June 1, 2014 at 9:22 AM
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Young women can be a "blazing" light in their communities, keynote speaker Judge Tiffany Williams told the 250 teens at the "Fabulous Me: Celebration of Womenhood Conference" at Seton Hall University on Friday.
Willliams' message referenced the hymn “This Little Light of Mine,” which teaches lessons of confidence and individuality at a young age. She urged attendees to take this lesson to the next level to not just shine, but "blaze."
“Blaze, girls on fire, blaze,” Williams told the young women ages 12-17 who gathered in the Bishop Dougherty University Center for the third annual conference. “That means that you’re not afraid to shine. You’re not afraid to be all of who you are. And you don’t shrink back from anything, even if you’re different from other people. Shine where you are, consume life, have fun, enjoy it to the fullest, be responsible in serving other people, and blaze.”
The university hosted the conference, which was organized by The Family Service Bureau of Newark and aimed speifically at young women “with the mindset that young females, while enjoying a day of professionally designed program on relevant topics to youth, will also be able to break the ethnic and social economic class boundaries within this diverse group and bond to strengthen the feeling of sisterhood.”
In addition to attending the keynote speech, the young women broke out into individual sessions covering topics such as body image, self-esteem and preparing for college. The event also featured a resource fair and an African drumming presentation.
The Celebration of Womenhood conference was funded by the New Jersey Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee, administered by the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. It was co-sponsored by Seton Hall’s marriage and therapy programs.
The reporter is a student participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.