2017 Conference | March 18th, 2017 | Unbound and Unboxed: Owning, Asserting, and Uplifting our Whole Selves
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of
political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
The 32nd Annual Empowering Womxn of Color Conference, “Unbound and Unboxed: Owning, Asserting, and Uplifting our Whole Selves” is designed to answer the call for collective healing issued by the ongoing state of racial, political, environmental, and economic trauma. Through the legacy of Shirley Chisholm, the first black
congresswoman and first woman to run for president, we know that “women in this country must become revolutionaries… and so we must prepare ourselves educationally, economically, and psychologically.” In her trailblazing 1970 presidential campaign, Shirley Chisholm stood “unbought and unbossed.” At the 2017 Empowering Womxn of Color Conference we stand united; unbound and unboxed. This year’s theme speaks to the need for collective care and affirmation as a means of preparation, preservation, and resistance. Now more than ever, women of color can no longer afford to neglect ourselves while on the frontlines of global battles against social injustice. We must nurture and free ourselves from the limits and labels imposed on us, so that we may move effectively on the path to liberation.
This year we aim to provide a space where women of color can come together to hear one another as we explore new imaginings of freedom and well-being. Through a series of innovative workshops, radical healing spaces, a panel discussion, and speakers, we will explore how we as women of color can preserve ourselves and our communities as we work towards changing the world. As we proudly celebrate 32 years of the Empowering Women of Color Conference, we invite people of all ages, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, immigration statuses, gender identities, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions, and cultural backgrounds who have, do presentely, or will in the future identify as womxn to use this as a safe-space for discussion, community building, and healing.
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 and academics (especially students) to discuss and strategize ways of impacting the current issues facing womxn of color.
EWOCC was founded in 1985 by a group of undergraduate students as their semester project for a DE-Cal (Democratic Education at Cal) class. The project, entitled “Women of Color in the United States,” received an overwhelmingly positive response, and students decided to organize another event with the help of the Graduate Assembly (GA), Berkeley’s graduate student government. In 1986, with the formation of the GA’s Graduate Women’s Project (GWP), it was decided to institutionalize this event and make the conference and annual project under the auspices of the GWP.
EWOCC was one of the first conferences to present women of color with an opportunity to address the racial, class, and gender issues facing American Indian, African American, Asian American, and Chicana/Latina women.