80 women spend their Valentine’s weekend getting married


HELLO Women, a non-profit organization, hosted The Wait: What It Really Means to D.A.T.E., on Saturday at Truth Gatherers Community Church.

What was simply used as a formal greeting turned into a movement to empower women.

HELLO Women, an abbreviation for Honoring, Empowering, Leading and Loving Other women was established November 2015 and made its debut Jan. 30, 2016. The organization strives to change the way the world sees women by changing the way they see each other.

HELLO Women’s first event of the year was held for girls and women ages 15 and up, to discuss waiting on a mate and what it means to properly DATE (Damage Control, Appearance, Time and Expectation).

Onyx Frederick, founder of HELLO Women, explained the reason behind The Wait and how it came about.

“I was on Instagram as always, just scrolling and scrolling and I encountered The Wait, which is the book written by Megan Good and Devon Franklin. I began to just look at their page and look at her story,” Frederick said.

Frederick said she was inspired by Meagan Good’s journey in finding her husband.

“Just to look and see how happy she was and to see her grow and not have it all together in the beginning, but to now become the woman she is now, I’m like ‘okay, The Wait’,” Frederick said.

Frederick explained that many Christian women are told to remain sexually pure, but do not know what to do while they wait.

Frederick said she and her husband waited.  They did not engage in sexual activities before marriage. Although it was hard for her, she desired to do it God’s way.

“I wanted to use my story to encourage other women to wait,” Frederick said.   

The event began with a networking mixer, opening prayer, musical selection by Johnette Bryant and an open discussion.

Various speakers broke down the acronym DATE and what it essentially means.

“Damage Control,” means dealing with everything that has happened in the past. “Appearance” pertains to wearing clothing that does not attract sexual attention. “Time,” means remaining occupied and “Expectations” means setting expectations for the man that they want.

Markeeshah St. Fort, a second-year FAMU biology student, expressed the importance of attending events that are geared toward courtship.

“I love events like this. I love events where they pressure women to get closer to God and to wait on their mate and that is something I am inspired to do,” St. Fort said. “I have been thinking about how I would like to be courted and the different principles of courting. This event clarified it for me.”

Women were given candy rings from Frederick as a proposal. Those who accepted the proposal, made a vow to learn how to love themselves until God sends them a mate.

Stacy Mortimer, fourth-year FAMU biology pre-dentistry student expressed the importance of empowering young women today.

“Everyday on television, there’s reality TV shows that show depictions of women that we are not,” Mortimer said. “I think they need more role models. We have Michelle Obama, of course, but we need more of those powerful black women out there.”

For more information about HELLO Women, visit www.iamhellowomen.com