Ericka Magee is the 9th #WomenofCMU! Ericka is the President of Phenomenal Brown Girl (PBG) here at CMU. PBG strives to empower women of all ethnicities and diverse backgrounds. In addition, Ericka is a volunteer with the Volunteer Center and with PBG, she has been a site leader this past winter for Alternative Breaks, she is a member of Rampage Dance Team, and she is a peer advocate for international students here on campus.
“The need for more diversity on our campus in a different way. We do have a lot of women empowerment organizations, but they are directed to only towards African American women. For our organization (PBG), we wanted to have to have African American women, but open it up to other peoples as well, saying we do want to be empowered, but we don’t want you to feel like you are not empowered. We want to form a bond with all cultures, because if I don’t understand anyone else’s culture then I can’t believe I could fully be myself. What got me interested in (PBG) was that fact that everyone on our executive board, this is our first year, so we all push for the same goal. We want every woman on campus to feel empowered, not just one specific race or culture,” Ericka explains.
PBG focuses on four main values: mentoring, sisterhood, empowerment and service. This is PBG’s first year on campus and Ericka is a leader in making this organization start its lasting impact here at CMU. PBG hosts a lot of events and collaborations with others RSOs on campus.
“My goal is at the end of this is just seeing people grow. Like when I set up the E-Board, I set it up to people in places that they weren’t comfortable in. It is so great for me to see people reach those goals they never thought they could reach. Also, adding more people to our organization and encouraging them and pushing them to do things that they didn’t think they would,” states Ericka.
Even though PBG has just started this year, it has already impacted those involved. The courage to start a new organization and not know what could happen is extremely empowering. Ericka really shows her love for empowerment, mentorship and most importantly making all women feel equal. This is huge for our community to have. Ericka definitely fits with my 5 defined pillars of feminism (look at previous blogs to know what those are). We need to truly focus on the women of today, in our communities, our schools, because they are doing amazing things. Thank you, Ericka, for all that you do on this campus and empowering women of all cultures.
“I think we need to celebrate them (women of today) and continue to let them know that they are valued. I think a lot of people forget that you came from a woman. I know that is something that takes a man to do as well, as far as all the genetic things. A woman raised you or helped raise you, and I think that people forget that. A lot of times women do more than just housework, they go to work, they make money for the house, and then after an eight hour day they cook, they clean, and they take care of the kids. I feel like that is something very strong and a lot of people can’t do…We do need to celebrate that because a lot of times it goes unnoticed,” Ericka explains.