On May 16, 2012, a system-wide group of over 100 women, and one man (with 20 still on the wait list!), gathered at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus for the 2nd annual Summit for Women’s Equity Leaders for a day of presentations and strategic planning to inform and engage key leaders in the work for women’s equity, especially regarding the climate for women of color on campus.
While the day included hearing heartbreaking statistics and qualitative data, as well as personal stories about the chilly climate for women of color on campus, it also allowed us to learn about many initiatives already underway, provided opportunities for collaborations and community-building, and offered guidance in creating actionable plans. Action steps ranged from personal goal-setting, to creating mentorship programs, to changing policies (see list below). Together the participants (and many who were not able to attend) are determined to make the University of Minnesota a welcoming and supportive climate for everyone’s talents and a nationwide model for equity and diversity.
In sum, the Summit was a success. However, the real success will come from each of us putting the best of the action steps in motion.
Our hope is that participants will use this and other spaces as sites of collaboration: share ideas, engage in dialogue, plan to, in the words of Diana Vander Woude, “proceed until apprehended.”
To read more about the Summit, learn about resources and action steps, and view the notes from the day, visit the Women’s Center website.