The Black Female Development Circle is a 501(c)3 organization that was established in 1994 to serve as a support system for black women. The organization's mission is"To Educate, Explore, Enhance, and Celebrate Womanhood" and has chapters at UCF, FSU, TSU, and FIU. Read more...

Lean on Me

by Ionia Knott on August 25, 2014

It’s wonderful to know that we as black women can come together to build such a beautiful connection with one another. That is one thing I love about the Black Female Development Circle. We are there for one another to help whenever needed yet I find that sometimes we forget that we have this wonderful resource. We can’t all be super woman all the time and try to handle everything on our own. Sometimes we just need to realize that life can be overwhelming whether you’re planning an event or dealing with the stress of a class. That is the best time to lean on your sister and allow them to help you. Don’t worry about getting on someone’s nerves because there will be a time when they will need you too. You will be surprised to learn how willing most people would be to help you. So lean on me and I will lean on you and we can achieve something greater together than we would alone.

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Live It Out

by Brittany Daniels on August 18, 2014

purple power 14The 7th Annual Purple Power Seminar

“Obeying the Traffic Signs of Life”

Who’s Going to Stop Me?

As all the chapters return to school I hope you all remember some of the principles from Purple Power.

We had an excellent time and I hope everyone is fired up for the semester ahead. The opening activity gave us a chance to reflect on “The Power of Now.” Through this activity we are encouraged to live in the present, not let the past or future define your today, take time out to smell the roses, learn what life is trying to teach you in this stage in your life, and do not over-think it.  Our workshops were both informative and spiritually edifying.  I hope each of you will share your personal experience with the other members in your chapter.  The speakers inspired us to use the traffic signs of life as a warning to prepare for what is ahead, adapt the 5 factors of success, and think outside of the box. We have been encouraged to define ourselves for ourselves.

Let us pay close attention to the Traffic Signs of Life.

1. I hope you all eliminate things approaching a dead end.

2. Remember, when making big change you may not be able to bring all of your stuff.

3. Don’t allow yourself to be boxed in; when you look in the mirror try to see yourself as God sees you.

4. We are all wonderfully created, and successful beyond measures.

Have a great semester, until we meet again in Washington, DC for the National Conference!!!!!

 

BFDC Love,

Brittany

 

 

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It’s that time of year again!

Yes! Purple Power has come upon us once again!

There are 6, (count ‘em) 6 DAYS until Purple Power!

On behalf of the National Board, I would just like to say how EXCITED we are to bring to you the 7th Annual Purple Power Seminar “Who’s Going To Stop Me? Obeying Life’s Traffic Signs”.

This year’s seminar will be hosted at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, which is also home to our newest BFDC chapter!

Join us as we take a deeper look into our organization as a whole, listen to THREE guest speakers, participate in a workshop facilitated by one of our very own and most important of all, bond with our sisters from other chapters.

We look forward to seeing you there! Let’s paint Tampa Bay PURPLE!

Johora Warren
National Director of Special Projects

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Empower YOU!

by Shirelle Wright on August 5, 2014

“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” -Vernon Howard

To be self-empowered, “one must have the strength to do something through one’s own thoughts and based on the belief that one knows whats best for oneself.” How about asking what do I want?  Is this meaningful? Does this have purpose and value to me? What do I believe?  The opinion of family, friends, coworkers, etc shouldn’t be a factor when seeking your goals. A person aiming for self empowerment must make positive choices and set goals. Developing self-awarenss, the process of identifying your strengthens and weaknesses. What are you limitations? Limitations are key to personal empowerment.

Self-empowerment is liberating because taking full responsibility for your life means you:

  • make your own choices and decisions;
  • live according to your own personal operating system and values;
  • are free from the anxiety of living up to the expectations of others;
  • experience the joy of being authentically yourself.

However, it’s frightening because you:

  • can no longer blame others for your failures and disappointments;
  • can’t cling to childish, dependent security from others;
  • have to let go of the “old you,” even if that person was holding you back.

Through empowering yourself, those fears no longer exist because you are now taking personal responsibility for your decisions and actions. Things are easier and life is more enjoyable because you are creating it on your own terms rather than reacting to it.

So what’s the secret to living a self-empowered life? The real secret is awareness. Once you are aware that you are giving away your power through fear and blaming, you are more than halfway there.

Take a step back and analyze whats before you. You’re no longer to play this victim, your no longer here to please others. Understanding YOU and taking care of YOU is the goal and priority.

