A Message from the Chair
Greetings DU Women and Allies,
Since stepping into the role of Chair in September 2019 I have had conversations with many woman-identifying members of our DU community. The feedback was clear. Very few knew that we have a coalition for women. Most didn’t realize the Coalition was different from the Colorado Women’s College. There was confusion around our subgroups, who we support, what we do, and why we do it. It was time to make a change.
I am happy to introduce the Women’s Coalition’s new organizational structure intentionally designed to integrate broader representation and perspectives from across campus. To understand who we are becoming it helps to understand why the Women’s Coalition exists. We are here to:
- Advance DU toward a more representative and inclusive culture for women
- Facilitate sharing of useful resources and information for all women on campus
- Transform the University into a leader in higher education and center the experiences of marginalized and underrepresented women
- Provide educational programming, networking, and development opportunities for women on campus
- Foster allyship and support of our fellow affinity communities
Historically, the Women’s Coalition has been the umbrella organization for the Women’s Staff Alliance for Networking and Development, the Sistah Network, Women’s Faculty Association, the Association of Sisters in Higher Education, Hermanas Latinas, and the Women’s Leadership Council. Together in partnership with other organizations, such as the Staff of Color Association, the sub-groups of the coalition came together to create opportunities for networking and professional development as well as produce the annual HerDU women’s conference.
This structure has worked well at times, but it also can feel like a barrier to inclusion and involvement. Not all identify with a subgroup and in recent years we’ve had minimal representation from our students and alumna. The representatives from these groups and myself agree it is time to restructure for the good of women at DU. The subgroups will stay active and have representation on the Coalition however we are also bringing in more voices and representation as well.
Our next steps include:
- identifying representatives from different academic and business units as well as affinity groups
- inviting all women-focused student and alumna groups to have representation
- electing an Executive Committee inclusive of a Chair, Chair-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer, and Chair Emerita
- establishing working groups for our strategic efforts inclusive of Programming & Outreach, Strategic Plan and Initiatives, and Marketing & Communications
- setting a programming calendar for the 2021-2022 academic year
- building a five-year strategic plan
If this work speaks to you, I invite you to look at our Management Operating System overview. There you will find more detailed descriptions of the roles and committees as well as the monthly time commitment expected for representatives.
In the next week we will identify a date for our first 2021-2022 meeting where you can attend to learn more about getting involved and share ideas you have so, please keep an eye out for the invitation.
In the meantime, feel free to email me with any questions or ideas.
PS. If you missed this year’s women’s conference you can find the video playlist from HerDU 2021 here