Brandi Howliet | Staff Writer
Flickr user Gage Skidmore
Women’s empowerment can mean a lot of different things to different people, but it can also be defined as the social and emotional uplifting of a woman. Mutual support for women is needed in today’s society for a number of reasons. For many women, establishing self-confidence and maintaining stable mental health isn’t an easy process.
Ashanti Johnson, a second-year five-year MBA from Atlanta, recognized the need for more voices discussing this topic and decided to found her blog, Strength of a Black Woman.
According to the website which can be found at linktr.ee/thesbwmovement, “The mission of the blog is to help women acknowledge their past hardships in evaluating their growth, to guide women on the path to stable mental health and to teach young women about upholding their value.” The website’s team consists of 16 writers who are students at Hampton University. On a monthly basis, they produce a variety of articles for the website. The featured work ranges from personal testimonies, poems, to anonymous letters of encouragement for women.
Not only does the blog support the women’s empowerment movement, but it also covers issues related to mental health. It is known that a student’s mental health can deteriorate while college. This blog not only speaks up for the empowerment of women but it also stands for those women who are suffering emotionally.
Being away from one’s family can take an emotional toll on a college student even before one considers how the student in question is being subjected to constant stress from class, homework and finals. All of these reasons help add to the argument that mental health deteriorates within the first year of college.
Resources such as the SBW site can help alleviate these issues.
When asked about her reasoning for starting the blog, Johnson said, “Growing up, I’ve dealt with my fair share of depression and anxiety. I still deal with it to this day. I was mentally and emotionally unstable for a very long time which all sprouted from a very traumatic childhood. But while growing up, from watching my mother fight her battles, I learned a very important lesson: No situation can define you. So this past summer, I took the time to work on myself, and I was super confident that it was going to be better.”
Johnson recognized the need for this women empowerment and mental health blog due to her personal history. Using her own life experiences, she’s creating a platform for women who are going through similar trials.
Putting an emphasis on mental health and women’s empowerment in a college environment is really needed. Johnson believes that many college women are stuck in the mindset that they’re in competition with one another. Given the adversity that women face on a day-to-day basis, it is vital to have as many resources as possible available. Johnson’s drive to help black women in such vital times in their lives is admirable. Johnson continues to tackle these issues throughout her Strength of a Black Woman blog.