Established in 1993, the Women of Color Leadership Network (WOCLN) at Center for Women & Community provides advocacy, mentoring, programming, and training for women of color as well as workshops a nd events for the general public. In addition, WOCLN functions as a home for women of color on campus and the Five College community, connecting women to one another. WOCLN works independently and in collaboration with many campus and community groups and organizations.
As a program of the Center for Women & Community at UMass Amherst, WOCLN celebrates and supports the accomplishments and endeavors of all self-identified women and nonbinary persons of color in the Five College Consortium of Western Massachusetts. Conceptually, the term “women of color” refers to underrepresented identities, including Black/African American, African, Latina, Caribbean, Latin-American, Chicana, Asian-Pacific Islander, South Asian, Native American/Indigenous, Middle Eastern, Arab/Arab American, Biracial and Multiracial.
The mission of WOCLN is to connect women of color to each other for mutual support and learning. Through mentoring, workshops, events and programming, WOCLN raises women’s consciousness around issues of social identities, self-care, and self-expression. This program provides a comfortable and supportive space where women of color can discover who they are while achieving academic success. At WOCLN, women of color gain leadership skills necessary to make a difference in the communities of which they are a part.
- Program of the Center for Women & Community (January 2010 - Present)
- Program of the Center for Student Development (2005-2009)
- Program of the Everywoman's Center 1993-2005 -Originally called the Women of Color Program (1993-1997), the program was created through activist efforts of International women to re-instate funds and resources dedicated to supporting and retaining women of color.