Club provides support for African American women

Erin Foltz
Staff Writer

A new club on campus, Shades of Essence, is designed for female African American students at the University of La Verne. Dealing with issues such as color, hair, weight, and general problems facing college students, this weekly gathering provides those who attend with a comfortable, interactive environment to vent about school and other stresses, get feedback for problems, and just be themselves.

Club president and sophomore communications student Chalena Robertson started the club because she believed that a group devoted to the African American female population was needed at ULV.

“Shades of Essence helps give the African American women on campus a chance to really feel comfortable in their school environment and gives them a place they can come to express how they are feeling to a group of people who care and are there to listen to them. Being on a campus with a low population of African American students, it is really great that we have a place that we can call our own.”

During a recent meeting, they also went over announcements such as discussions about upcoming events taking place on campus like The Black Student Retreat, AASA nominations, and the 2010 African American graduation celebration.

The members of Shades of Essence all care about one another, and are a great support for each other. They can relate to similar type problems they may be facing and understand that getting together in a setting like this is a great way to talk about things, and helps get through the hectic school week.

“I really enjoy attending these meetings, because it is a great time for me to get the weight of school and other things that might be bothering me off my chest,” said Corbin Henault, a movement and sports science major.

Lauren Brown, an English literature major agreed. “I feel comfortable coming here, because I know that I can talk freely and anonymously, and nothing that I say will go outside of these walls. I can be myself around people I trust.”

The Shades of Essence group is open to anyone who would like to join and meets at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday.

“One of the messages that Shades of Essence wants to put out to African American women on campus is that there is a group for you, and I hope you come and check it out,” Robertson said. “We are a group of girls you can lean on for support so please come and join us on the road to making a positive footprint here on the ULV campus.”

Erin Foltz can be reached at

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