Here’s to the Future.

Before I started Moxie I was very “low-key” about how I felt about certain topics. I would never willingly divulge anything to just about anyone about most topics i.e. anything. I never understood why. As I grew, learned, listened, and contemplated during this summer, I realized it was because I thought I wasn’t political enough and I didn’t know enough.

At our first seminar this idea came up, but it wasn’t me who was saying it–back to my low-key stature. I agreed with the idea that I never wanted to be wrong or have my own beliefs challenged because in what world is anyone comfortable with being wrong? It was then that I realized I was being silenced before I could even use my voice.

So many times, I’ve wanted to click the “share” button on Facebook, but I knew how many people would be upset with my thoughts. So many times, I wanted to comment and say “that’s not right,” but I knew an argument would definitely happen. For so long I’d been holding my tongue, my clicks, my shares, out of fear of the world. If you asked me three months ago to share something political on my Facebook feed, yeah, it would have had to be a “no” from me, but as I have grown and seen that no matter what I’m not always right, I’ve started to be bolder. In my town, my thoughts are seen as “radical.” Oh well someone has to say it. Why not me?

Being home is WILD. I have literally begun to see how problematic everything is. When I got home this man asked my father to speak to ME. He then proceeded to tell me I thought I was too good for everyone here. I was SHOOK. One, this 2018, I will talk to whoever I want and be going to my dad won’t help your case. Two, if I don’t want you in my space you won’t be in it. Three, I OWE YOU NOTHING. Over the summer we spoke so much about how the blame of the world is given to women, but nothing is placed on the male perpetrator. I didn’t start viewing my home world in this light until I came home. “Men” feel so entitled to discuss what you are, what you will do, and what you won’t do because I know they still see women as a “property.”  It’s about time men learned that women aren’t your property. You won’t tell me what I will do and you have no control over what I do to my body. Wow. It’s so “funny” seeing these things now. I think truly I’ve always seen them, but now I speak on them. I’m ready for the future because here goes nothing…

Through Moxie I’ve found my voice, my power, and everything in between. I don’t know what I’ll do when I get back to Duke, but I’m thinking about it. I want to thank Ada & Shannan for being the BEST supervisors out there. Y’all are such positive & great women! I’m so happy I got to spend this summer getting to know you and I can’t wait for the future. If you’re thinking about applying for Moxie DO IT! It will be a hard 8 weeks, but it will be worth everything to see how you grow and become different. I see the world differently. I see myself differently. I wonder what else will happen?


Incompetence. I can attest to the fact that while at Duke this has become something I fear about myself daily. The questions ranging from: Can I do this? To the ever so recent When can I go home? Working at LESGC I have found a home. I have found so many great wonderful people, but alongside that, I’ve found insecurities I didn’t know I had. Working in an environment that is striving for the embitterment of a neighborhood is one of the main things that had drawn me to LESGC. Overall, I didn’t know how much pressure that was. Not LESGC specifically, but from my personal places. I’d somehow given myself this idea that everything had to be perfect and if I messed up one piece the entire project that we’d been working on would fly out of the window.                                                 (literal representation of how I felt)

For most of my time at LESGC I’ve felt nothing but positivity and possibility, but somehow when the times got tough over the last week in some ways more than others I caved. Through it all, I somehow found my footing and climbed out of the trenches that I had fallen into. I think for the most part that was when I figured out that I wasn’t incompetent I was just nervous. During my time in NYC, I’ve been working on this project to secure space and provide programming ideas for a new Community Wellness Center. This center will be such a vital place for people in the LES community and I’m so proud to be aiding its arrival. Upon aiding, I found myself letting the negative thoughts succumb to the things I knew to be true. Somewhere in the mix of focus groups, transcriptions,  and meetings, I lost myself in fear and thoughts of inadequacy. With all my fears it took a couple things to snap me back into reality:


  1. Moxie
    1. I will say it once, twice, a million times. These women are my biggest supporters here. I don’t know how Ada and Shannan knew that we would work well together, but dang they sure do know how to pick ‘em. Many times after talking about everything that was going on my fellow Moxies took time to check on me, make sure I was okay, and even offer help. Without their support and courage, I don’t think my “climb up” would have been so good.
  2. Ruthie G. Rochelle
    1. My Queen. My sole reason for what I do. My mommy. My mom is always there encouraging me, giving me bible verses, and praying for me. She knows when something is wrong, I don’t know how maybe it’s a mother thing? Throughout everything, she always has my back, and I love her so much. She pushed me to know that I’m capable, to know that I was chosen for a reason, to know that above all else she believed in me. Sometimes I think what we need with self-assurance is to have the idea that during our slightly dark times of self-doubt someone believes in us.


