Entertainment helps girls empower themselves
By Marcus Wright
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Sandra Epps contracted Lupus when she was a child. Her misfortune is a benefit to countless children in the city of Detroit. Epps is the owner of Sandy’s Land, an entertainment services and publishing house whose mission is to empower children with books, art and programming.
Epss said she was inspired to create Sandy’s Land because her childhood experience motivated her to help people, especially children, to overcome feelings of rejection and low self-esteem. The symptoms of Lupus are traumatic for anyone but are devastating for a child: joint pain, fatigue, blue fingers and toes, swollen joints, enlarged heart and loss of hair. “I became secluded, stayed home,” Epps said. “Children asked me, ‘What’s wrong with you? What is that disease you have? Is it contagious?’”
Epps decided to help people empower themselves to withstand teasing and taunting.
However, she did more than transfer her hurt and pain to helping others empower themselves. Epps said she came through the experience with a sense she could accomplish anything. “Nobody in my family had graduated from college. I was determined I would be the first,” Epps said. “I looked in the mirror and told myself I was beautiful and good. I removed negative things from around me.”
Not only did she release the negative, she unleashed her creative ability. She wrote two children’s books: “Girl Power — Discover the Princess Within” and “Imani Has The Most Exciting Dream.”
Epps also started offering free programs for children three years ago. “I wanted kids to have fun; party with a purpose,” Epps said.
Epps’ endeavor has grown to include the Detroit Doll Show, Santa Claus, a magic show, a clown, Princess Sandy, Hand Bells (six children play bells), ornaments, free popcorn and drinks.
She holds a Girl Power Tea, complete with a play. Utilizing role playing, a cardboard girl is ripped apart and put back together. The girls are asked and must answer questions such as “Is this how a person feels when another person teases and taunts them?” Through these activities, Epps helps empower girls.
Contact Sandy’s Land at 313.492.6953 or www.SandysLand.com
Contact Marcus Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org