Tahlayah Morrow said she remembers feeling homesick when she first arrived in the state of Ohio.
It wasn’t until she began attending the Society of Sisters, a student organization focused on building community among black women on campus, that she began to feel like herself again.
Morrow, a fifth-year psychology and fashion major and president of the club, said the organization not only strives to encourage the personal, social and professional development of women of color on campus, but also promotes a strong sense of of brotherhood.
“Being able to create that kind of feeling for someone else from what I learned from having an older sister – we’ve had enough in this world that’s going against us, and we don’t need us do this to each other,” Morrow said. “My mission is to house the brotherhood and be almost like a big sister to others.”
Morrow said many people of color on campus, especially first-generation students, struggle to make the transition to a large, predominantly white university.
“Finding your place can be tough — adjusting to a campus like this can be tough, and I know that from experience as a transfer from a secondary campus,” Morrow said.
In addition to her normal activities, Morrow said the Society of Sisters launched a program designed to help women on campus who were struggling to adjust to school despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Jasmine Feller, a fourth-year English student and morality chair for the Society of Sisters, said she had never felt more welcome anywhere on campus than when she first met the organization.
“Sisterhood is about building a place on campus where young black women feel like they have a safe place,” Feller said.
Feller said she feels she’s also had an impact through the organization’s mentorship program — where older students mentor younger students.
“We hang out, we talk about what’s going on in his life, how the semester is going, what I can do to help him feel more empowered and more comfortable on this campus, and then we do these things together, so she knows she has a safe place,” Feller said.