- Mame Mareme Diakhate, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, UW Seattle
- Hannah Atlas, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, UW Seattle
- Polly Woodbury, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, UW Seattle
- Diem Nguyen, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, UW Seattle
Due to the negative impacts the burden of coping with race-related stress has on students of color in higher education settings, such as being singled out and experiencing stereotyping and microaggressions, it is essential to have supportive spaces within the institution where students of color are empowered and encouraged.
Women of Color in Global Health is an intentional critical learning community, started in Spring 2019 by a group of women of color in the 2018 MPH Global Health cohort. Our work is grounded in a community of practice and social justice framework. We integrate a critical lens to examine the impacts of structural bias, racism, and the legacies of colonialism on our work, studies, and personal lives. We use this lens to reflect on how our own positionality, specifically our positions of power and privilege shape how we learn, teach, and do research. Moreover, we support one another to gain crucial skills for professional development as we continue our academic journey. Currently, we are planning a writing retreat with a grant from the UW’s Diversity and Inclusion Seed Grant that supports institutional transformation and resiliency. Our writing retreat will support our work on our theses and other writing projects, as well as provide social and emotional support to sustain us through this work.
Many of our members expressed that being part of this group has given them a sense of community within an academic environment that can feel isolating. Our goal is to share our approaches to building critical learning practices in other settings across the university. We plan to share the processes and applications used to start and sustain this group, as well as our success stories that motivate us to continue this important work.