Black Girls Rock gives recognition to five women of color

Photo courtesy of Jordan Meredith

Ebony Women for Social Change hosted the Black Girls Rock! Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 25. Four awards were given to notable Black women on campus to honor their achievements and contributions to the community.

“This event is important for Ramapo because it allows a light to shine on women of color who are often overlooked or disregarded,” Jordan Meredith, president of Ebony Women for Social Change, said. “It’s amazing how many female, women of color students who attend here that are heavily involved, volunteer, and give themselves so much to others that it’s time someone finally gives back to them.”

Rachel Sawyer-Walker was given the Remarkable Woman award. Sawyer-Walker joined Ramapo’s community this year as assistant director of the office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Compliance.

The Woman of Service award was named to Zyeira McMillian, and the Woman of Influence to Khalisah Hameed.

“Winning this award means that the sisterhood that I have worked hard to create and the impact I had intended to leave during my time at Ramapo have not gone unnoticed,” said Hameed, who is a senior music production major and involved in a variety of campus organizations. “For me, winning the Woman of Influence Award affirmed I have accomplished the goals I have set for myself professionally and socially. It is an inexplicable honor for me.”

The Young, Gifted and Black Award was given to Janea Tozer-Murphy, a junior business management major also involved widely across campus.

“Receiving this award truly means so much to me. I believe that Ebony Women for Social Change is making a huge impact on the Black community by recognizing strong female faculty and students across this campus,” Tozer-Murphy said. “I’m honored to be a recipient and can’t wait to see how the Black Girls Rock Awards Ceremony will continue to uplift and acknowledge the hard work of the amazing Black women at Ramapo for years to come.”

A final award, the Achievement Award, was given as a surprise to Meredith.

“We do this event annually every March for Women’s HER-Story month because we have some creative, innovative and caring faces on campus who need to get recognized for their work,” Meredith said in an email. “I think Ramapo has some ways to go starting to appreciate more students of color on campus but I think our “Black Girls Rock” event is a great start.”