Womxn of Color InitiativeS
In the spring of 2016, Yomaira and Rae Paris founded the a Womxn of Color Initiatives Project at Michigan State. Since then, they have organized a bi-annual speaker series, health and wellness programs, and other related events for women of color and their allies. Past speakers include: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Ana Castillo. The WOCI collective [Estrella Torrez, Tamara Butler, Leslie Gonzales, Maribel Santiago, Delia Fernandez, and Breanna Escamilla] organizes outreach events for undergraduate and graduate women of color, and allies on the MSU campus. We aim to create spaces for students to be in conversation with each other and engage with women of color faculty, staff, and community members. Through the WOCI speaker series and other events WOCI creates spaces for the discussion of sociopolitical issues and critical research, and allows Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native, Black/African American, Mexican/Chicana, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Puerto Rican/Latinx Caribbean women to address issues at the intersections of race, class, sex, and gender, and other intersecting identities.
Shani Peters, a multidisciplinary artist based in NYC, will hold a month-long residency at MSU, sponsored by the Womxn of Color Initiatives (WOCI). Shani invites MSU and the greater communities of East Lansing and Lansing to participate in conversations and unpack “individual relationships related to anti-Black, anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant, and anti-LGBTQ policies, rhetoric, and state sanctioned violence against these populations.”