The Power Within

Join Dr. Culbreth and guests, Dr. Meghna Bhat and Ms. Alicia Thompson, authors and contributors to “Our Voices Our Stories: An Anthology of Writings Advancing, Celebrating, Embracing and Empowering Girls and Women of Color,” for “The Power Within, Episode 4 of the “Our Voices Our Stories Mini-Series.” This episode will focus on the empowerment of girls and women of color personally, academically and professionally. Topics will include how we can empower girls and women of color psychologically, emotionally, physically and socially.

Additional discussion topics will include realizing the power within, self-esteem, self-love, self-identity, self-respect and self-pride, colorism, race,  hair, body image, inner beauty, words of wisdom, self-validation, on being original, defining yourself for yourself, standards of beauty, setting high standards and expectations among other topics.  The episode will also focus on how women of color can inspire, set examples and empower girls and teens of color and the development of coping strategies to deal with race, color and disparate treatment issues.

Monday, March 25, 2019 at 8:00 PM EST

on Complexity Talk Radio, Inc.’s  program:  Visibility

Listen Live:  The Power Within


Ms. Alicia Thompson

 Is an international thespian and writer from Jamaica.  She is the founder of Artistry is Ministry (AIM) and known for customized performances of one woman shows and folklore.  Alicia uses artistry to uplift and impact girls and young women to help them deal with issues such as self-image, self-worth and self-realization.  She is an alumni of the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), Parents Supporting Excellence in Education (SEE), and a past recipient of the Bridgeport Parent Leadership Award.

Submission: “Words of Wisdom from Mother Wise on Beauty and Self-acceptance.”

Dr. Meghna Bhat

Dr. Bhat holds a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law, and Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a specialization in Gender and Women Studies. She is a proud South Asian woman and first-generation immigrant from India, and her experiences growing up in India and having lived in the US for 14 years motivated her to become an outspoken advocate for gender equality. Meghna currently lives in Sacramento, CA and is an independent consultant, scholar, speaker, and volunteer.

Submission: “My Experiences with Colorism as a South Asian Immigrant Woman:  How I Learned to Celebrate and Embrace my Skin Color.”

About Our Voices Our Stories Mini Series

The Our Voices Our Stories Mini Series consists of five episodes presented in celebration of the publication of the National Girls and Women of Color Council, Inc.’s anthology: Our Voices Our Stories: An Anthology of Writings Advancing, Celebrating, Embracing and Empowering Girls and Women of Color and in celebration of Women’s History Month.


Orders for Our Voices Our Stories: An Anthology of Writings Advancing, Celebrating, Embracing and Empowering Girls and Women of Color will be accepted beginning on March 27, 2019 via the website of the National Girls and Women of Color Council, Inc. and books will be shipped in April.


Link to Listen Live:The Power Within 

You Are Beautiful: Conversations With Our Daughters

Talking to our daughters about their psychological, emotional, physical and social well-being and growth is crucial as they grow and mature into young women. These conversations help to build a strong sense of self, self-worth and individuality.  In light of the plethora of issues that girls of color experience involving their self-love, self-esteem, self-identity, self-respect and self-pride, it is important for mothers, guardians and other family members to talk openly, honestly, and in-depth to their daughters about living life beautiful and the Foundation of Beautiful Elements. Topics will also include guidance, support, nurturing, love, education, bullying, boys, and goals among other topics.

Join Dr. Culbreth, Dr. Julie Jung-Kim and Dr. Audrey E. Kerr for You Are Beautiful: Conversations With Our Daughters.

Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 8:00 pm EST

Complexity Talk Radio – Complexity Live

Listener Line:  914-338-1308

Call in to ask questions, share or comment!


Link to the episode:

Listen live at the above link

Celebrating Girls of Color

Girls of Color Living Life Beautiful!


(Originally published in All This Goodness)

Living in a society that does not always embrace the beautiful hues of brown and dark skin tones, girls of color experience issues that affect them psychologically, which can leave scars that can last a lifetime.  I am the founder of the Intraracial Colorism Project, Inc., a project designed to study colorism and develop strategies to eventually eradicate colorism in society. Colorism involves distinctions based on skin color (light, medium and dark) and results in the favorable or unfavorable treatment of individuals based on the lightness or darkness of their skin color. With its foundation deeply rooted in white superiority, white supremacy, white privilege, racism, prejudice and stereotypes, colorism is complex in nature, occurs interracially and intraracially and is detrimental to the psychological well-being of victims. When those victims are girls, pre-teens and teens of color, especially those possessing brown and dark skin, the psychological effects can result in low self-love, self-esteem, self-respect, self-identity, and self-pride.

Through research, conversations and interviews, I discovered that girls of color were really suffering from various issues that continued to lead back to the color of their skin. A colleague shared an experience involving a dark skinned little girl who continued to scratch her leg until it began to look ashy white. When asked if her leg itched or if she wanted to apply lotion, the child responded no. When she was asked why she continued to scratch her leg, she responded that when she scratched her leg, it did not “look black”. Another heartbreaking story involved a little girl who believed that by possessing light skin, the boys would “like” her.


