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Bullying a topic for girls panel

Falana McDaniel believes God told her to listen to the young girls in the Brookhaven area who need someone to hear them.

Now she’s listening to him and them.

“The Lord placed it upon my heart to organize a panel discussion,” she said.

McDaniel, the founder of Rising STARS for Christ, is organizing “Let’s Talk: A Girls Panel Discussion” to be held Sunday afternoon in the State Bank State Room downtown.

The free event for young girls age 10 and up is hosted by Brookhaven woman Orionna Coleman.

“Creating an event just for the girls of our community shows how much we truly care for them,” she said. “They are a huge part of our future, and it’s our goal to make sure they know they will always have someone to rely on in their lives.”

Some of the topics include bullying, peer pressure and self-esteem, but McDaniel said the agenda will be up to the participants.

She’ll give each a blank index card and they can ask questions anonymously they’d like to have answered. McDaniel hopes the panel discussions can lead to girls opening up with the women leading the event.

Panelists will be Whitney Clark, Alexya Irvin and Shanta Butler.

“Each one of them have a unique testimony that I feel will reach the girls,” McDaniel said.

It’s important for McDaniel to create a safe space for the participants to be able to talk to the mentors, so parents are encouraged to leave the girls at the event for the allotted time.

“The girls will share many things with us that they won’t share with their parents,” McDaniel said. “They can talk about things that they may not be comfortable talking to their parents about.”

The event begins at 4 p.m. at the State Room at 112 East Cherokee St. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call or text McDaniel at 601-757-3614.

McDaniel said the goal of the event is for strong, successful Christian women to reach out and to provide the girls with guidance so they can make positive choices in life.

“Sunday is all about these girls,” Coleman said. “I know God is going to bless all of us for fulfilling his purpose to serve each other.”