Augustana College hosts 5th annual Shades of Beauty Summit
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Augustana College is honoring women in the Quad Cities by holding a space for women making a difference in their community.
The Shades of Beauty Summit was held at the Gerber Center Sunday afternoon, with a theme of ‘Brunch and Bloom.’
The summit began with a mid-morning brunch, before a panel discussion featuring a couple of Augustana professors and Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati.
“I think at it’s core what this phrase to bloom where you’re planted means recognizing the space and time you’re in, and growing into who you are,” Rayapati said.
Rayapati goes on to discuss how she had to swap paths on a couple of occasions during her studies, starting as a nursing major yet switching into music after three years, later finding another path in politics becoming the first African American woman as Moline’s mayor.
Stories like Rayapati’s is what prompted the founder of Shades of Beauty, Ashley Allen, to start holding this discussion in the Quad Cities.
“Every year it gets harder to top it off, but I will say we’ve had over 200 women attend our events every single year,” Allen said. “This shows what’s needed here on our campus, but also a space for us to just take time and just be and be women and be empowered by other women.”
One of the many students in attendance was Mackenzie Lauridsen, an Augustana freshman who resonated with the message of the discussion.
“It’s really inspiring that this message is getting brought out to this many people and that we’re doing something like this,” Lauridsen said.
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