Thursday, September 23, 2010

Terica Talks YWTF—Atlanta Style

By: Lauren Zink
Name: Terica Dion Scott

Age: I’m 31 now. I founded the Atlanta chapter of YWTF at age 29.

Where do you live? I live in Gwinnett County, right outside of Atlanta, GA.

How long have you been involved in YWTF? Why did you join? I founded the Atlanta chapter in 2009, but I’ve became involved in Philadelphia in 2006. I got a whiff of the organization when I was invited to a meeting. I had the chance to meet Alison and other key players in the YWTF. It was the only group I saw for younger women by younger women leaders, and it taught me how to be engaged. It also gave me the opportunity to do so. In Atlanta, there was no chapter, so when I was asked to do it, I said yes. I didn’t know what I was getting into! It’s been a labor of love.

What’s your role in YWTF? I’m the Atlanta chapter director, the chief administrator, and a national liaison. I deal with the directors and programs, and I manage the overall operations of the chapter.

What is your profession? I’m a communications professional with 10 years of experience. Right now, I work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What other forms of activism are you involved in outside of YWTF? I’ve been trained by Georgia STAND-UP on civil leadership and engagement. I’ve worked with the Atlanta BeltLine and The White House Project, which is a group aiming to get women involved in public office. YWTF is my activism outlet. I’m proud of our work with advocacy, especially on the capitol, where we talked with Senators about how bills impact younger women.

What does the word feminism mean to you? Feminism is about women’s rights and access to things that we need to grow and thrive in our lives. It’s about access to information, programs, and events that engage women. Feminism is empowerment and cultivating opportunities. Without feminism, we wouldn’t have the right to vote. We wouldn’t even be citizens in this country. Now, more women are the heads of the household and earning more money than before, but we’re not leading as we should.
Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? If yes, how long have you thought of yourself as a feminist? Absolutely! I took a class in college on women’s issues, and it really helped me understand women in our society. It made me think, what can I do to promote younger women? And our chapter is a good way to do that.

What three issues do you care the most about? First, I would say women’s issues—mainly, leadership and empowerment. We need to grow as high as we can. It’s related to the economy, jobs, the cost of living; it’s all part of the pursuit of our needs. Violence against young women is also an issue I care very much about right now. The Atlanta chapter did a podcast on trafficking last month, so this is an issue we’re focusing on. I also think it’s important to promote women’s health. Young women have the highest contraction rate of AIDS in this country right now. Our health is our wealth.

Who is your shero? Why? I have a few. I have to say Susan L. Taylor, the former editor of Essence. She’s a fantastic inspiration to me. She’s a great leader, and she’s spiritually grounded. She also highlights women’s issues. I’d like to be remembered as Susan L. Taylor is: as a writer, a leader, and someone who connects souls to souls and people to people. Both Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey are also sheroes to me. Hillary is such a strong political leader. She is really breaking boundaries for women. And Oprah is just surreal. If I could do an ounce of what Oprah’s done, I’d be happy. Being involved in YWTF has really given me the opportunity to meet creative women; every one I meet offers me something inspirational.

What is your all-time favorite book and why? I’d have to say “The I Ching.” It’s a book of wisdom. Whenever you need insight into life, you can open that book.

What are your hobbies? Well, I like writing and creative things. I make jewelry, soaps, candles. I also play my son, who is a toddler now.

What are your top three favorite movies? The first one is “The Color Purple.” I love that movie. I’d also say “Million Dollar Baby.” I cried! She’s a fighter. She knew what she wanted, and she went for it. Last is “The Great Debaters.” It’s about a small debate team at a black college in Texas who competes against a prestigious school and wins. “The Great Debaters” is about living in a segregated town and overcoming obstacles. It’s based on a true story.