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A History


[pic of founders]



It all began on a Saturday night during winter of 2000. Four young women- Alana Below, Candace Brooks, Cenée Dawkins, and Carmel Pryor- in their freshmen year at Ohio University had gone to Wendy's after a Baker Party. Carmel mentioned how the African American women on campus weren't as close as the men.  Everyone started commenting on that, especially on the divide between the older women and the freshmen. They were eager to figure out why this was and come up with a solution to improve the situation. They realized, as far to their knowledge, there really wasn't an organization on campus for African American women, or minority women for that matter. Talking about this observation brought on the idea that if there was a positive organization bringing minority women together, then positive interaction between minority women would establish a sense of unity among them. And thus, the idea for an organization that would be later known as Unified Sisters was born.

Although there was a discussion group, mind-body and soul, at the time for African American women, it was not a student organization.  The four young women strongly felt it was important to have a student organization for minority women as a whole because, as Alana mentioned, “we are all coping with the double-victimization of racism and sexism.”  They also wanted to educate college women on learning to be strong capable women after college.

Alana started looking up information about how to start a new organization on campus and information about drafting a constitution and presented this information to the other three. The very first thing they did was talk to Dr. Janice Edwards, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at that time.  Dr. Edwards gave them advice on what should be done get the organization started.  The four young women soon found out about another group of women who also saw the lack of unity between African American women on campus. They had also thought to start an organization in response to this dilemma, but couldn't see it through because they were graduating that year. The group headed by Tiffany Boles and some of her friends had presented the idea to Kellea Tibbs, a Resident Director, who became very enthusiastic about the idea, having been familiar with this type of organization. Alana, Candace, Cenée, and Carmel went to talk to Kellea and Tiffany about their idea and how they could help each other out.  There was already a constitution in the works, so it was passed down to Alana, Candace, Cenée, and Carmel for them to use as a guide, a blueprint for their own. Once they knew what to do, they started to get to work.  Kellea agreed to be their advisor, so the university could take the women seriously about their new organization.  Kellea helped them stay realistic while drafting the constitution. 

They talk to the group of women with their similar idea getting advice and ideas from them.  SAAB (Students of African-American Brotherhood) was also consulted for advice.  Although it was never meant to be a sister organization to SAAB, the ladies saw similarities between the two groups and really benefited from the advice they received from them.  By spring quarter, their baby was ready to be introduced to the campus of OU as Unified Sisters. The purpose of Unified Sisters: to bring unity to the minority women of the campus so they can help each other learn and grow with the new and unpredictable world around them.


Special Thanks from the founders of Unified Sisters goes to:

Kellea Tibbs for her time and effort

Tiffany Boles for the dedication and being the epitome of an awesome sister

Dr. Janice Edwards for guidance

SAAB for their words of encouragement and for being exemplary

For all the appointed leaders for the year 2001-2002, who made the first year a great one. That year surpassed what anyone expected of Unified Sisters and makes us proud to be a co-founder.