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Photo Courtesy of Distinguished Women of Excellence

The Distinguished Women of Excellence succeed like girls

by Elan Waite

The Distinguished Women of Excellence succeed like girls…thank goodness.

If you type in “girls can” on YouTube you will see a cover girl video from last year around this time pop up, with celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Janelle Monae telling women they can be anything they want to be.

If you add VSU to the front you get something a little different. What you’ll likely see is a video put together by Distinguished Women of Excellence, a relatively new organization at VSU that thinks it’s high time to start empowering the women who walk these halls.

The second video is similar to cover girl’s million-dollar campaign, but more local. It was thought of by the organization’s vice president, Kenya DeLouis, a senior theatre performance major.

“I was looking up some stuff and I saw ‘CoverGirls Can,’” DeLouis said. “I saw the video with Ellen DeGeneres, Sophia Vergara, Queen Latifah and it was amazing. It was really about how to express your inner self, whoever you are just to be proud of (who) you are as women, and we thought it would be really cool to revamp this into a VSU edition.”

One of the campaign’s events is #projectloveyourself. It’s in relation to a national project that was started in New York in 2010. The goal is to spread self-love and appreciation.

Organizations all over the world have contributed to the project, which has been collecting handmade origami hearts. Their original goal was 10,000 hearts. The website shows they are under 600 hearts away from their goal.

“We plan on showing love through making cranes with positive messages on them and placing them in the river to promote love “flowing” throughout the world,” Nakeyla Hicks, DWE president, said. “And to give back we will feed the homeless”

The organization’s campaign does not have a definitive end date but they know what their end goals are—empowering the young women of VSU and highlighting their strengths.

“Our campaign is different because we targeted things that are common to the girls of our generation,” Hicks said. “We wanted to connect to the girls of VSU so we sat in the union and identified the common things we saw from our girls on campus which were leaders, athletes, even girls who have cut their hair to embrace their natural beauty.”

A campaign filled with love and appreciation for the women of VSU, lead by two women with a vision, might be just what this campus is looking for.

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