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Brown Girl Expo provides platform for women of color to showcase talent


Detroit senior Saceila Gonzalez, left, applies makeup on Detroit senior Jazmyn Williams, right, during the Brown Girl Expo on Sept. 28 in the Bovee University Center Gold Room.

Over 100 students flooded the Bovee University Center Gold Room Thursday, Sept. 28 for the Brown Girl Expo. 

Sponsored by registered student organization Phenomenal Brown Girl, the Brown Girl Expo featured a multitude of talent from women of color and allowed them to showcase what they have to offer to Central Michigan University’s campus.

 Among the bevy of talent and vendors were Extraordinaire Store, a hair company that provides healthy, human hair extensions that had exclusive CMU student discounts, and gave away several free packs of hair extensions to the public, as well as makeup artists like Dewy by Dej, whose purpose is to give a healthy, natural glow to the women of CMU. 

One of the popular vendors among students was TyJai’s Treat Bar, created by Detroit freshman TyJai Gribble, who had a variety of free samples of her baked goods, such as assorted dipped pretzels, cake pops, and Oreo and strawberry shortcake cupcakes.

Gribble started her business this summer because of her love of baking, and was excited to participate in an event like the Brown Girl Expo. 

“Being a part of the Brown Girl Expo was an amazing experience,” Gribble said. “It allowed me to get myself and my business out there to a great amount of students on campus.” 

Another student favorite was Project Jai Apparel, a clothing line that handcrafts hats, jeans, t-shirts and other apparel focusing on the distressed fashion style. Jaida Chanel Morgan, a sophomore from Southfield and the creator of Project Jai Apparel, is a member of Phenomenal Brown Girl who was quickly drawn into the idea of a Brown Girl Expo at one of the RSO’s meetings. 

“When the idea of the Brown Girl Expo was proposed, one of the members highly recommended that I should participate and showcase my apparel,” Morgan said. “This event was a great opportunity for me to meet a ton of people who genuinely love my clothes.” 

Detroit sophomore and rapper Marcus McCrear, who goes by the stage name Quari Banks, praised the Brown Girl Expo after attending. 

“The event was powerful, especially for the black community on campus,” McCrear said. “It’s so great to see these women showcase their talents and for our community to actually come together peacefully on this evening.” 

Sophomore Dominique Bazajou was a model for Mars Makeup and enjoyed the expo as well. 

“My roommate wanted me to help her promote her as a makeup artist, so of course I was willing to participate,” she said. “Overall, it was very pleasing to see so many great businesses and resources the campus has to offer.”