When Newark, N.J. native A’Dorian Murray-Thomas '16 was seven years old, her father was murdered while leaving his store. Now grown, the recent college graduate wants to give back to local youth who have lived through similar tragedies, which directors Lacey Schwartz and Mehret Mandefro capture in episode five of ESSENCE Black Girl Magic. Murray-Thomas founded SHE Wins Leadership Institute, which teaches young Black girls to not only find their voice, but to trust it, and discover the true art of self-love. “The act of self-love isn’t easy,” she said. “It takes time. It takes effort. But the more you dedicate time to loving yourself and surrounding yourself by people who are encouraging you to do the same, there is no such thing as a barrier.”
A'Dorian Murray-Thomas '16 graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in political science and educational studies and a minor in public policy. At Swarthmore, she was a Lang Opportunity Scholar, co-president of the Black Student Union, a peer counselor for Career Services, and a member of the women's lacrosse team. Glamour Magazine named her a 2016 College Woman of the Year, and the White House honored her as a Champion of Chance for College Opportunity.