Public university to host retreat solely for ‘Women of Color’

The University of Vermont will soon host a leadership retreat exclusively for “women of color” to participate in “self-care.”

The “Women of Color Leadership Retreat”—open only to non-white, female students, faculty and staff—will be held November 3 to November 5, and was launched under a partnership between the school’s Women’s Center and Student Center in a collaborative effort “to celebrate our women of color and to help women grow in their leadership journey.”

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During the retreat, participants will “proudly take ownership of  [their] unique identities as women of color from varying cultures, gender expressions, religions, spiritualities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds” through discussion and group activities.

“We hope to encourage the community to develop positive self-care habits that will positively affect our academic and co-curricular experience and strengthen our connection to, and impact on campus,” an overview of the retreat explains.

With a focus on leadership development, the retreat promises a to provide a safe space for attendees to “find meaning, healing, love, and trust” together, and ultimately to “strengthen [their] connection to, and impact on campus.”

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Although it remains unclear where the three-day retreat will be held, it appears that significant travel may be involved, since the organizers warn that “it may be up to 10 degrees colder at the retreat site” than on campus.

Notably, the university will also hold an “Examining White Identity Retreat” later this year for students who “self-identify as white,” which previous attendees have hailed as a “safe space” to learn about “social justice” and “white privilege.”

[RELATED: UVM holds privilege retreat for students who ‘self-identify as white’]

Both retreats are part of the school’s extensive efforts to support students of color on campus, with the school offering resources such as “Sisterhood Circle,” a discussion group that describes itself as a “safe space” for women of color, and “Racial Aikido,” an annual retreat for students of color.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Vermont for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen