“We empower each other to empower one another.” This is the motto of the Shine Conference 2018. This is possible to do through tribes. We all have a tribe. Those who surround us. Those who care about us. Those we can rely on for anything. These people are our tribe. On Friday March 9th, 2018, the Shine Conference was held in the Denver First Church. This conference is for girls and young women from the ages of 8 to 18 years old. At the conference, the girls are taught that they are made to shine and they must rely on their tribe to do so. This conference has a similar message to International Women’s Day. Women have the power to do what they want and all they need is their tribe to back them up. Paralympian Lacey Henderson said it best: “We all need backup.” In her speech, she talked about how she always looked up to Beyonce and wanted to be like her. She wondering how she could be so strong alone. Then she realized that Beyonce had her entire backstage crew to help her. That is Beyonce’s tribe. Henderson realized that if Beyonce needed help, then we all do. Throughout the day, there were different classes in which strong women spoke to the attendees. Some of these classes consisted of cancer survivors, social media experts, and girls in college. The classes were designed to inspire those who attended to stand up and shine bright. They are also taught to lift each other up instead of tearing each other down, like society has shown us is normal. “I believe that it is important to lift each other up because girls are taught that if someone is prettier or smarter or overall better than them that we should be jealous” junior Maria Zavaras explained. “Instead, we should be complimenting each other to make each other feel better because we don’t know what the other person is going through and they might be thinking the same thing about you." The idea of a tribe expands outside of women in the human race. The girls of the conference talked about the female elephants. When a baby is born the females of the tribe surround the mother and child and kick up dirty to protect them and warn off predators. The speakers’ goal was to inspire girls to be like the elephants. However, males can be a part of a tribe as well. Sports teams can be a tribe, teachers, friends, family, everyone. Your tribe could be people of your choosing or those who happen to fall into your life. You must protect your tribe. At Chaparral, the Chap Fam is your tribe. They must be protected so they don’t fall. After all, no one can do much alone. Singer Ali Stroker described it best, with the help of her tribe, “if I wanted it, I could create it”. We can do anything we put our minds to with a little help from those around you.
Story by Paige Wiebelhaus