In today’s society, women, especially Black women and young girls are fed a microwaved view of how society wants them to be. This in turn has damped the self-confidence of many women and girls. They need to be reminded of their queenhood! This is what Empress Training does and I recently had a chance to interview the brains behind the brand, Destinee Porter.
Check out the interview below:
Can you please tell myself and the reader’s about yourself?
My name is Destinee Porter. I am 22 years old and I’m the CEO of Empress Training. I am currently an assistant teacher at Educational Childcare Center in Lansing, Michigan. Prior to that I was a Youth Advocate at Saint Vincent Children’s Home. I have worked with youth professionally for about four years, which is a passion I have an undying love for. I am currently enrolled in Lansing Community College and will be transferring to Western Michigan University in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s in social work.
Growing up and still to this day who or what inspires you?
I had a tough childhood growing up. I grew up without my father like a lot of young African-American children do, but I was also exposed to sex and sexual abuse at the age of five and because of that the suppressed abuse began to manifest during my teenage years. I began failing all my classes, acting promiscuously and I became extremely defiant. At that point, which was my freshman year in high school my family had made up in their minds that I was going to become a teen mom, a lot of them told me I would only be pretty; therefore, I needed to marry rich. They also said that I would only be community college material, if I even made it that far. I’m not sure if they said all those things to motivate me but I felt in my heart that, that’s how they honestly felt and ever since my junior year in high school I was determined to prove to my family that it was wrong to write me off because I would be successful. That is still my inspiration to this day.
What influenced you to start the empress training program?
Well, at one point in time I had been a huge fan of the show, Bad Girl’s Club but as I got older I began to find it disturbing to my spirit. I remember one day in 2014 I had fallen asleep and the show happened to come on television. I could hear the women arguing and fighting while I was asleep and when I woke up I began crying. I didn’t know where the tears had come from because it was unlike me to cry about something that did not concern me directly. There was a heaviness on my heart that I had never felt until that day, and I did not feel again until 2016 when three unarmed Black men were killed by police officers within 24 hours, which at the time seemed to be rare. When I cried that day, I had this overwhelming maternal sense that felt those men and all Black men and women needed to be protected…by me. I know it sounds grandiose but that’s when I knew it was time for me to do something by educating my people to become aware of who they once were and who they can be so they could understand why we were and still are under attack.
Can you share with us what empress training is?
Empress Training is a course of classes for young African American women ages of 14 to 17, designed to enlighten, instruct and mold young ladies veering them back to their Queenship through the embrace of their femininity and the display of knowledge and grace. To achieve this goal my team and I have constructed a curriculum that educates these young women about:
- African Queens and their true lineage
- The misconceptions of Black women and femininity
- Learning what successful co-ed relationships look like
- The psychological effects of slavery and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
- The importance of melanin and it’s mental and physical contributions
- African holistic approaches to cure illnesses
- Unity among light- skinned and dark-skinned women
- Police brutality and the basic functions of the justice system
- Black wall street and African American’s economic contributions
- How to obtain financial stability
“What is Empress Training?” • • • • • • #empowerment ##education #knowledge #grace #feminity #youth #purpose #divinity #ancestors #culture #spirituality #love #unity #happiness #poise #girlpower #blackgirlsrock #blackgirlmagic #awesomeness #hope #generations
A post shared by Empress Training (@empresstraining) on Nov 6, 2017 at 10:37am PST
What are some of the benefits that will be provided to these young ladies?
At the end of the course we provide a Crowning Ceremony. The Crowning Ceremony is a celebration awarded to the girls for successfully completing the class. They will receive a certificate of completion with the title Queen, Duchess, Princess or Empress. They are also awarded crowns to embrace and solidify that they have stepped into their royalty, as well as gift baskets full of Afrocentric products and attire to promote the importance of supporting Black business. Most importantly they will benefit by thoroughly understanding their historical identity, which will help them navigate through life understanding how great they have the potential to be.
How do you enroll and what are the guidelines of becoming apart of the training?
We currently provide this class to the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing, so the only requirement is that the girls are members of that Community Center. Within the next year we wish to branch out into other rec centers.
The next training is this summer, so when is the deadline?
Our deadline will be June 25. Our classes begin June 18, but we give a one-week grace period so if necessary they can catch up on the session that was missed.
How long are these course the girls will participate in?The course lasts for nine weeks and the tenth week is the ceremony.
Any wise words of wisdom you would like to offer us millennials?
Do not betray our youth by not investing in educating them about their history. The youth are our future. I believe a great deal of millennials focus on getting the elders on board with what we’re doing but it’s about teaching our children. History shows that in order to condition a group of people to think a certain way most of the adults and seniors were removed and the youth were left because they were the most impressionable and easiest to teach. So, if we can train the youth to think like revolutionaries from the moment that they are teachable, then we can remove the generational and psychological curses that they face today.
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