Initiative raises funds for WOC to create more spaces

by Nina Campli, Staff Writer

Did you get woc(k)en up (by feminism) during the Woman of Color Arts Initiative?  Everyone at The Drew Acorn certainly did.  It was created by Ivy Wong (‘17) after her successful open mic night for women of color on March 23rd entitled Wake the F* Up; *Feminism.  The goal of the event was to allow women of color and those that support them to use their voices to express their feelings in a safe space. Anyone was welcome to come up and speak.  At the event t-shirts were given out to the first few attendees, but Wong received an email requesting a reprint from a participant who did not get a t-shirt. After reading the email she decided to create the fundraiser “not only to raise awareness of this demographic on campus, but also to promote and empower students to pursue future women of color art oriented programming after I graduate this May.”

Just like her event on March 23rd the Initiative which ran from March 28th to April 30th was extremely successful. Wong raised over $350 in t-shirt sales and donations, “I sold 67 t-shirts to 48 supporters. Undergraduate students, graduate students, professors, administrators, friends (and friends of friends) from out of state and family have ordered shirts! People of all genders and ethnic backgrounds ordered as well.”

Wong hopes the funds from this will help provide funding for other events and help create more open spaces for people to comfortably express themselves regardless of gender, sex or ethnic background. She also hopes that other colleges and universities will be inspired to provide similar events and movements saying, “I hope other schools will be inspired by this movement, and I have been trying to spread the t-shirt fundraisers to friends’ university facebook groups.”

Students, such as Keiran Wilson (‘17), hope for the same things to come from this event that Wong does.  Wilson said he hopes, “…to see all different types of events from the Women of Color Initiative” and that “.Ivy’s hard work on this project can motivate other students to pursue their passions and get involved in their own feminist activism, whatever that may mean to them.”

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