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The SES conference provided me with the tools necessary to understand that I matter as a Black Sudanese Muslim teenage girl. It gave me the steps to begin to understand my mental health, trauma, stigmas, and uniqueness. Today I volunteer not only because I hold SCSD students nearest and dearest to my heart. But to spread love and a sense of belonging to the young women who attend because sometimes that’s all that’s needed for our young girls to keep pushing. I find that SES is the best platform to spread that type of peace, love, and belonging. Aside from that, I agree with the missions and goals of SES and believe with more volunteers, the bigger the impact is to be a guiding source to young women. Thank you, SES, for providing this platform.”

SES Participant 2013-2015
Syracuse University College of Law, 2022 + Syracuse University, B.S. Political Science, 2019

I am a previous participant of the Image Initiative’s Sisters Empowering Sisters conference as well as a previous panelist and returning volunteer. I will continue to volunteer and be a part of the conference in any capacity because it is a vital initiative. The conference introduces young girls of color to a myriad of opportunities concerning their education, future career goals, as well as their overall mental and physical well-being that they are not often exposed to. As an alum of the conference, Sisters Empowering Sisters establishes a pipeline for young girls of color to become successful leaders of society.”

Dr. S. Campbell
SES Participant 2012-2014
Howard University, Ph.D., Communications, Culture, and Media Studies, 2023; SUNY at Albany, M.A. Africana Studies, 2019; & SUNY Buffalo State University, B.A. Sociology, 2017

As an alumna of the Sisters Empowering Sisters Conference, I attended in 2015 when I was 17. I’m now 25 and have had the privilege of volunteering for the last two years with the intention of volunteering every year that I can. I came back to volunteer because I remember how significant it was to me to be in a space where Black and brown girls, who I just saw as my peers in school, could be vulnerable and feel safe enough to laugh and cry freely. It was an overwhelming experience that reshaped how I saw them and myself, which led to better growth and development in future friendships and seeing the capabilities of women that look like me to strive for and achieve greater in their lives no matter the circumstances."

Elisabeth O.
SES Participant 2015-2016
Rochester Institute of Technology, B.S. in Advertising & Public Relations, 2020

The Sisters Empowering Sisters Conference is an influential conference and all women of color in the Syracuse area should have a chance to experience it. As a conference alumna, it has positively persuaded the way that I think about myself and those a part of my community. It has also positioned me to want to be able to give back — especially to those in the Syracuse Community. This was my first year volunteering as an alum and I am so excited to come back next year!

A. Patterson
SES Participant 2011-2014
Babson College, MBA, Business Administration, 2022 SUNY University at Buffalo, B.S. Transnational Studies, 2018

My involvement in CHOICES was wonderful! Especially for my first time being with the program. Before I entered, I was not going down the right path but in order to stay in the group, I had to better myself. To me CHOICES means an individual wanting to better their self and doing so by making better decisions in order to have power and control over what they do.”

A. Rudolph

This program helped me meet new people and also learn and get a better understanding of things as a young woman. It helped me expand my thinking and learn things I didn’t know before. It was a great learning experience for me.”

J. Baker

I never knew what being empowered really meant until I went to the Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference. Not only was I empowered but I was inspired. I was surrounded by strong, beautiful, and inspirational women that taught me to love myself from inside out. They instilled in me that I am a queen. I left the conference not only with a new self-esteem but with new values on life.”

Brittney L.

CHOICES gave me a resource to go if I ever needed to talk to someone. It was a safe place to say what is on my chest without judgement.”

A. Pitts

To me, CHOICES means that I have some guidance from mentors to help me make the right choices in life.”

Agnes N.

The Sisters Empowering Sisters Conference changed my life. This program has given me a reason to look towards my future. I am able to express my feelings without being afraid. I am able to hold my head up and do exactly what I want to do. The reason why I keep coming back is because I feel like I belong and I am at peace with myself. Thanks to this program I now believe in myself and I’m pushing to be successful in whatever I choose to do.”

S. Rodriguez

At first, I didn’t want to come to the program because I didn’t understand what it was about. This program helped guide me in the right direction. At times when I wanted to give up, this program was there for me to lean on. Thanks to this program I am learning to be myself and to better myself. Thank you for your courage to help others.”

Michelle R.