Tula B. Strong, a Liberian-American performance artist, joins Melissa on the mic for our Everyday Woman Series. Tula was raised by a single mother who immigrated to the United States after fleeing Liberia during the midst of the Liberian Civil War. Tula's mother, a refugee woman who lost everything, raised her children to value education as one of the few things that could never be taken away from them. Tula took her mother's words to heart and went on to attend Princeton University, on a full-ride scholarship program, fresh out of high-school! While at Princeton, Tula discovered her love for dance and choreography. Today, Tula is working on one of the biggest projects of her life, a 3-day dance and music experience called TESTIMONY that centers around a community of Afro-Diasporic women and their journeys of trauma, healing, and faith.
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In this episode, we talk about:
- Tula's mother and her experience of fleeing Liberia as a refugee
- The importance of education in Tula's household
- Growing up in a low income family and getting accepted into two of the best Ivy League schools on earth
- Being a student of color at Princeton and not fitting in with the "mainstream"
- Advocating for BIPOC people on campus
- TESTIMONY, Tula's 3-day dance and music experience premiering during women's history month in 2022
- Tula's relationship with God and how she intertwines spirituality with dance
- Healing her relationship with religion after discovering a church community full of young creatives
- The meaning of Sisterhood
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