Who, What, and Why? – Carlie Russell

My name is Carlie Russell, and I’m very excited to introduce you to the I AM THAT GIRL at UT (IATGUT) blog!

First, I want to introduce you to this organization. The I AM THAT GIRL website describes this community as a movement inspiring girls to love, express, and be exactly who they are. I love this concept, and feel that girls, especially here at UT, really need an open forum where they can articulate their exact thoughts, without fear of being judged and ridiculed. We plan on using IATGUT as a platform for interpreting ideas and self in collaboration with girls who don’t share the same opinions and beliefs. The goal is to create an open conversation, wherein many different perceptions can be shared.

Who is THAT GIRL, you ask? THAT GIRL is the girl we all aspire to be… When you say “I AM THAT GIRL”, it’s a phrase of empowerment. You’re exuding self confidence, and you are accepting yourself, including all of your flaws.

I came across IATG through The Skimm, a daily, condensed newsletter. Being the curious person that I am, I investigated further, and was introduced to an amazing organization filled with inspiring women that want to instill hope and love into others. From the moment I began reading about their mission, I was hooked, and knew that UT absolutely needed a branch.

I spent all summer organizing and planning, creating an image and idea for IATGUT. In collaboration with IATGUT’s advisors, Mike Wiseman and Erin Whiteside, and quite a few very impressive IATG women, I chose an exec board, and we plan on hitting the ground running with this organization. We want to reach as many students as possible, so that everyone will know that there is a place they can come where they will be supported, challenged, and built up. With that being said, our launch meeting is Thursday, August 27th at 6PM in HSS51, and we’re holding a fundraiser on Wednesday, September 2nd at 5PM in Jason’s Deli on the strip.

Aside from working in UT’s community, we plan to expand out to Knoxville’s community and help local organizations. IATGUT wants to make Knoxville a better place each and every single day, for each and every single person that lives here.

We want to join in the I AM THAT GIRL mission of shifting girl culture and leaving this world better than we found it.

On this blog, members of IATGUT are going to share ideas, inspiration, and motivation based on issues and opinions that they feel are important and need to be shared. We want this to be an outlet for creativity where people, that may not have the platform they need, can express themselves. We’re also going to update viewers on our plans and events, and how we’re going to leave our mark on Knoxville.

We’re all about striving to learn more about ourselves and about each other. We want to share our stories of heartbreak and success, to hopefully walk a mile in each other’s shoes, and learn what it means to love ourselves and each other, truly.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I’m so excited, as I’m sure you are, to see where this amazing community will lead. We’re going to continue updating our site as we grow, and here we’ll be able to provide you all with fantastic information about us!

You are amazing. You are important. You are worth it.

All the best,
Carlie Russell, IATGUT founding President
crusse30@vols.utk.edu

P.S. Feel free to join our journey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or email us for more information!

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