Both stories demonstrate how skin color issues affect children of color. The little girls in the above scenarios did not like the color of their skin and believed that their skin would look better ashy white and light as opposed to being dark. Not only did the stories blow me away, they made me think about how society really does not embrace little girls of color who possess dark skin, especially Black girls. If I had been the teacher of the girl scratching her leg, of course I would have told the child that her skin was beautiful, given her lotion, and of course discussed the issue with her parents. I wondered if her parents were even aware of the fact that she did not like the color of her skin and whether someone had made a negative comment about her skin color.

Colorism occurs consciously and unconsciously. It is possible that a family member, another child, or adult made a negative comment about the child’s skin color without realizing the detrimental psychological effect on the well-being of the child, leading her to believe that something was wrong with the color of her skin. I also wondered if the child had an issue with her skin color because of the fact that she could not identify with characters on television commercials and shows because no one looked like her. Therefore, she could not identify with any degree of comfort. I began watching television commercials and noted that I did not see any dark skinned girls, pre-teens or teens and I became concerned.

We live in a society that embraces Eurocentric phenotypes as the standard by which beauty is measured, where Afrocentric features are not celebrated or embraced equally. Considering the racial composition in this country, we need to begin embracing not only the diverse brown skin colors but dark skin colors of children of color. General Mills recently launched commercials that included mixed race families (Cheerios and Pillsbury) and they should be applauded. However, we have yet to see commercials that embrace darker skinned children of color. Dark skinned children need to and must be celebrated and represented equally. I do believe that by embracing and celebrating darker skinned children of color, we will see more children being proud to possess dark skin. We may even see a decrease in issues involving children believing that their dark skin is not pretty because they will see people who look like them and with whom they can identify.


The skin color discussion should begin at home with parents instilling positive self-love, self-esteem, self-identity, self-pride and self-respect. In the classroom, teachers should be trained to deal with skin color issues, and in the community, programs and activities.

As I continued talking to parents and girls, pre-teens and teens of color, I realized that there was a need to address the skin color issues affecting girls possessing brown and dark skin. We needed to celebrate beautiful girls of color. A few months later, I created I Am Beautiful-ICP.


The mission of I Am Beautiful-ICP  is to encourage girls of color to embrace and love the color of their skin; to embrace and practice the foundation of BEAUTIFUL elements, self-Love, self-respect, self-esteem, self-identity, and self-pride; and to live BEAUTIFUL everyday all day by being balanced, empowered, achievers, unique, tenacious, inspired, fascinating, uplifting and loving.

BEAUTIFUL girls of color are:

Balanced in their daily routines, eating healthy meals, exercising, studying hard and being empowered

Empowered to be the best and reach for the stars in all that they set out to achieve

Achievers in school, at home, and in their daily routines. Through hard work, good choices and determination, they achieve their goals one step at a time in a unique way.

Unique in their style of dress, hair style, personality, dream big dreams and, set out to turn them into reality.

Tenacious in their style and are not easily pressured to agree with the crowd.

Inspired to reach higher ground in life. They are motivated to be the best that they can be in all that they do

Fascinating to everyone by exhibiting determination, high self-love, self-respect, self-esteem, self-identity, and self-pride. They make a difference and lead by example

Uplifting to everyone around them. By radiating positive energy, they inspire others around them.

Loving by sharing, giving, and embracing all people regardless of the color of their skin, race, ethnicity or differences because they are Beautiful!

I believe in empowering girls, pre-teens and teens of color to reach higher ground in life by encouraging them to embrace being beautiful on the inside and outside; the importance of positive thought processes; to live life beautiful by focusing on self-love, self-respect, self-esteem, self-identity, self-pride; to dream in color; and to believe in themselves.

blk grl2

The most important focus for girls of color is to believe with every fiber of their being that the color of their skin is not a determining factor of what they can or will achieve in life. It is the choices made now, the right choices, that determine the difference later. Accordingly, choosing to live life beautiful is a choice that can begin building the foundation for life-long learning about being BEAUTIFUL (Balanced, Empowered, Achievers, Unique, Tenacious, Inspired, Fascinating, Uplifting and Loving).

As educators, friends, guardians, mentors, parents, siblings, and other family members, we are accountable and responsible to make sure that we talk to girls, pre-teens and teens of color and encourage them to love the color of their skin, instill positive self-esteem, self-love, self-identity, self-respect and self-pride, and encourage them to live life beautiful everyday all day.

I believe that I Am Beautiful-ICP is the change that is needed to help children, pre-teens and teens of color embrace BEAUTIFUL on the inside and outside.

Continued Success!

Dr. Donnamaria Culbreth
I Am Beautiful-ICP & The Intraracial Colorism Project, Inc