Concord Academy’s Women of Color Alliance (WoCA), is an affinity and social justice group for students who identify as women of color to support and share their experiences and identities through initiating discussions and forming connections. Led by co-heads April Shi ’22, Udochi Onuegbu ’22, Nirantheri Vithiananthan ’22, and faculty advisor Topi Dasgupta, WoCA aims to create a safe space on campus where members can unburden, relax, while also talking through relevant social justice issues that need to be addressed.
During a typical week, WoCA holds their meetings during dinner after sports and activities conclude. Within the room, there are normally two different types of meetings held: discussion-based meetings and more casual check-in conversations. WoCA often holds meetings centered around group discussions with other affinity groups at CA, such as the Men of Color Alliance (MoCA). Regarding examples of the topics they talk about, April Shi ’21, a co-head of WoCA, shares, “we often discuss the specific intersectional aspects of the women of color experience, specifically in how the two groups, WoCA and the Men of Color Alliance (MoCA), can support each other. We have also done one with the Intersectional Feminist Organization (IFO) around widespread white feminism, namely where we, as both POC and women, fit in on the spectrum within the feminist movement.” In the check-in gatherings, members usually go around in a circle and check in with each other to talk about how they’re doing. WoCA also holds events like self-care days where the members can find a space to relax, paint their nails, and watch a movie together––often alongside some snacks.
Some of WoCA’s upcoming initiatives and plans for this year include holding a WoCa-MoCA Lock-in and starting a new series of IFO joint meetings that will be open to everyone in the community. They will also continue to strive to balance being a comfortable space for all women of color on campus and holding challenging conversations around the world we live in today.