Women from four different University cultural centers will join forces tonight to develop an event that will touch on important issues for women of color.
The Coffman Union event will feature a dinner and speeches from women of color from throughout the community. It was initiated by women from four different cultural centers at the University: La Raza, Africana, American Indian and Asian American student cultural centers.
Maymangwa Flying Earth, a member of the American Indian Student cultural center and a coordinator of the event, said the dinner is a way to connect successful women from the community with University women. Two American Indian women are slated to speak about their professional experiences as women of color, Flying Earth said.
“We hope that they’ll really honor the accomplishments that women have made and offer words of guidance and advice to the younger women,” Flying Earth said.
The dinner will feature an opening ceremony by traditional Mexican dancers and a welcoming introduction by Rusty Barcel¢, associate vice president for Multicultural Affairs. An open-mic session with music and poetry readings will follow the dinner.
The Minnesota Women’s Center is sponsoring the event, which is free to all University students.
Barcel¢ said the event was a chance for University women of color to come together and make both personal and professional contacts.
“Students at the University level meet now, and are colleagues in the future,” Barcel¢ said. “The contacts they make now are important.”
Barcel¢ added that the dinner is an ideal way for women of color to express their common issues and concerns.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to really empower women,” she said.
— Rebecca Czaplewski