FEMPWR: Group plans to expand female empowerment activities

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//PICTURED ABOVE: FEMPWR hosted a forum in March discussing the female role as students transition beyond high school.

This school year, female empowerment group FEMPWR is looking to host another forum and extend their outreach. Now that the group has had time to establish who they are and what they are striving to do, they plan to hold more events and establish their name even further.

Seniors Sabrina Fearon, Emily Stephens, Bethany Vodicka, Gigi Spicer and Neelam Jivani are the five current members of the organization. The group has two sponsors, Director of Inclusion and Community Tresa Wilson and Upper School Counselor Jessica Hooks. Senior member Stephens said she wants more people in the Hockaday and Dallas community to be involved with FEMPWR.

“I just really hope that we get taken more seriously as a group because we aren’t a club; we are under Ms. Wilson and Inclusion and Community,” Stephens said.

To achieve this goal, the five seniors plan on shifting the forum’s structure to make it more interactive. Fearon said the forum will likely include an art showcase to display how artistic expression plays into feminism.

“This year we want to make it more interactive, invite more people and have a bigger outreach,” Vodicka said.

Apart from looking at artistic expression, FEMPWR members said they plan to focus on whatever topics become relevant as the year unfolds.

“We’ll see how the news evolves this year and focus on those issues,” Fearon said.

She said she hopes this will keep FEMPWR relatable and central to girls in the Dallas community. Whatever events take place this year, Hooks said that FEMPWR is all about the future.

FEMPWR is already looking toward the future by preparing for what the organization will look like after they graduate this spring.

The five current student members of FEMPWR are seniors and as they approach graduation they are recruiting underclassmen into the organization. Fearon said she hopes the underclassmen will carry on the organization after she and her classmates graduate. The addition of underclassmen will also allow FEMPWR to execute more events than last year.

Last school year, the group held only one event and focused mainly on establishing themselves after the organization started in November of 2018. FEMPWR took shape after the five girls met with Wilson to create a place for girls in the Dallas community to have conversations about the problems they face as women. Hooks joined the group as a sponsor soon after.

Hooks and Wilson helped support the girls as they organized their first event in March of 2018. FEMPWR organized a forum so that girls from schools in the Dallas community could come and listen to guest speakers and have open discussions with people of different perspectives. They based the forum on the theme “From Your Bubble to the Outside World.”

“It talked about the transition from high school to college to the work force, and how you can still maintain your voice throughout that whole process,” Fearon said.

Hooks said the five girls took charge of organizing the event and she and Wilson were mainly there to offer support, advocate for the group and help them think of the bigger picture.

This year the group will be expanding on that forum with their new underclassmen to create more opportunities of all forms for meaningful discussions.

“I’m really excited to see what we can accomplish this year,” Fearon said.

Story by Anna Gum

Photo provided by Jessica Hooks

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