Movement aims to build women’s self-love, self-security and self-assurance internally so that it shows up on the outside.
Crown Me Foundation Restores Women’s Femininity Within Communities In Need
Molding young minds is Danyel Nicole Black‘s passion.
Furthering education for women in need is her stated purpose. A second-grade teacher at Honey Island Elementary School in Slidell, Louisiana, Black understands the importance of instilling value in her students that can last a lifetime. She also knows that second-graders aren’t the only ones in need of her services.
Teenage and adult women are the focus of her Crown Me Foundation, centered on empowering broken women, or women having a hard time finding themselves. The foundation has grown exponentially in a short time, and Black hopes it will develop into a full-service mental and physical help center for women everywhere.
Zenger spoke with the founder to get an understanding of the foundation’s mission, the importance of women understanding their self-worth, and much more.
Percy Crawford interviewed Danyel Nicole Black for Zenger.
Zenger: Not only are you an awesome educator, but you have managed to start the Crown Me Foundation, which helps women in the Gulf Coast region in several ways. What made you decide to star Crown Me?
Black: Growing up, we all hear: Watch out for the red flags in dating and when you are courting someone to marry. But if you are raised by two red flags, you don’t know what that looks like, you don’t know what healthy feels like. Especially if you didn’t experience that healthy family dynamic growing up. So, about three years ago, I found myself in a very toxic marriage. They showed signs early on, but because I was raised to accept these things, I didn’t see it until 10 years later.
Once I got in that place where I was experiencing emotional abuse … it was passive-aggressive. It was the silent treatment, withdrawal and the quiet type of abuse that’s not as easily recognizable, yet it plays on your psyche just the same. I thought then, if I get out of this, I have to educate other women so that they don’t end up in this type of situation. It starts early with our girls because we have to retrain their brain to become healthier, especially in the society that we live in. It’s not enough of us healthy women raising children.
That’s one part of it. The other side of Crown Me is the femininity that women need to learn to re-embody because we’ve gotten so far away from that. It has become so damaging to the males in our community. We over function and they are under functioning because of our lack of femininity.
Zenger: I didn’t have a full grasp of what Crown Me was until I recently saw pictures of you donating clothes and giving women a day of glamour, and that goes toward what you just mentioned about gaining that femininity back. You have made a lot of what was just a simple gesture of presenting these women with the proper attire to feel like a woman again.
Black: Unfortunately, it takes us to go through dark places in our lives to realize the missing pieces. In my dark place, I realized that I wasn’t really taking care of myself. What made me feel good in that moment was my healthier female friends telling me that I was beautiful and telling me that I can still do the things in life that I want to do, that I can still be happy and pursue my dreams. And they would buy me little things like purses and bracelets as a pick-me-up, and it made me feel so much better about myself.
After that part of my life was finished, it catapulted me into my destiny, which is serving women in this capacity. It’s pampering them and adoring them and letting them know no matter where you are, you can still be beautiful. Even if it’s on a budget, you can still feel good about yourself. When you feel good about who you are, you tolerate less foolishness from the people around you.
It puts you on this path where you want to continue to evolve and grow instead of staying stagnant. On the surface, when you see Crown Me, the colors and everything are feminine, it’s very posh and inviting. Women want to be a part of it, and that’s what I want. I want to draw people in, but beneath the surface, it’s eradicating the toxicity that lives in our community, and it’s creating healthier women so we can build stronger families.
Zenger: This sounds like it’s more about self-confidence and inner peace as opposed to a materialistic mindset. Is that accurate?
Black: Right! It’s more about helping women to feel good about themselves. I want them to know that someone thought enough of them to invest in them. That can be knowledge, that can be compliments, pop-ups, giving them personal tips on how to dress, or makeup tips. Just focusing on building their self-love, self-security and self-assurance internally, so that it shows up on the outside and they can show up bolder and more confident in our communities and within their families.
Zenger: Everyone in Louisiana knows what the black and gold represents [New Orleans Saints], so tell us about your pink and gold movement.
Black: The pink and gold movement represents femininity and power. I chose those colors because pink is such a feminine color. When you see pink, you feel pretty. Not only in our culture, but across the board, all women have forgotten how powerful it is to not over function and overthink and over plan. Allow the masculine energy to do those things for us. We’ve forgotten how to do that. The pink and gold movement is a place for women to feel OK with feeling adored, feeling pampered. Sometimes when women get to that point where they have those feelings, they feel guilty for feeling good about themselves.
Zenger: You have conducted several events, pop-ups, donations, makeovers. What else can we expect from the Crown Me Foundation?
Black: A lot of what we do is on a need’s basis. On average, we are doing about 10 events a year. I really try to survey what’s happening in the community and see what the needs are of our women. I realize since the pandemic, we have not been able to get out, go places and dress up, which increases that feminine energy. Women have not been able to do that, and a lot of them are just letting go of that part of themselves. That was something I felt was truly necessary to bring back: dressing up and feeling good about yourself.
Zenger: Where can more information about the Crown Me Foundation be found?
Black: They can go to www.danyelnicoleblack.com and there is a Crown Me Foundation tab, where it will take you straight to the link to make donations.
Zenger: Where would you like the foundation to be in three to five years?
Black: My ultimate goal, and I’m hoping I can achieve it in three years, is for Crown Me to be a multimillion-dollar foundation that crowns women nationwide and all around the world. I would like to have a building where women can come get the support that they need. So if they are in these toxic situations, they will be able to get in contact with a counselor, a therapist, and it would all be under one roof. Help them work on their whole self, the physical, the emotional, the intellectual, the spiritual … I just want a building where women could come and get that whole body transformation in one place. I found that there is not one place like that.
Zenger: I appreciate your time. Continue to do great things with the Crown Me Foundation, and we think the world of you. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Black: I’m so glad to be on here with you, sharing my story. I would love to talk more in the future about Crown Me Foundation. We are on the move, it is growing and it continues to pick up momentum. We are opening memberships. We have an event coming up in December, which will be a High Tea, where we’re focusing on girls that are seniors in high school and freshmen in college age group. I find that that is a very pivotal age where they are very vulnerable. They often find themselves in difficult situations that can be prevented.
Edited by Judith Isacoff and Matthew B. Hall