The Public Library will host a free open discussion for women on Saturday.
Sistah’s Chat gives women of all ethnicities the opportunity to share stories and discuss pressing issues. Topics will include race relations, violence, self-esteem, bullying and the images depicted by the media.
Mays will lead the discussion. Other participants include stylist Prince Torrence, speaker Natalie Newbill, the "fairy glam mother" DaNeitra Hall and Angelnetta Ulmer of the University of Tennessee. Author Deanna K. Burrell will participate and sign her new book, "Single Girl Summer," after the event.
According to Mays, the discussions are more relevant than ever.
"I have been talking with a few friends about some documentaries that came out, especially this year," she said. "They were about conversations that women and girls go through."
Mays hopes these discussions will help women understand they are not alone.
"I know how I felt as a little girl," she said. "I feel like to do this you have to be able to understand what they’re going through ... I experienced bullying as a young girl and even as an adult in pageants."
Having a trusted mentor is an important factor in dealing with issues that crop up in a young woman’s life, Mays said. Through these chats, she hopes to provide a possible outlet for girls to seek help.
"When teenagers are going through things, the last person they want to talk to is a parent," Mays said. "We’re really calling on people that call themselves leaders to step up."
Sistah's Chat is free and open to girls and young women of all cultural backgrounds.
Updated @ 9:22 a.m. on 9/24/13 to correct a factual error: Mays was the winner in 2005 and 2006, not 2009, as originally reported.
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