Kristen Blount ~ Guest Writer
Woman to Woman is an organization recently created at the University of Lynchburg to serve as a safe environment for women of color. It is quite common for minority women, especially at a predominantly white institution, to seek out others in their affinity group as a means of establishing their identity. Many minority students often feel left out, treated differently, and held to a higher standard.
To combat these tendencies, Woman to Woman allows students, and faculty and staff, to have an open dialogue about the struggles they face. The organization seeks to create an inclusive community where students are able to embrace one another’s differences and encourage each other in all aspects of life. In return, members of the organization hope to be held accountable when anyone comes to our organization seeking help regarding problems they have faced or witnessed with the expectation that we will advocate for them.
Our organization helps our peers strive for academic excellence, promotes women of color, and helps students feel more included in the University of Lynchburg community. In addition, we teach those in our organization how to be professional, adapt leadership qualities, and encourage one another to be the best version of ourselves in every aspect of our lives. Our goals consist of establishing respectful and safe environments, implementing friendships, promoting professionalism, and to bring awareness to racial tendencies on campus.
Part of our goal is to also be active in our university community by educating others and networking. To demonstrate this, we held a Wealth in Health Expo where two guest speakers came and educated students on mental, physical, and emotional health. The speakers also focused on major health problems that tend to occur among minority women. This raised our members health awareness and gave us a chance to network with the speakers since several members have career interests in healthcare.
Woman to Woman has also hosted events to raise awareness of the social issues minority women face at the University of Lynchburg.
On Thursday, the organization will host a fireside chat outside of Drysdale Student Center were we will be discussing numerous topics. Also, on Nov. 7, we are partnering with the Residential Student Organization to hold a sip and paint party.
Woman to Woman holds biweekly meetings on Thursdays in the Office of Equity and Inclusion at 7:00 p.m., and our upcoming meeting will be held on Oct. 17. Membership is open to female students, faculty, and staff who identify as women of color, and we hope to see you all there!