2020 Conference

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.