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Womxn of Colour Network: establishing community through connection

Womxn+of+Colour+Network+is+an+organization+for+underrepresented%2C+minoritized+womxn+and+their+supporters+who+come+together+to+form+bonds+of+support+and+empowerment+for+womxn+at+Iowa+State+University.
Ella Slade
Womxn of Colour Network is an organization for underrepresented, minoritized womxn and their supporters who come together to form bonds of support and empowerment for womxn at Iowa State University.

Laurna Lindsay Evans, president of the Womxn of Colour Network (WOCN) and sophomore in human development and family studies, hopes to share the stories of womxn of color and create a safe space on campus through her involvement in the organization this year.

According to their website, Womxn of Colour Network is an organization for underrepresented, minoritized womxn and their supporters who come together to form bonds of support and empowerment for womxn at Iowa State University. The organization was established in 2011 to support womxn students of color at Iowa State.

“I think it’s important to see other womxn of color and how they are doing and to learn their stories—whether that be obstacles they had to go over—but also just to learn about their success stories, because I feel like we don’t broadcast that enough, just in general in the world,” Evans said.

Registration is now open for WOCN’s annual retreat, which is open to all womxn of color on campus regardless of membership. The retreat will take place Sept. 29-30 in Des Moines, with transportation provided to and from campus.

Evans said the retreat is an overnight experience to reconnect with members of the organization and get to know one another off-campus.

“I think being on campus does kind of restrict you in some ways, so if you go off campus, especially a little bit away, you can kind of be more of yourself, and we just want to promote that a bit more,” Evans said. “And yes, you are a student, but you’re more than just a student as well. You’re your own person. You can have fun; you can make connections.”

Evans said she hopes the organization will get the chance to develop these connections in meetings, despite the one-hour time restriction.

“We are only there for an hour, and a lot can happen in an hour, but not too much if you’re trying to break down walls or guards or anything like that,” Evans said.

WOCN meets biweekly on Tuesdays from 5-6 p.m. in the Student Innovation Center, with its first meeting set for Tuesday. Evans said each meeting will be different while still keeping an individual purpose.

Evans’ main goal for the first meeting is to introduce the group and greet both new and returning members.

“Hopefully, throughout this semester, I do really want to carry on what has been happening with the Womxn of Colour Network and just provide resources, whether they be on campus, for the campus experience,” Evans said. “Then also just providing information for future experiences, as well, for womxn of color, or even just people that may be working with womxn of color.”

Evans said she hopes those who attend a meeting with the WOCN will walk away with something more than they came with.

“[I hope] they just get something out of it, whether that be a person and experience, just information or an aha moment, anything,” Evans said.

To learn more about the Womxn of Colour Network, visit their website.

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