With those two things, I got back into the grind and finished the week strong. I have 3 more weeks in New York, and I want to “finish strong”. The reason I wrote this is because I know sometimes things can pile up and fear can harbor inside, but surround yourself with people who believe in you. You’ll be fine sweetheart. You’re amazing darling and don’t forget it!

Finding my group…

  • Comfort.

I love comfort.Truth is, we all do at Duke. At first, Duke is SO uncomfortable. O-week, everyone is going around asking the same thing: “What’s your name?” I think regardless of how that starts, everyone seems to seep into this pit of “similarity”. I love my friends. I love everything about them (lol yes that includes their messy tendencies). Something I came to understand is that friendships in Duke are very segregated in ways that I feel most of us are aware of i.e. by color, socioeconomic status, etc. Yes go ahead and gasp and look around like you had no idea, but the truth is most of us already know. Yes, I knew, but I wasn’t ashamed because comfort is something everyone should know. Comfort is an important part of mental well-being, especially somewhere like Duke.



Change has always been a demon in my opinion.

I never understood why I hated it SO MUCH. (I actually still do A LOT.) I finally figured out, sometime after moving for the first time, that my reason for hating change so much is because I hate discomfort even more. I think this is why while at Duke, I picked a community of people who caused me as much comfort as possible.


My Girls.

Realization. Or at least something along those lines. For most of my life, I’ve stayed in the same house, in the same city, with the same friends, going to the same places. Most could say my life was just very routine. As I spoke about earlier, I hate change, so I felt no need to do anything different. It wasn’t until Sophomore Fall that I got to the realization that I needed different surroundings. I didn’t understand how important it was to have yourself surrounded by different ideas and personalities. For the most part, I actively sought out people who were different from me i.e. those whose backgrounds weren’t necessarily the same or who looked the same as me. It worked lol! I met some amazing people who were very different from me. I broke out of my small bubble, right? Wrong. I still knew I was only myself truly around those who looked like me. I still knew I would only talk about my true thoughts and feelings with those who thought like me. Somehow after all that effort, I’d still keep myself in my little tunnel of comfort.



Bloop. That’s literally my first word about Moxie because everything that I thought to be true suddenly was changed. I became a Moxie during a really hard time in my life i.e. Organic Chemistry 2. I never expected myself to be sharing things, very personal things, with strangers who I didn’t know very well at all, except Destiny. It was so scary. Out of my comfort zone. Everything I had hated in my life. Then we somehow got to NYC,another change that I hated just as much at first. Slowly these people I’d just met became those I told some of my deepest secrets to. I’ve gotten to know some strong, beautiful, vibrant women who are completely different than me, and I’m comfortable. I feel like throughout this entire experience I’ve changed something that I’ve been so avoidant of. I guess what I have to say is change isn’t that bad, diverse friend groups are amazing, and these women are changing my world.

Self DISCOVERY in the City.

What was the moment when you knew you loved yourself? When did you figure out your dreams had become bigger and better? How did self-love become something that was desirable rather than selfish? Who was the first person to ever tell you that you could be strong too? I personally think that New York is a vast sea of differences. By this, I mean different people, cultures, cars, sidewalks, animals, personalities, and various other things. My whole life I’ve been searching for the woman I want to be, striving for the dreams that seem so far yet so close, hoping that one day looks on the street won’t mean as much to me. I think that throughout this time in New York I have learned some things about myself like confidence. I felt that for the longest time I was confident, but that mostly stems from my comfort in Durham/with my family and friends. This confidence allowed me to wear those scandalous shorts because thick thighs save lives. It allowed me to wear my arms out because regardless they’re beautiful.


