Friday Night Lights event a big success

By Melanie Ruberti

June 16, 2014

It was a packed house inside the gym at the Broad Street Church of Christ for the first ever Friday Night Lights event.

The event was hosted by Girl Power and Emerging Women, plus the Wesley Woodyard 16 Ways and the Elijah Kelley foundations, also known as the “Trifecta.” All three groups focus on promoting a safe and positive environment for children and teens in the area.

“We’re unifying the community through this family oriented event,” explained Denise Mosley, Executive Director of Girl Power and Emerging Women. “This is a montages of everyone coming out, showing force, unified for our youth. We’re showing that we’re all in this together.”

“I want to make someone laugh and happy tonight,” said Girl Power member, Ali Carter.

In addition to the three organizations, local merchants and institutions, like LaGrange College, also set up tables to show what kind of services and items they offer to children and their families. Throughout the night, entertainers hit the stage to showcase their talents through a variety of music, such as: gospel, rap, and pop. There was also a D.J., a variety of food and beverages, plus activities for the whole family. The event was emceed by Tika Sumpter, an actress on Tyler Perry’s hit TV show ” The Haves, and the Have Nots.”

“I hope people see we are working hard and trying to make an impact on the community,” said Iyanla Mosley, president and member of Girl Power and Emerging Women.

“This is a powerful movement and we’re here to make everyone feel welcome,” said GPEW member, Kristina Smith.

The event also served as a fundraiser for Girl Power and Emerging Women. Mosley said the organization is still getting off the ground and struggling financially.

“We’re still waiting on grants to come through,” Mosley explained. ” My hope as executive director …. is people see the extent and the breadth of how far we go and how involved we are in the community. We hope people will give back to Girl Power and Emerging Women …. and see the value of what we’re doing and the worth of the group in the community.”

In addition to providing a positive outlet for young women, the group also tackles the tough issues like bullying, self esteem issues, peer pressure, and much more. Mosley said they’ve taken in girls who are in foster care or have tried to harm themselves in the past, and given them a “home” with people who love them as they are and willing to listen.

“Some people walk in having a problem and we figure it out. Then they’re happy in their heart,” explained Girl Power member, Trinity Perkins.

It’s a love and sisterhood GPEW shared with the community Friday night, and hoped to continue in the future.

“I want Girl Power out in the community, so we can grow and expand,” said 15 year old Tiana Gates.

“I hope people recognize that we are more than just a group …. we are family,” added 16 year old Mya Russell.

If you’d like to learn more about Girl Power and Emerging Women, or make a donation, visit their website Or call them at 706-882-0950.