Sister Circle is Nationally Recognized

The student initiative, Sister Circle, recently won the gold 2023-2024 NASPA Excellence Award for the category “Fraternity and Sorority Life, Leadership, Student Activities, Student Union, and related.” Sister Circle, housed under the E. Timothy Moore Student Multicultural Center (The Moore Center), supports the personal, social, cultural, and professional development of women of color at Kent State University.

Michael Daniels, Ph.D., the center’s director; Alice Fermaintt, program coordinator; and Annika Bragg, graduate assistant and Sister Circle’s advisor, will attend the ceremony in March to officially receive the award in Seattle, WA. 

“I feel accomplished as an advisor,” Bragg said. “As an organization, Sister Circle goes above and beyond to ensure all their members are celebrated.” Bragg assists Sister Circle with policy-related issues, budget decisions, and overall questions and oversees the year’s programs, curriculum, and theme. Sister Circle’s theme for this year is “ElevateHer.” The main focus of this theme is to provide events that will help elevate all the members to new heights, keeping in mind the various aspects of Sister Circle’s mission: womanhood, sisterhood, and what that means to women of color. 

“Walking into Sister Circle feels like one big community and family. They warmly welcome everyone who attends their events and encourage them to show up as authentically them,” she said. “If you see the emotions drawn out of people at [Sister Talks] events, it’s like there’s magic in the room bringing everybody together.”

Sister Circle's logo.

“They’re completely unmatched with the types of programs they do,” Fermaintt said. “Every year, Sister Circle positively impacts their members, which is truly amazing to witness.” Fermaintt advises both advisors for Sister Circle and Male Empowerment Network (M.E.N.). She oversees the logistical aspects of the programs, curriculum, and administrative challenges. 

Kamariah Miller, president, and Kiara Moore, vice president, lead Sister Circle in the 23-24 academic year. Bragg mentioned they also played significant roles as co-directors of programming in the previous year. 

“My experience with Sister Circle has increased my confidence in myself and my ability to lead,” Miller said. “As an introverted person, I am sometimes reluctant to participate in things that require me to step outside of my comfort zone, but here I am leading an e-board of seven other students, and I love it.” Miller mentioned the NASPA Excellence Award motivates her to seek ways to empower women of color beyond campus and into her professional endeavors. “I hope this recognition will bring more light to our initiative and all that we strive for,” she added. 

In the past year, Sister Circle also won the Organization Excellence Award from the Student Leadership Awards and the Organization of the Year from the Ebony Achievement Awards hosted by Black United Students.

Fermaintt mentioned how proud she is of Sister Circle’s support of women of different identities. “They created a safe space where Black and Brown women can be themselves,” she said. “Their programs help them take into account their intersecting identities as women of color, and they have a support system that will uplift them through sisterhood.” 

“Through sisterhood, we can achieve new heights, we can ‘ElevateHer,’” Bragg said. “We do impactful work. Our work helps develop these women into scholars and prepares them for post-grad.”

“Some may just see these sessions as an event, but Sister Circle is doing so much more for the community,” Fermaintt said.

At the NASPA Excellence Award conference, The Moore Center will present what Sister Circle is, and Fermaintt hopes it will be an opportunity for more women of color initiatives to win awards.

“I want to connect with other institutions and expand Sister Circle,” she said. “The power of sisterhood is truly remarkable, and it’s wonderful to see women coming together to empower each other. With this kind of collaboration and support, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.”

Learn more about Sister Circle

POSTED: Tuesday, February 6, 2024 04:57 PM
Updated: Friday, February 9, 2024 11:16 AM
Eduardo Strobel