Women & Gender Studies; Cultural Equity and Social Justice; Unified Educational Standards; Global reform for the treatment of girls.
Mrs. Valencia K. Long is a social entrepreneur, professor, mentor, dedicated advocate and champion for girls and young women – she believes in encouraging women to acknowledge and harness their power, thrive in confidence and develop a voice unafraid to speak up and speak out. Grounded with the conviction to speak honestly; integrity and self-respect are the core standards she leads with and seeks to instill in others.
Her life's work and mission are to ensure that all Girls and Women are educated and that they seek to reinvest their unique strengths into their respective communities. This inescapable calling cultivated by her professional career and unique exposure in the Fashion & Beauty industries is what propelled her to found, MissFancyPants, Inc., - a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower girls and young women to embrace their natural beauty, celebrate their talent and cultivate positive esteem and respect for self and others. For over a decade, Valencia has developed an evolving fashion, arts, fitness and leadership based curriculum with a reach that has directly impacted over 2,000 girls and women globally and has operated successful programs at numerous institutions that include: The YMCA, The Boys and Girls Club, The Reston Teen Center and James Madison University.
Mrs. Long is bold, spirited, giving, and always striving to be aware of how she can continue to harness her skills to positively impact the spaces she occupies in a progressive way. She enjoys creative problem solving and further credits her ability to approach challenges with an inclusive view, to her graduate degree; her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies has set a profound foundation for the trails she will blaze.
The core focus of her research and academic scholarship is rooted in the exploration and impact of beauty [as a concept], the profundity of generational silence and their direct correlation to female self-esteem across cultures.
Deeply inspired by her service as an expatriate in Niger, West Africa; where she taught K-12 at an international missionary school and worked directly with female led micro-businesses. She continues her academic research and advocacy for women and is presently developing a documentary that explores and amplifies the conversation of Generational Beauty and the power shared narratives have on the lived experiences of girls and women. This scholarship continues to influence her work in the field and her continued development of future programs.
In 2017, she was honored with the ‘Best Graduate Student Project’ award and in 2019, honored as a ‘Distinguished Alumni’ both presented from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Department of Women and Gender Studies.
AFAM 390: 'The Voice of Black Women'
OVERVIEW + PURPOSE
Her approach to this course explores the beauty and irony of the silence, erasure, misappropriation and prominence of The Black Female Voice.
A considerable amount of time is devoted to analyzing prominent Black Feminist voices, their interrogation, personal explanations and theories on [being] silence[d]. In doing so, the goal is to use Black Feminist theories as a framework for understanding social inequalities, the perpetuation of silence as a tool in the marketplace and how it has and continues to impact generations.
Coupled with the expectation that you dare to use your own voice, AFAM 390 is designed to confront, celebrate and interrogate the silencing of The Black women’s voice throughout history, across industries and within.
Be prepared to speak up, fill in the blanks and examine your “why”. How will you continue to exercise your right to remain silent?
“My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you”. -Audre Lorde
She received her B.A. in Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Dance & Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She then continued her education in pursuit of her MPA at The Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus) before a chance encounter with the dynamic faculty of The Women and Gender Studies Department here at George Mason University; that encounter changed the entire trajectory of her academic career. She went on to complete her Masters of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies .