Tasha Prosper may be new to the HWS campus, but her work as a staff psychologist at the Colleges’ Counseling Center has already created an impact. At the start of the fall semester, Prosper founded the HWS Sister Circle group for female students of color.
Sister Circle is a support group where participants can bring experiences to share, unpack and discuss; those who share can expect to have their needs met, whether that’s through “feedback or just to be heard and get support” from others, Prosper says.
“There is a contagious kind of joy that happens when we connect with others in this way,” explains Prosper. “What I’ve learned is that there is a universality of the human condition expressed in group format. It’s almost like we need an excuse to express our compassion and our love.”
Although all therapy groups on campus are open to all students, Prosper notes many students of color experience difficulty opening up in such groups, because there is the potential for being misunderstood or invalidated. Sister Circle offers an opportunity for students of color to feel more comfortable speaking and processing experiences with race.
“As a woman of color who went to a predominately-white institution, I knew what it felt like to not have a space and voice,” she says. “So it’s important to me that I give back wherever I go, because I know that there’s a need from lived experience.”
In her previous post as a counselor at Barnard College, Prosper created a Sister Circle group there and is proud that the group continues to thrive.
“There are places that are thirsty for community, and as human beings, we are always searching for places to connect and be closer,” she reflects. “This group provides that experience in a meaningful way.”
Prosper says she looks forward to growing the group during the spring semester and using holidays like Valentine’s Day to practice self-love and resilience strategies. The group has the potential to change the entire campus culture “because when you have self-love, it is easier to give and get love from others. So the whole community wins in the end,” Prosper says.
To get involved, students should contact Tasha Prosper at email@example.com or the Office of Intercultural Affairs at IC@hws.edu to confirm meeting times for the spring semester. Meetings are typically in the evening, and students are free to come late or leave early as best fits their schedules.