From March 1-5, several Ames Middle School (AMS) students attended the virtual Many Shades of Colour Young Women’s Conference, a program organized under Hip-Hope Inc. The conference is designed to bring young women between 6th through 12th grade, along with mentors and community leaders, together to help celebrate and empower our young women.
In a press release, the conference “was designed to intentionally address the issues hindering young women’s academic, social, psychological, and economical success.” The conference included presentations and workshops, facilitated by women leaders in the community, focusing on topics such as health, leadership, academic achievement, self-worth, as well as cultural competency and awareness, among others.
AMS teacher, Katrina Williams, is a co-facilitator for the second year in a row to get the students involved but puts all of the credit into the work that students are doing. “I am merely a messenger to the Ames community. Our female students of colour are phenomenal in our greater Iowa communities and we should be proud and continue to support this work.” Many Ames High School students have been attending the conference since its inception with Mrs. Jean Muhammad.
In addition to the students attending, two students, 8th grader Willow Johnson and 6th grader Victoria Williams, presented at the conference. Johnson focused her presentation on social media, while Williams spoke on the topic of friendships: what good friendships can include and how to identify them. One additional student, 8th grader Messiah Triplett, was part of a social, emotional, and learning focus group that is seeking to build a collaborative space among teachers, parents, and the youth.