactive, character-building mak Rd. Conference attendees workshops. Asha Ntim is a U of I can expect workshops, parties, alumni, a community activist and a charity gala, live entertainment, thought leader. Ntim believes that mentoring date auction, Black Fire Comedy youth and creating opportunities Show, shopping and more. Author, illustrator, business for women of color help to elimiwoman and founder of Chrysalis nate long term effects of trauma in Center for Girls, Asha V. Ntim, will our communities. By empowering host the Annual Gala and looks women and girls of color, we build forward to bringing real-life experi- a stronger, more stable future, reences with mental health and well- duce violence in our communities ness to inspire the everyday career and help rebuild the family unit. With over three years of develand entrepreneurial woman see oping and mentoring young womreal-life victories. en, this mother of two and author Ntim began hosting the fundknows the power of personal deraiser to fund her vision. Ntim is the author of The D.A.R.K. Brown velopment and the importance of Girl Book Collection and found- empowering young ladies to be er of the Chrysalis Program. The leaders at a young age. Offering D.A.R.K. Brown Girl Collection social-emotional workshops that was created to bring light to color- teach life skills, leadership, and ism and encourage African Amer- self-confidence, she has fed, lead ican girls to embrace their natural and guided over 1,000 African beauty. Through the response to American girls from at-risk neighher book collection, Ntim created borhoods. Seeking to eliminate

Asha V. Ntim the long-term effects of childhood trauma, Ntim seeks to repair and rebuild our communities from the inside out. The Chrysalis Program offers free workshops for girls and parent classes that include complimentary breakfast and lunch once a month. With hopes to open the Chrysalis Center for Girls, a community center and haven, she began hosting a fundraiser to fund her vision. “As it’s not just our Black boys who fall victim to the school-toprison pipeline, but our Black girls

as well, mentoring is a great way to intervene to combat such roadblocks.” In reference to a madamenoire. com article, it’s not a secret that Black girls face quite a few disparities due to race and gender. Overall, Black girls have become overpoliced and under protected and most certainly forgotten in several different movements and intervention plans. Although we excel at higher rates than any other subgroup, we still have a hard time carving out our careers paths,

which is why it is important for Black women to take on mentorship roles for the Black girls coming up behind us. Ntim is both the founder and Executive Director of The D.A.R.K. Brown Girl Organization and Author & Illustrator of The D.A.R.K. Brown Girl Collection. After over eight years of working in a corporate setting, Ntim pursued her Master’s in Project Management full time. Upon completing her master’s degree, her passion for empowering her two young daughters inspired her to begin writing children’s books for little African American girls. The D.A.R.K. Brown Girl Collection celebrates the uniqueness of Black girls and uplifts them in ways that no other children’s book can. Ntim continues to be a fearless leader prepared to improve the state of “Black America” by impacting its daughters. To Purchase tickets to the conference, visit: bit.ly/PowerHer2019 To contact Asha V. Ntim: http:// ashavntim.webstarts.com/index. html For more information on The Chrysalis Program, The D.A.R.K. Brown Book Collection and events, go to www.thedarkbrowngirl.com

The Obsidian Collection Debuts Stunning Images of Black Beauty, Strength and Movement on Google Arts & Culture During Black History Month, the Obsidian Collection archives of digitized images depicting African American history, arts and culture launches a collection of stories on Google Arts & Culture that captures the pure essence of Black beauty, strength, movement and elegance through the extraordinary vision of Chicago-based photographer Ernest Collins. Dramatic and soulful, artistic and stunningly beautiful, the latest edition to the Obsidian Collection on the Google platform is comprised of timeless, effectual images from the Black Diaspora that defy the go-to narrative of negativity and need to capture the essence of Black people in atypical fashion. THE CHICAGO DEFENDER

The presentation is made possible through a partnership between Google and Obsidian Collection founder and Executive Director Angela Ford, who launched last summer with a collection of stories from the Chicago Defender newspaper archives. The Chicago-based entrepreneur, Black history buff and tech enthusiast is on a mission to digitize and share images and footage captured and owned by Black legacy press, independent photographers and institutions with the next generation of storytellers. The virtual exhibits can be viewed at https://artsandculture.google.com/search/ exhibit?p=the-obsidian-collection-archives. Among the gems:

Black, Fine and Dandy – The concept of the “dandy,” a term that dates to the 1800s, is a man who takes great care in his appearance. A Black dandy incorporates European fashion principles with touches of Afrocentric colors and fabrics. Collins exams the Black dandy of the past – with a finish that appears to age the image – and takes it to a bold new level. Black Feelings and Movement – For centuries, Black people have used dance to communicate and celebrate. Black dance styles in the U.S. have the origins of African movements integrated into their complexities. Incorporating Avant Garde fashion into these images, the photographer brings together Black feelings in www.chicagodefender.com

movement. Black to Nature –The photographer mixes natural elements with fabrics in their least processed forms to show the symbiosis of Black men and women, and nature itself. We’ll Always Have Paris – Collins lived in Paris for over 20 years. He partnered with local fashion designers and models of African descent to capture the beauty of haute couture fashion in traditional and Avant-Garde style against the many hues of Black women. “It is impossible to look at Ernest’s work with your mouth closed; I promise you, it will fall open,” says Ford. “These images depict African Americans as we

desire to be known, as we see ourselves, and in ways we never imagined ourselves before. I’m excited to include these works on the Obsidian’s Google Arts and Culture page.” The Obsidian Collection is a nonprofit launched with the support of The Democracy Fund. It was incubated at Ford’s TAG Foundation and has benefitted from the Black archive preservation support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and the Field Foundation. TAG Foundation is a local community and neighborhood nonprofit that services Chicago’s Black communities. February 20 - 26, 2019 5

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