SAN BERNARDINO, CA – – BLU Educational Foundation (BLU) launched a thoughtful dialogue this month with the community screening of the award-winning provocative news documentary, The Souls of Black Girls. The screening was held Thursday, March 24 at San Bernardino Valley College and included a post-screening panel discussion with thought-leaders from the Inland Empire Region. The panel also included local students who work closely with Dina Walker, founder of BLU.
“Our objective was to provide a safe environment where the community could come together to discuss socially relevant issues facing African American girls and women,” said Walker. It’s important for all women to have a healthy self-image. We’re optimistic that this discussion will extend well beyond Women’s History Month.”
Panelists included Zumar Zamaan, a local writer; Dr. April Clay, a counseling consultant; Faith Ellis, an English teacher; and students Davina Clay, Raihanah Medlock, and Breanna Smith. They each shared personal experiences and how they’ve chosen to navigate issues such as family dynamics, dating relationships and public perceptions of black women.
The screening also served as a precursor to BLU’s Soul Sister’s Leadership Academy and Conference slated for this summer and fall respectively. T-shirts bearing the slogan #BlackGirlsMatter can be purchased to support the Academy and participant scholarships.
Produced by rising filmmaker Daphne Valerius, The Souls of Black Girls raises the question of whether or not women of color may be suffering from a self-image disorder as a result of trying to attain the standards of beauty that are celebrated in media images. The candid piece features interviews with young women discussing their self-image as well as social commentary from Rapper/Political Activist Chuck D, Actresses Regina King and Jada Pinkett Smith, PBS Washington Week Moderator Gwen Ifill and Cultural Critic Michaela Angela Davis, among others.