 

#BFDClove

-Shirelle

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Challenge Accepted

by Alexis Rhames on July 28, 2014

When was the last time you willingly pushed your boundaries and did something outside your comfort zone? Truth is, many people live boring, monotonous daily lives simply because it’s safe and easy. Seldom do individuals actually enjoy, let alone seek out, uncomfortable situations. This has been the story of my life for the last 22 years……until recently. I took a chance and applied to a graduate program that I not only felt was “out of my league” but also 900 miles away from the only home I had ever known. Well, I got accepted and surely would not think to pass up such an amazing opportunity. So here I am. A living witness of what can happen when you decide to expand your horizons. Although it’s only been a short time, I am convinced that I have learned much more about myself than I ever could by staying in my comfort zone. I’ve learned about my strengths and what I can do without. I’ve explored new places and soaked up new experiences. Never in my life did I stop to think about what I could be missing out on by staying in a familiar place.

What awesome opportunities are you missing out on by only sticking to what you know? Imagine the relationships you could form and transform and the quality of life you could have simply by challenging yourself to step out and do what TRULY makes you happy rather than what’s comfortable. Besides, good things in life come to those who take risks. If you want to grow, take the time to challenge yourself. You will never be able to reach your full potential by staying in your comfort zone. Furthermore, your decision to challenge yourself gives you the confidence to continue on a journey to achieving your wildest dreams. This is not to say that you will never fail. Failure is inevitable, and because of that, you cannot allow it to hinder you from taking steps to accomplish your goals. For the last year of my life, I have faithfully lived by this Bill Cosby quote “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” So take a chance. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to grow and push you to succeed. Allow yourself an opportunity to go beyond the limitations you may have unknowingly set for yourself. You have so much to learn, and there is so much more that you can be. Accept the challenge to challenge yourself.

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The Eternal Tribute

by Johora Warren on July 22, 2014

Just 6 days before my 21st birthday, I lost my father to cancer.

That was nearly 4 years ago.

The loss of a parent or other very close individual is indescribable.

Grief is a curious thing. Sometimes you go through the day, thinking fondly of your loved one or even joking around about them (good-naturedly of course) and other days you feel an overwhelming sadness… A literal ache in your chest that soon overcomes your entire body as if your emotional pain must reach a certain equilibrium with physical pain.

Whenever I think about my dad (which is multiple times throughout the day), I keep it to myself. It’s awkward telling a random story to a friend (more so for them than it is for you) about someone who is deceased.

Or is it?

A friend of mine on Facebook recently lost her grandfather. She had recently deactivated her account but came back after hearing the news of her grandpa’s passing.

Her message was simple: Cherish those who matter to you NOW, rather than later.

I liked her post to show I supported her and was terribly sorry for her loss.

Then she began to do something I had never seen on Facebook.

She wrote a story about her grandfather.

Then another.

Then another.

And another and another and another and another.

There have been 15 posts thus far in the past 9 days.

Some of these stories were absolutely hilarious. Some made you think. Some moved you to tears. But all of them gave you a glimpse into the man her grandfather was. After having read those stories, I feel like I sort of know him, too.

Her stories were/are intriguing. I began to look forward to them. Although they are about a man I’ve never met, after reading these stories, I feel a kind of closeness to her, the closeness you feel to another human being who has suffered a great loss.

My friend did this (or should I say is doing this) as a way of sharing with the world who her grandfather was and how much he means to her. She continues to post about him whenever she feels the need as a kind of heart-wrenching yet beautiful relief of her grief and hurting.

I would like to do the same. I have all these great memories of my father. Why shouldn’t I share them as frequently as I can?

I encourage you to do the same if you have lost a loved one.

Funerals give us one opportunity to memorialize our loved ones. Who says we can’t (or shouldn’t) make it an ongoing experience? Continually share stories of our experiences with them… An eternal tribute, if you will.

Let’s continue to keep our loved ones in our memories… But also strive to share about them whenever we feel like it.

They deserve it.

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This past weekend six Beautiful ladies took on the city of Houston, TX and left feeling refreshed, encouraged and confident in their ability to continue their journey through this thing we call life. Our first bi-annual Alumni Getaway started off a bit rocky as we enjoyed a “lovely” boat tour of landfills, cargo ships, abandoned buildings and cranes :/ but things quickly changed for the better. We took pleasure in being with one another as we sipped wine and painted a lovely canvas of women dancing and having fun, improved our health with a 90 minute Bikram Hot Yoga session, shopped our hearts out at the Galleria Mall and took pleasure in Gods underwater creatures at the Houston Aquarium.

All in all, after reveling in the activities of the weekend we sat down with one another for group therapy. Here lies the problem: Encouraged Black Women! We left equipped with the tools to face the struggles and trials of life which will allow us to continue trekking towards success! One of the many meaningful quotes that were shared during Group Therapy was “when you think positively, your life becomes much easier.” When you think that you are able to overcome ALL that life has to offer,  your journey through the various obstacles will become smoother. Without the negative thinking, including fear, inability and feeling defeated, one is less stressed, overwhelmed and better able to trek towards their fullest potential!

