The acronym for this event may be EWEW, however, it’s anything but. Empowered Women Empower Women was the first annual girls-only lock-in hosted by Burritt Hall. The sleepover was held in LaDue Auditorium and was filled with sisterhood, solidarity, and celebration. There were snacks, coffee, bracelets to make, canvases to paint, and board games to play.
Kait Matthews, the RC of Burritt 2nd Dallas, said that they are trying to build the sisterhood of Burritt. It began with putting envelopes on each floor labeled with each girl’s name where people can leave empowering notes. Matthews said she got the idea from Spring Arbor, a sister school of GU. The “Empowered Women Empower Women” flag that many Burritt residents and even some non-Burritt residents have seen hanging in the lounge of Burritt also came from Spring Arbor.
Since the beginning of 2019, the goal of Mathews and the rest of
At first, the lock-in was supposed to last until 1 AM, but then the heat in Burritt was malfunctioning, so an executive decision was made to turn the once four-hour lock-in into an all-night sleepover. This way the girls whose heat wasn’t working had a warm place to sleep.
After some bracelet making and painting, the night took a pause to reflect on the real reason we were all gathered together. A trivia game of the history of women was played, and then Niquita Hohm, the CRE of Burritt, talked to us about lament and read Judges chapter 11.
If you’re unfamiliar with Judges 11, it’s a devastating story of how Jephthah made a promise to the Lord that if the Israelites took victory over the Ammonites, that whatever comes to his door to meet him, he would sacrifice it as a burnt offering. The Israelites won and as Jephthah arrived home, his daughter was the first to meet him. She asked for two months to roam the hills and weep with her friends. He granted her those two months, she returned after, and then Jephthah fulfilled his vow. A tradition arose from this, that each year the young women of Israel would go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah.
Niquita lit a candle for the daughter, to honor her, and so many others in the pages of scripture who suffered from the violence that plagues our world. She then lit a second candle to add ourselves to the story to honor the women who wear these wound as well as to celebrate all the voices who fight for women’s lives.
Niquita continued to talk on how many of us know the impact of the negative messages that consume our minds. She challenged us to question, who are the story tellers in our lives? When you take a look in the mirror, is it the people who speak to you out of jealousy or hurt? Or is it the people who know you through thick and thin?
“I celebrate because I know you all are growing up in a tough world but you still choose moments of love and respect, lifting each other up. You choose to celebrate the women around you and who they are even as you’re still uncovering who you are. “– Niquita Hohm
Niquita then talked about her son Malachi and how she’s committed to raising him and saturating him with messages that are so obvious to him that all people are equal and should be celebrated. She says that we, too, can saturate our messages of love and equality, and hope that our daughters will come into this world with less obstacles in knowing that they are loved.