"Like did you guys have to..."
They help us deepen our understanding.
"She asked me for help."
For Dr. Plashan McCune, it was a series of questions she heard year-round from young African-American women. About representation:
"'Are you coming to work here? Because we don’t have any black people working here.'"
About mental health:
"'Can you give me therapy?’"
But the question that changed everything, for Dr. McCune…
"Actually one of the questions that broke my heart, but also told me I needed to do this was 'How do you define love?' (chokes up) That’s what one of the young ladies asked me. 'How do you define love?' And I just started crying. Who asks you that? Who doesn’t know the answer to that? So..."
It inspired, this:
"Doors will begin to open for all of you."
The first ever African-American Young Ladies Summit in Denver Public Schools.
"And we need space like this! We need a space to be with someone who looks like us. Who we know understands our lived experience, and who will listen to us and who will also talk to us."
Mentors from across the city – educators, doctors, senators - who have been there, too.
"Looking back, I'm very glad I didn't give up."
It’s for students like Darjae Jackson,
"We need more support."
a student at East High School.
"For one, we’re already a minority being African-American. And then we're again a minority being women. We just need more support from the community and each other as well."
It’s inspired her to someday become a psychologist.
"(To) have people have that one feeling that I felt. Because it's a very rare feeling to be able to talk to somebody that is the same as you and that feels like you."
"And so this is about connecting young ladies to feel that. Someone who’s going to hope for them, hope with them, trust them and teach them how to trust themselves and to be in relationship."
Something every, student, needs.
"Well, I hope they feel loved."
And after this day, something that’s no longer in question.
"It’s just such a great feeling to see everyone just coming together, everyone that looks like me just loving each other and being comfortable with each other and looking at our futures because they’re so bright."
For DPS Features, I’m Ben McKee.