Womxn of Color Initiative, UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
RE: Cancellation of 2020 EWOCC and Digital Alternative
Dear EWOCC Attendees and Community,
In an effort to prioritize the well-being of our communities and take preventative measures in light of the potential public health risk, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person convening of the 35th Annual Empowering Womxn of Color Conference on Saturday, March 14.
We have reflected on the advice received on Monday, March 9 from the Chancellor of UC Berkeley, suspending campus-sponsored events for more than 150 attendees. We have weighed what we know about the COVID-19 situation through our campus administration with our desire to value our principles around safety, inclusivity, and empowerment. As such, we have decided an in-person convening would not be advisable this year.
As an alternative to the in-person convening, we are shifting to a digital presence for the 2020 EWOCC. We are working to collect recordings of what was initially planned for the conference. There is not a specific date for the digital presence, but rather these recordings will be provided to all registered attendees for a limited time for them to enjoy on their own. Additionally, a free EWOCC t-shirt will be available for pick-up on a first-come, first-serve basis for registered attendees (details forthcoming).
In this digital alternative, your conference ticket will go towards facilitating this digital transition and contributing towards the 2021 EWOCC. However, if you wish to forgo this alternative and you prefer a refund of your conference ticket, please email us by 5:00PM on Friday, March 13, 2020 at firstname.lastname@example.org with this request.
Edited 3/12/2020: Please note, the 2020 EWOCC After-Party in collaboration with the House of Malico is postponed because the venue has decided to postpone all events happening this week. We will keep you all in the loop about the changing circumstances.
We thank you for your support of EWOCC, and we look forward to being in community with you all virtually and next year in 2021.
The 35th Annual Empowering Womxn of Color Conference
Metamorphosis: Casting Off Oppressive Paradigms to Live the Life We’ve Been Fighting For
March 14th, 2020 | Wheeler Hall | UC Berkeley
The 35th Annual Empowering Womxn of Color Conference (EWOCC), “Metamorphosis: Casting Off Oppressive Paradigms to Live the Life We’ve Been Fighting For,” is the transformation and reconstruction of our society individually, collectively, and systemically by natural or supernatural means. Like a butterfly, we emerge transfigured through a laborious process of internal and external examination.
In this current moment of deep uncertainty, we gather to identify and examine oppressive paradigms that never served us: extractive economies, patriarchy, white supremacy, cis-heternormativity, ableism, colonialism and imperialism, xenophobia, militarism, misogynoir, and ageism among others. In this practice, we interrogate our own positionality and mainstream culture. This mental and spiritual process of metamorphosis acknowledges the humanity, dignity, and the inherent value of marginalized peoples.
We imagine a world of new possibilities where we move beyond surviving individually to thriving collectively. This transition from individualism to collectivism requires a shift from independence to interdependence as a foundation for liberation, sovereignty, and compassionate existence. This shift allows us to reclaim our bodies, liberate our lands, and honor the Earth.
Through a series of innovative workshops, a panel discussion, and speakers, we will explore how we as womxn of color can transform ourselves and the world as we know it. As we proudly celebrate 35 years of EWOCC, we invite self-identified womxn of color of all ages, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, immigration statuses, gender presentations, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions, and cultural backgrounds to join us. Together, through discussion, learning practical skills, community building, and healing, we will discuss preservation and dissemination of knowledge, and imagine and cultivate revolutionary possibilities.
EWOCC has its own legacy of remarkable womxn imagining, shaping and creating the world we inhabit today. Founded in 1985, EWOCC was one of the first conferences to present womxn of color with an opportunity to address the most pressing racial, class, and gender issues we face. As inheritors of this legacy, we recognize the tireless and often thankless work of those who have come before us and those who will pick up the torch after we are gone.
“Metamorphosis: Casting Off Oppressive Paradigms to Live the Life We’ve Been Fighting For” is a statement about transforming ourselves and the structures that surround us to breathe new life into our world.
EWOCC is recognized to be one of the longest running conferences in the nation that addresses the needs and concerns of womxn of color. The conference brings together cutting edge womxn of color activists such as Angela Davis, Elaine Brown, Cherrie Moraga, Gina Palcado and Chrystos with Bay Area community leaders, academics (especially students), and local womxn of color to discuss and strategize ways to impact the current issues we face.