By aligning itself with the UIS Diversity Center, the program satisfies all the objectives that Center endeavors to provide. The goal of the Diversity Center is to “foster a supportive environment for students to live, learn and grow as active members of the academic community and as individuals…through educational, cultural, and social programming activities and to assist in the recruitment, transition and retention of ethnic minority and underrepresented students at UIS.”

Impact and Measurable Outcomes

The Women of Color Initiative began under the leadership of one graduate assistant during its first semester at UIS and has grown to have a committee of 8 young women that are students at UIS, one student staff member and one staff professional member who work in the Diversity Center. This committee has grown the awareness of the challenges faced by Women of Color UIS and has made it their goal to create a sustainable initiative and student organization to support women identifying students of color and their allies. 

In measuring the success of the initiative, WOC has seen an exponential rise in participant attendance across the board for all reoccurring and non-reoccurring events. Those who have actively participated in the Women of Color Initiative have shown a greater interest in getting involved in other areas around campus such as Student Life, Greek Life, and Volunteer and Civic Engagement. Academic success of the initiative has only been measured within the committee and the present grade point average with no committee members on academic probation is 3.02. The Women of Color Initiative strives to grow the academic success of women of color on campus bye assessing the academic performance of all students in the program in years to come.

WOC Activities

  1. Women of Color Wednesday: Bi-weekly group meeting geared towards conversating and educating women of color and their allies on relevant topics that affect minorities. 
  2. Find Your Center Friday: Weekly group meeting focused on introducing non-traditional ways to destress in the Black Community.
  3. POC Kickback: A monthly gathering that is co-sponsored with the Men of Color Initiative that focuses on building a strong sense of community.
  4. Springfield 186 School District Mentoring
  5. St. John’s Neonatal Service Partnership 
  6. NAACP Collaboration
  7. Career Readiness Workshops
  8. Healthy Relationship Workshops
  9. Study Tables

WOC Community Service

  1. UIS Campus Hygiene Packs
  2. Safe Sex Drive
  3. Affirmation Awareness: 
  4. St. John’s Hospital Health and Positivity Bags 

Conference Possibilities 

  1. Women of COLOR Leadership and Empowerment Conference: Hosted by COLOR Magazine, the 2021 Women of COLOR (WOC) conference was a two-hour virtual experience centered around empowering women of color. Sponsors for the women’s summit included TJX Companies, State Street, and BridgeTowerMedia. 
  2. TEDWomen: TEDWomen is an annual woman in leadership conference designed to inspire women and girls to be change-makers in their organizations and communities. Past guests include WNBA champion Renee Montgomery and musician Kesha.