September 1, 2016

TO: President Tony Frank

FROM: Sue James on behalf of the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity

SUBJECT: Recommendation to Create a Standing Committee for Women of Color and Allies


In 2010, the Commission members create the Women of Color and Allies Network to address the unique concerns faced by women of color on campus that were not being addressed elsewhere or by any other groups on campus.  The Commission has historically been supportive of the Network and made recommendations to you in 2012 and 2013 (see attached) about supporting the Network.

The Women of Color and Allies Network hosts an annual event in the summer that targets participation of women of color and focuses on networking and leadership development.  The Commission has been a financial partner in supporting the Women of Color and Allies Network events.  The events of the past have been successful and requests have come from participants to have other opportunities to participate with the network throughout the year.  The most recent event on June 7, 2016, The Women of Color Annual Summit featured Breaking Barriers and Building Community, Elizabeth Suarez from University of Denver and HERS and Dr. Lumina Albert from CSU, Tapestry House.  It was attended by over 80 people, largely women of color who are CSU staff (Administrative Professional and State Classified) and a few faculty.  Past events include:

  • February 18, 2011 – Ingersoll Potluck
  • November 15, 2011 – Informed Mentoring and Potluck, Rockwell North
  • January 13, 2012 – Allies and Ally Building by Dr. Maricela DeMirjyn, Animal Sciences Conference Room
  • March 14, 2012 – Collaboration with Accion, Allies and Collaboration, Grey Rock Room in the LSC
  • Campus Women Lead
  • April 18, 2013 – Faculty speaker from UC Denver Motherscholar, Dr. Cheryl Matias, North Rockwell
  • June 5, 2015 – Retreat with TIAA CREF, Anthem and Dr. Mamta Motwani Accapadi, Longs Peak

The Commission recommends that the Women of Color and Allies Network be established as a Standing Committee of the Commission similar to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty.  Under this recommendation, the Women of Color and Allies Network will report to the Commission and be charged with addressing the unique needs of women of color population on campus.  This will be accomplished by the Network continuing to host an annual event, begin hosting smaller events and workshops throughout the year as well as beginning to compile information and research on issues that should be addressed regarding women of color in the CSU community.  The Commission recommends that the Network be given a base budget of $10,000 (similar to the recommendation of a budget for the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty) which will be managed through the Commission’s account.

While the Commission would leave the power to appoint a chair for the Network to the University President, it is recommended that Maricela DeMirjyn be considered.  Marciela was a member of the Commission during the time she started the Women of color and Allies Network and she continues to play a valuable role in the success of the Network.

Should this recommendation be accepted, the University President and the Chair of the Commission will work together to create a charge for the Women of Color and Allies Network: A Standing Committee, whose purpose would be modeled after the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty’s charge with a focus on addressing the unique needs of women of color.  We have taken the liberty of drafting a charge and mission (see attached).

Promotes the Mission and Goal of the Commission

Having a standing committee for women of color gives an underrepresented class of women the opportunity to have a fuller and equal voice in the conversation.  Women of color face issues within our campus community that are unique and not completely understood even by other women of non-color.  Providing an outlet of the Commission to specifically focus on these unique issues will help further the work of making CSU the best place for all women to work and learn and will ultimately give a more focused depth and breadth to the Commission’s work.

Possible Draft Charge for the Women of Color and Allies: A Standing Committee
2012 Recommendation to the President to support the Women of Color and Allies
2013 Recommendation to the President to support the Women of Color and Allies
Flyer for the June 2016 Women of Color and Allies Event