This past Saturday, the Women’s Center hosted its 2nd Women of Color Student Conference, and might we say it was a phenomenal experience!
The conference theme was “Loving Each Other Harder: Womyn of Color, Community, and the Intersections of Our Identities,” and the space was nothing short of embracing this essence. Kicking off the event was our amazing keynote speaker Wazina Zondon, who brought us into her world as a woman of color engaging in intersections of race, religion, sexual orientation, and how, through her lens, we can love ourselves harder and love each other harder. She inspired us all to be more intentional in these spaces, and we love her for it! ❤
Our series of workshops further delved into loving each other harder, and we had a broad array of experiences and perspectives represented in the workshops. Some highlights include:
- SISTAHS Circle: Practicing Radical Self-Care and Healing from Trauma brought participants together in a safe space and provided opportunity to explore the traumas they have faced in their own lives and receive critical love and support from each other in the midst of healing. From family trauma, to relationships, to career/workplace, to internalized trauma, the presenters (Joi D. Lewis, Ph.D., Vickie Allen, MPA, Taiyon Coleman, Ph.D., Duchess Harris, J.D., Ph.D.) did a magnificent job to establishing a calm, loving space and taking care of participants through their healing.
- We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Community-Based Solutions to Street Harassment brought to light the startling reality of street harassment from the local chapter of activist collective INCITE! This workshop was jam-packed with beneficial resources, from research to even a mobile app created to help you respond to situations of street harassment as it occurs. Participants left equipped to tackle street harassment!
- Women of Color’s Poetic Expressions: Poetry as a Tool for Self-care & Healing explored radical women of color poetic traditions in history and provided space to engage in such traditions to express our own critical traumas. A very emotional workshop, participants were fearless and broke down walls through their poetry. Thanks to the facilitator, Gabriela Spears-Rico, for creating this critical space for us!
Closing out the conference was a hilarious stand-up performance by the fabulous Sherlonda Sharp of our own University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health!
We were fortunate to host 101 participants, a rise from our last Women of Color Student Conference!
Special shout out to the WOCSC Committee, Women’s Center staff, our conference volunteers, and last, but certainly not least, our AMAZING Conference Co-Chairs Anitra Cottledge and Xay Yang!