Black Diamonds is a Northeast Ohio group of empowered women collaborating between educational institutions and community organizations. They are corporate partners and individuals that bring unity and development amongst African American women and girls. Each series helps give access to useful information and resources. Emotional success, emotional well-being, social justice, and financial stability are the primary focus. These ongoing programs help support women and create a safe space for them to connect.During the pandemic, BlackDiamonds has helped college students by reaching out to participants via webinars and e-newsletters. Their webinars have been geared towards the issues that are prevalent during the pandemic. Discussing social justice, mental health, and how to “hit the reset” button. This reset might entail a new career, rebounding after a semester, or coping with the death of a loved one.The sessions are hosted with Black women counselors and therapists to address mental health stressors, self-care, and resources available in the community.
Danasia Holliday, Tri-C Student and Black Diamonds intern says “Black Diamonds did impact my outlook at life in general. Black Diamonds are about uplifting Black girls and women and providing them information and resources that we don’t always have easy access to. It made me realize that this organization is well needed due to how many questions people have and how they leave sessions feeling good that their questions were answered”.
During the pandemic, many college students may need advice but are reluctant to ask for help when having a hard time trying to balance their mental, emotional, and well-being. Linda Lanier, Co-Chair, Black Diamonds Women Initiative says, “Connection is key, stay connected to friends, call more than text. If they have a mentor–make contact and ask for a FaceTime, Zoom, orWebEx meeting, get out-doors to take walks-even if they are only to the corner. Taking classes synchronously is great also it gives you a reason to comb your hair and put on your face.Volunteer at food banks, salvation army places that need help getting help to others. Listen to upbeat music–music is a lifter of spirit. Eat fruits and less fried food. Join a zoom zumba, line dance, or party. Counselors are available if they need professional assistance”.