Corollary Project Activities: At the Council & In the Network

At the Council: 

This project drew attention to the Council’s efforts to include perspectives from historically underrepresented populations centrally in all its programs. The Big Five campaign with its focus on education, violence, immigration, economic security and health explores the experiences and perspectives of underrepresented populations within these issue areas and utilizes a diverse array of experts. In other areas of programming, the singer Angelique Kidjo was honored and performed at the Council’s 2009 Women Who Make a Difference Awards Dinner, and Toni Morrison paid tribute to Paula Giddings, author of Ida: A Sword Among Lions, Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching at a Council-sponsored event also in March, 20 a09.

The Council’s Board undertook a self-analysis of its own diversity and focused on recruiting a greater proportion people from historically underrepresented populations. As a result, the Board composition changed from 17 white women and 3 women from underrepresented populations in August 2006, to 10 white women, 1 white man, and 7 members from underrepresented populations (including 1 man) in June 2009. Since 2/3 of the Council’s Board must be representatives from member centers, the Board reiterated the importance of including more women of color at leadership levels in the centers and of admitting more centers focused specifically on historically underrepresented populations to the membership. 
 

In the Network:

Thanks to this project, the Council was able to hire Dr. Delores Walters as the Director of Research for Institutional Diversity to oversee diversity efforts network-wide. As part of her work, she identified and brought into Council membership three research centers focused on issues of concern to historically underrepresented populations: the Women of Color Resource Center in Oakland, CA; the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU; and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women/ Manhattan Chapter (as an Organizational Affiliate).

A new 2009 Diversity & Inclusion Award was instituted to recognize a member center for its commitment to research and outreach in communities of color, drawing network attention to the importance of building a more diverse women’s research community.

 

Representatives from centers that received grants presented at two Annual Conferences, in June 2008 and June 2009. 

The 2008 session focused on the plans to encourage more women of color in leadership roles in their centers and on some of the challenges they and others in the audience were experiencing.

The 2009 session included a wrap up from the centers as well as a discussion of the lessons learned and plans for continuing work toward the goals. 

 

At the 2008 Conference, a Research for Action Group met to continue discussions begun the year before at the 2007 conference

 

 

The Council hosted a Campus Women Lead Workshop at the 2009 Annual Conference. It focused on leadership and building multicultural alliances as well as the historic, regional, class, and racial and ethnic dimensions of underrepresentation and the relevance of those dimensions to leadership development strategies. MORE

 

The project was also shared with the National Women’s Studies Association at its Annual Conference in June 2008 in a session entitled “Promoting Racial Diversity and Inclusion.” Project director Delores Walters reported on the project and participated in the larger discussion of diversity and inclusion issues in the women’s studies and research fields.