Student Life: Student Life and Engagement

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Initiatives of Miss Spelman and Her Court

Daeja Langston, C'2017, Hopes her Quest to be Ebony's HBCU Campus Queen Contest Winner Affords her the Opportunity to Continue to Advocate for Mental Health Awareness

Daeja Langston Ebony's HBCU Campus QueenIn response to Ebony's question, "What is your most memorable contribution as a campus queen?" Langston, an economics major with a passion for the arts, wrote:

My most memorable contribution as a campus queen was an art installation that I created during midterms titled "Comparison Kills" under my platform on mental health awareness. The installation mimicked a candle-light vigil, bringing light to the rise in the number of suicides and mental health related incidents on college campuses during midterms and finals. Suicide has become the second leading cause of death for college students. We pressure ourselves way too much. So I sought to remind the campus that is possible to take care of both our grades, and ourselves. And to let go of trying to keep up with the next person, as it is more toxic than we think. It was bold. But honest. And that was the impact that I wanted to have.

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Langston's EBONY HBCU Queen Video

The Platform of Daeja Langston, Miss Spelman 2016-2017

Miss Spelman 2016To identify and sharpen the gifts, abilities and unique traits of young girls and women through mentorship and service. To disrupt the stigma of mental illnesses in women of color by intensifying the importance of self-knowledge as well as self-empowerment. To redefine normalcy on Spelman’s campus by creating an uplifting space where we can reclaim our creative mental spaces through the enchantment of spontaneous art, imaginative expression and random acts of kindness.


Focus Areas

I S.E.E. You: "Serving, Empowering, and Enchanting” is designed to tackle mental health head on from contrasting angles. I S.E.E. You focuses on a concise triad of targets each tailored to the different arenas that promote mental wellness.

  • The Service Target focuses on mentorship, the importance of fostering healthy relationships and life skills in girls at a young age, that are statistically proven to reduce the risk of exposure to mental illness in their adulthood.

  • The Empowerment Target focuses on active discussion and education on Mental Health, as they are both vital components in the understanding and dissolution of depression and anxiety.

  • The Enchantment Target focuses on creative projects and random acts of kindness to create consistent sources of encouragement, support, and uplift for my sisters who may need a push, or a light, or a reminder that they are never walking in this alone.

How 'I S.E.E. You' Came to BE

The name “I S.E.E. You” came to mind, because I wanted to name my platform after something that would remind my Spelman sisters, as well as myself, to remain encouraged. Depression and anxiety, in particular, are both unforgiving mental illnesses that creep in and settle without warning. As a result, many people under its grip, are suffering silently.

We live in a community and culture where depression and anxiety are so prevalent, yet seldom discussed. So, in an effort to create awareness about the wiles of mental illnesses and with a burning desire to bring to light the methods by which they can be contained, I established the mantra “I see you.”

I want to emphasize that as alone as these diseases are capable of making one feel, that no one has to do this by themselves.

My vision for the platform is to essentially embody everything that it means to be an empath.

Through the initiatives and programs under “I S.E.E. You: Serving, Empowering, and Enchanting,” I want to create a space where students truly feel as if they have a support system. I want to help them see that their experiences are shared by more people than they may have imagined, and encourage them that they can get through the difficulties they may be experiencing.

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