I realized that my epicenter of comfort was shaken when I moved here. Between the loud noises and shoves on the sidewalk somehow my confidence had seeped into the pavement. Somehow I had let myself become meek, scared, afraid. I realized that I was afraid. Afraid that I had somehow become too fat for the public. Afraid that somehow I was no longer comfortable in my own skin and no matter how much I exercised, no matter how much I save pictures for self-confidence until I believed it there would never be an effect. Within my comfort, I have friends and family that reaffirmed my beauty, but in the most humble way, I need to be able to do that myself. I need to love myself, and when I start doing that then just maybe these shoulders, these streets, and everything here will be mine.

Then I proceeded to ask myself, “Bianca how do you think New York can help guide you to self-love?” I don’t think I got an answer, but I think maybe the people can help. I think maybe focusing on my goals and listening to the women who I work with could guide my path well.


At Lower East Side Girls Club, so many personalities, colors, outfits, styles, and just overall wonderful people are everywhere.  These women have so much confidence. They are strong, beautiful, vibrant women. I feel they radiate what I want to radiate. I think that self-discovery is very much coming to terms with who you are, and I think seeing women who are comfortable with themselves in the confines of the city can help.

The main reason I wrote this post wasn’t for myself, but for the women I see every day on the street. I don’t know who, if anyone, will read my words, but I want you to know that you’re beautiful. Whether you believe it at this moment, I know that this city has some beautiful people that can make you feel less than, but more than anything look within yourself to find love. I think that throughout my week here I have suffered a lot with loving myself, seeing myself as beautiful IN COMPARISON, but sis, we don’t have to compare ourselves to anyone.

You were made to be you and I was made to be me.

New York may have shaken me a little in the beginning, but this is where I will get some answers to my questions. This is where I will look within to discover who I am. This is where I will try to work harder on this whole confidence thing. 



Everything is fine…

Hey Y’all,
I’m Bianca, and this is the part where I am supposed to introduce myself.

Here we go! I am an upcoming Junior majoring in Psychology… I’m also Pre-Med, which means I love myself *note the sarcasm*.

Okay, to the main point of this all: I love people. All people, but specifically women. Women are so strong, we go through so much and are just so resilient. When picking something for the summer I wanted to do a program that didn’t necessarily just benefit me or my resume. I wanted to do something to help build bridges for women to have the resources and pathways they needed for success. After submitting my application for Duke Engage in NYC, I then got interviewed by Ada and Shannan, and they brought out pieces of my application that I thought would make me unqualified for this program i.e. my inexperience with nonprofits or my inexperience working with social justice, but somehow through my inexperience they picked me to work with this program and I couldn’t be more excited! 

I have always felt like social injustices were such an important aspect of my life for many reasons i.e. being a black woman and growing up in a small southern rural town, but with everything else on my plate, I kept pushing it to the back burner mostly out of fear of incompetence. I have grown up with this dual personality–one for home and one for the public. It wasn’t necessarily something my parents enforced as much as I did to be accepted in school and around town. I realized that with that I had neglected my beliefs and values. Upon arrival at Duke, I saw the route to a deeper understanding of what social justice meant and how I fit into that picture. This program has given me an avenue to explore feminism, to explore social justice through non-profits, and most of all to explore what it means to break barriers set up for girls of color.

There are many differences between rural Arkansas and New York City, but here are a couple things that I’ve noticed most:

1. I have no idea what Lower Eastside means… I’m from Southeast Arkansas we really only have towns.

2. I have no idea how to ride a subway or a city bus. Everyone drives in Arkansas.3. I love to cook, but the idea of surviving totally from my own cooking is SCARY.

4. I’ve never really lived in a city before which brings me to question will I even be able to sleep? (Because I can only sleep in total silence.) This is where I’ve really drawn a line: I love my sleep! So, I’ve already bought earplugs.

With all the things I don’t know, I am excited about the new city: new noises, new people, and new feelings. Oh, I almost forgot one more difference… life in the south is very slow. I walk like a snail, and word is that people in New York tend to walk “a mile a minute”. Will I be fine? Probably. Will I get pushed over? Probably. But like the title of this post says, everything is fine.