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Students at N.C. A&T Learn the Process and Principles of Self-Love at Chancellor’s Speaker Series

10/04/2019 Students

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 4, 2019) – From the moment Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. took the stage at Harrison Auditorium for the Chancellor’s Speaker Series, “Love the Skin You’re In,” Oct. 3, student engagement was intense and consuming. From Martin’s comments regarding his experiences dealing with the effects of colorism to the daily experiences of guest panelists Laverne Cox, Shaun Ross and Amber Riley, the conversation was informative and transformational.
Fashion Model, actor, dancer and anti-bullying campaigner, Ross’ experiences and career provide him tremendous opportunities across the globe, yet it was his ability to speak and connect with students that noted has impacted him the most.

“I get to travel around the world and sit front row for some of the best designers and performers you could ever lay your eyes on, but there is something about speaking at a university with the future in front of you that is so much better,” he said on Instagram following the event. “I received more love in this room than I could ever feel in my own industry.”

The love was a free-flowing, two-way street. Students were clearly receptive of the words of wisdom and life experiences the guests transparently shared.

As Cox encouraged students to “own your story,” her bold statements of self-love were met with applause and words of agreement.

“How wonderful is it that I’m a black transgender woman and I’m still alive,” she said. “I love myself. I’m still worthy. You’re worthy and here for something bigger than how you look.”

All guests were presented with a gift tote that included a journal with a mirror inside for reflection, a massager and relaxing essential oil to help them love and care for themselves. Students immediately utilized the journal and absorbed the moment.  From “watch what you put in your body,” to “celebrate yourself,” to “maintain a close support system,” they captured profound statements and tangible steps they could take away and apply.

In a world where unsolicited opinions too often take center stage, the overall consensus among panelists was to learn to accept and process only those of your own and of the people you truly value.

“Just because someone else doesn’t value or know you, (it) doesn’t negate the beauty and abilities you possess,” said Riley.

Alumna, moderator and licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Raushaunnah Johnson-Verwayne ’01 closed the conversation encouraging attendees to “be fierce guardians of what you consume,” “walk daily in positivity, affirmation and consistency,” and know that “it’s okay to reevaluate the people and relationships in your life. There are some people who sit on the front row of your life today, who may later end up in the nose-bleeds seats.”