We Are Queens: “A sisterhood for women of color”

On February 18, Riverside’s We Are Queens club performed its monthly volunteer work at Duke Methodist Church. 

Senior Janika Bunch, senior Parys Smith, junior Valery Contreas-Garcia, and sophomores Evelyn Barbee, and Palace and Portia Leonard all participated.

Contreras-Garcia helped package food into boxes that would later get delivered to food insecure individuals and families. 

“[We Are Queens] is a good club if you need someone to talk to,” she said. 

Contreas-Garcia said her favorite thing about the club is that everyone makes you feel comfortable about yourself and your feelings.

“This monthly initiative is called the Mobile Market, where families are provided with boxes of Fresh Farmers Market items and nonperishable goods,” former faculty adviser Tyerra Jones shared with faculty in an email on Feb. 18. “The event occurs every third Saturday at the Duke Methodist Church.”

In a January interview with The Pirates’ Hook Jones said the club wants to start volunteering more frequently and hopes to partner with the Durham Soup Kitchen, too. 

According to information in a Google Slides presentation created by Riverside’s administrative team, the club has several chapters at schools throughout the district. 

“We Are Queens (Girls of Color Program) is a Durham Public Schools (DPSNC) district initiative, which will empower girls of color throughout the district to become allies, advocates, agents of change, and co-conspirators in improving the environment around them, including their schools,” the slide reads. 

Some student members told The Pirates’ Hook that the club strives to assist the members with leadership skills, community service, and general life skills. And though they feel We Are Queens is a disregarded club within Riverside’s community, they have a blossoming environment with young women that learn from and teach others within the organization. 

Members described the club as a “sisterhood for women of color” and said the club helps them “through life in general.”

Editor’s Note: CTE teacher Celena Turner is the current We Are Queens faculty advisor

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