Whether consciously or subconsciously, the eruption of bufoonery-filled black reality television programs is acutely and negatively impacting the behavior of young girls nationwide. But women like Lacey C. Clark! and Sisters Sanctuary are fighting to provide an emotional and psychological safe haven conducive to maturation and psychological development.
Clark, an award-winning speaker, author and life coach, has fashioned a program with an all-star community cast designed to intercept the corrosive and corrupting influences that reality TV is having on young women and teen girls with the inaugural empowerment event, “Phenomenally U: Three Candid Conversations About Sex, Self Respect and Success in the Reality TV Era.”
Featuring NBC’s Lori Wilson, Phenomenally U will take place on Saturday May 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Free Library’s Montgomery Auditorium and will include legendary hip-hop radio personality Lady B, R&B star Fatin Dantzler of Kindred and the Family Soul, small business expert Melinda F. Emerson, record label veteran Robin “Kheperah” Kearse, Dr. Nicole Maisha Monteiro, Dr. W. Soyini Powell and corporate exec Mary E. Wilson. They, along with Clark, will impart alternatives routes to perceived plateaus of success in life.
“A lot of women are defining themselves by the images that they see. They think that gossip is the normal part of the relationship between other young women,” says Clark. “We saw the Internet explode with WorldStarHipHop.com when [some] women brutally beat another young woman because of the ‘gossip’ that she was [spreading] on Twitter. The concept of gossip or people talking about other people on Twitter has escalated because I think it’s part of the culture of what’s expected based on what’s on television.”
According to Clark, Phenomenally U will be a comprehensive program to uplift these precious, impressionable ingenues employing the following mechanisms:
- Recognize and repudiate negative media images;
- Embrace and replicate principle of self love and self respect;
- Provide tools and resources for their holistic development;
- Encourage images of success;
- Identify risk behaviors to eliminate incidences of domestic violence and intimate abuse whether it’s emotional, psychological, physical, sexual or financial.
Clark adds that the program is designed to combat the putrid proliferation of disturbing behavior and histrionics shooting out of the small screen that don’t foster camaraderie or cultural unity, but one of creating “young women who think competition is a part of normal behavior with other women. So they are competing against each other for men. [It’s a mentality that says] ‘I’m going to do what I have to do — violently, physically — to kind of win over a man in a sense,” says Clark, who admittedly had to undergo a mental detoxification of the negative impacts that urban videos had on younger girls during her adolescent and tween years.
“This is not brand new, but it’s becoming the norm of how young women are defining themselves because of what they see on TV,” she said. “In fact, the most outrageous characters have built the most lucrative brands based on their antics.” This, Clark testifies, has unquestionably polluted the minds of many young girls.
A filmmaker and graduate of NYU and a veteran of Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule’s development department, Clark is developing a documentary and will also produce a monthly “Phenomenall U” column in rolling out that will allow her to continue to help young women realize their divine potential.
To register for Phenomenally U, log onto www.sisterssanctuary.eventbrite.com.
To learn more about Clark, log onto www.teen-girl-self-esteem.com.