This past week, I heard a song on the radio with a rather distinct bridge: with a bold, repetitive beat, a strong female voice sang the words, “Who run this world? Girls!”
As a mentor with Strong Women, Strong Girls, a Resident Assistant, a sister of Gamma Phi Beta and a past intern for the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, I have had several opportunities to work with many different types of women. As a mentor for Strong Women, Strong Girls, I have seen the passionate smiles of energetic and excited elementary aged girls. Through my work with college students, I have seen the determination and drive of young women to change the world for the better. As I have seen from my many mentors at the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, I have seen countless examples of girl power that have placed women where we exist today: as equals.
The lyrics of Beyoncé’s new song, “Run the World” could not have held truer than at my last floor program of the year; a clothing trade and donation party. As I began packing my own clothes, I found I had so many clothes that I was willing to donate and that other girls must too. So on behalf of my floor of freshmen residents and my sorority, I sponsored a building wide clothing drive and donation. There, between the designated hours, girls could come and bring clothes to donate as well as look through other discarded treasures to take home as their own. The turn out was wonderful, as many girls brought clothes, took clothes, and offered to help bring them to the “No Strings Shop.”
The No Strings Shop is a place in the Hill District  of Pittsburgh  where members of the community can give and take as they please. As Duquesne employee Danielle Buck explained, “the items are given back to anyone in the community who has a need – no strings attached!” In an interview with Effie Williams back in 2008 (commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the shop), she explained that she saw so many items in the trash around her neighborhood and just four days later, opened the No Strings Shop.
As I began to think about this, both Ms. Buck and Ms. Williams represent the network of women that help keep the world turning — for everyone! I am happy to announce that several large garbage bags of clothing were donated to the No Strings Shop, and once again, another strong step has been added to the ladder of women helping women.
The last verse of Beyoncé’s song specifically speaks to the working woman; she sings, “How we’re smart enough to make these millions, strong enough to bare the children, then get back to business.” The beauty of this feat is truly amazing; finally, someone a celebrity willing to point it out!