The Bridge, which will hold its launch party on Wednesday, is a website designed as a safe space for black and Latina women.
Persis Bhadha, a co-founder of The Bridge and a UNC sophomore, said she met the other co-founders while taking a class at Duke last semester.
“We all shared a desire to do something with women’s empowerment and cultural awareness and also with race relations,” she said.
Chandler Phillips, a co-founder of The Bridge and a Duke sophomore, said the site is meant to be a place to express kindness.
“Big picture, we want to change how the online sphere operates,” she said. “We want it to be a place where cultures are celebrated. There’s so much negativity that goes on nowadays in media and social media, so we want to switch that up.”
Phillips said the site includes writing, spoken word, dance, art and op-eds.
“(Contributors) can put anything they want in the space and it’s theirs. That type of ownership is amazing,” said Eliza Moreno, a co-founder and a Duke sophomore.
Bhadha said she hopes the site will allow black and Latina women to freely express themselves without being afraid.
“A lot of this talent and these works have been buried down. We don’t really see them, but the site is a place for these things to rise up and people will see how incredible individuals are,” she said.
Phillips wrote a spoken word poem, and the recording of her performing the poem is currently on the website.
“Basically, it’s me talking to a younger girl. I’m very interested in mentorship,” she said.
One feature of the site is anonymous commenting. The executive board said they are unsure whether or not they will keep this feature.
“One of the positive things about it being anonymous is that people won’t feel pressure and won’t feel as though they’re being judged. However, one of the negative parts is that anyone can say anything, and it doesn’t go well sometimes,” Phillips said.
Bhadha said the negative comments help to fuel the purpose of their website.
“It reinforces the status quo that we do have this problem,” she said.
Kenya Lee, a sophomore at UNC, recently liked the Facebook page for The Bridge.
“I like that it brings together the experiences of black women and Latina women, and I like that it’s an open page to send in things that express how you feel,” she said.
Lee said she plans on submitting work to The Bridge in the future.
Phillips is hopeful about what The Bridge can do for the UNC and Duke community.
“There is so much love and support in this site, more than I’ve seen in a lot of things,” she said. “It truly is a space where people can celebrate themselves, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrating yourself.”