A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Parkdale introduces “Her Truth” club as safe space for female students

“Her Truth” is an all-girl creative writing club at Parkdale, where girls meet up to write, talk, and do activities in a safe environment.

The activities in the club are usually eye-opening activities that show participants that we all have relatable experiences but also different in our own ways.

“I truly love ‘Her Truth’. The activities are sometimes eye-opening,” said sophomore Stephanie Rodriguez-Lucero. “For example, there was the day we did an activity on privilege. There was also another activity with photoshop on women. It makes you conscious of the world we live in.”

The privilege activity was an eye-opener for many participants. The activity did not solely include discussion but interactive demonstrations, as well. 

Participants were asked a series of questions where they would take a step forward if they had experienced the situation. The questions asked were common that at least everyone can relate too, including “If you skipped a meal because there was nothing to eat at home”, “If your parents own a car”, “If your parents went to college”, and “If you had any disabilities”. 

It served as an eye-opener to many girls who either experienced this situations or learned their friends and classmates had.

“With the activities, I am truly able to express myself and have others learn more about me while learning more about them, which makes being there more comfortable for me,” said sophomore Precious Agary. “The club, in general, affects me positively because it’s a safe space for me, and I’m able to interact with people I didn’t know before and grow more fond of them.”

All of this couldn’t be done without the help of Shamari Pratt, the founder of  “Her Truth”. She had many struggles when trying to start the club, ranging from starting the non-profit club to being the one to start.

“I never had a true leadership position before starting Her Truth,” said Pratt. “I was literally the founder, the president, the person who organized events, who came up with activities — I was doing everything.”

Not only did she have problems with starting the groups, but she also had doubts about herself.

“Sometimes I wondered, how am I supposed to help these girls when I still struggle too?” said Pratt.  “But ultimately, I know everything takes time. I’m still learning how I can better help the girls in Her Truth.”

The environment of the club is a safe one, where no one judges each other and tries to help each other. The club is where students can not only write to express themselves but interact with each other, as well.

“I would say that everyone has something to bring to the club. I think everyone there enjoys attending the meetings,” said Rodriguez-Lucero. “I think we have all opened up more compared to the first meeting. We all are very respectful of one another.”

The club serves to empower young girls to feel that they are more than what everyone says. This club builds self-confidence and gives them a safe space to let them be themselves.

“I want them to feel confident in their own voices, to know that even though society has its limitations and its ways of trying to silence them, that their stories can reach so many people,” said Pratt. “And they are important, not just the act of telling their stories, but that their stories are important. Period.”