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Telling Our Stories

WOC Telling Our Stories
During the spring 2015 semester, the Women’s Center at UMBC and Women of Color Coalition were awarded a $5,000 grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The 2014–15 AAUW Campus Action Project (CAP) grants, sponsored by Pantene’s Shine Strong campaign, fund student led projects that fight stereotypes and biases. In addition to the AAUW CAP grant, we were also awarded a $500 community project grant from BreakingGround to help support this ambitious campaign. 

Our project, called “Telling Our Stories: I’m Not/I Am,” aims to 1) raise awareness and reject stereotypes about women of color, and 2) create space for women of color voices and counternarratives. Following a series of consciousness-raising discussions over the past year, many of our students saw the need to promote visibility and community-building among WoC in order to stand in solidarity against racist and sexist microaggressions. By launching the project with the “I’m Not” poster campaign, we hoped to disrupt the misguided assumption that racialized gender stereotyping is not a problem for our campus community. Click here to see all the posters from the campaign! TOS Showcase Flyer (Web)

The second phase of the project consisted of a series of creative skill-building workshops culminating in the “Telling Our Stories: I Am” showcase. We intended to go beyond challenging the misrepresentation of women of color and actually create a platform dedicated to their authentic self-representation. Featuring twenty-five performers from UMBC and the Baltimore community, this event celebrated the creative self-expression of women of color and empowered them to reclaim their own narratives. Check out the Storify recap of the showcase below, including photos and videos of many of the great performances! You can also read about the project at AAUW’s site by clicking here. 

Be sure to like Women of Color Coalition on Facebook and follow us on Tumblr for more news and updates on the Telling Our Stories project!