For those that were unable to go this time, do not fret! For this time will come again in the summer of 2016! Don’t miss out again!

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Pride.

by Maya Francis on July 7, 2014

I have always said that both my greatest strength and weakness is my pride. It is so strong that it possesses the capabilities to not only give me confidence and a sense of dignity, but has hindered me from accepting help as well.
Lately it has seemed as if I can never win – as soon as one situation is resolved, another one presents itself. And being the prideful woman that I am, asking for help to fix these situations is of course just out of the question.

Why?

Because I’m Superwoman in my eyes, Miss Independent, the one that can do it all.

But in reality like Superman, Superwoman has her weakness as well.

As I am approaching my senior year in undergrad, life is happening: my granny has died, my mother is still mourning, I have leadership responsibilities in multiple organizations, the pressure to maintain my grades is weighing on me, preparing for grad school is a class of its own, and above all, as of May 21, 2015 my life will never be the same.
I vowed never to accept defeat but I honestly had to admit to myself that I have reached my breaking point.

I NEED HELP !

By no means can I do this on my own. And thankfully, the best thing about it is – I don’t have to, WE don’t have to !
When you don’t ask the Lord for his help, when you feel as though you can do it on your own, it is as if you are trying to do His job for him. Romans 11:18 reads, “Do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”

We were not built to carry all of the burdens of the world on our shoulders. That is what we have a Father for! It is He who is waiting on us to humble ourselves and ask for Him to lighten the load. I have allowed my pride to get the best of me for the last time. And I pray that others who struggle with it feel the same. No longer will I block my blessings by not asking for what I need because I have been reminded that, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)

And when you have wisdom you have the favor of God.

BFDC Love,

Maya Francis

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Black Female Development Circle, Inc., we work TOO hard for us to not enjoy what we have earned thus far! As a recent Master’s graduate from the University of Central Florida, I found myself having the same mindset as a student after I graduated and secured a job. I thought I had to nickel and dime every dollar I had just so I could “survive” and get home ASAP so that I can get homework or internship work done. How ridiculous! The reality of my situation is that I’m making way more than I did at my part-time school position and I have an abnormally greater amount of time to finally enjoy life.

If you are a graduate, whether you have secured a job or not, make the most of this FREE time you have right now! See the family you have not seen due to a paper being due every single week. Go visit those friends you had to deny hanging out with because of all the studying you had to cram the night before. Exercise! (You know we can get so busy “accomplishing our goals” that we neglect our health). This is the time to truly enjoy the fruit of your labor thus far.

We are members of this organization because we are ambitious, successful, and desire to grow. However because of that very reason, we can get so caught up in getting to the next level that we forget to just enjoy where we have gotten thus far. Being a social worker, working with young families, gave me a greater awareness of how blessed we are to be a “minority”, young, pursuing higher education and not having children (or having children and taking the steps to give them a better life). We are in a great position in life!

Whether you are still in school or not, make some time to breathe and enjoy your accomplishments. Sure, we may not all be where we’d ideally like to be, but we have accomplished a heck of a lot thus far. Pour you some sparkling white grape juice and say “Cheers” to that!

P.S. I would be remiss not to mention our BFDC angel Jewel Witherspoon who passed away recently. After her diagnosis, you could tell that she was able to make the most of the days she had left with us. I will never forget her beautiful spirit and how she fought her battle with such grace. We will miss you Jewel!

Sincerely,

Kiara J. Nair-Mason

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Hey! It’s summer! Be free and happy and danceful and uninhibited and now-y! ~Terri Guillemets

A time for beach days, BBQs, sun-tans, and relaxation. Summer is a beautiful time to reflect on what has taken place thus far, the midpoint of the year. Are you halfway to meeting your goals, have you kept your new years resolution? Take the time to stop and reflect to analyze if you are on the right track to successfully meeting your goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Summer may also be the time that you take a step back and regroup and reestablish the goals you previously set for yourself in the beginning of the year. For example, I set a new years resolution and 2014 goal for healthy eating and weight loss, well lets just say life has gotten the best of me. So last week I took a look at what I was doing right and was I was doing wrong that was preventing me from meeting my weight loss/health lifestyle goals. I know I need to become more active and limit my fast food/casual dinning intake. I am definitely going to step it up a notch and make a conscious effort to change. Ask yourself:

Have you set your goals?

Are you on track to meeting those goals?

Are you in the mindset to actually achieve your goals?

“Never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again.” -Bikram Choudhury.

 

Check out this “feel good” video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0tTbTbmVA

 

#BFDClove

-Shirelle

 

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