African Women’s Alliance Celebrate Women of Color

SUNY New Paltz does not fall short of student run organizations that represent various cultures, ethnicities, histories and many significant shared experiences.

Not only are there a plethora of clubs and associations that celebrate these backgrounds, but there are groups that highlight exactly what makes members of our student body so special. 

One of those very groups is the African Women’s Alliance (AWA), founded back in 1980, which provides a safe space for women of color.

“AWA’s purpose is to empower Black women through educational and fun events” said the President of AWA, Taijah Pink. 

While the AWA holds events all year long, the ones unique to spring semester are Candy Shop, a sex education workshop full of fun activities, Heart to Heart Dinner, their very own Valentine’s themed dinner with performances, and last, but certainly not least, Black Girls Rock. 

“Black Girls Rock is an award show to recognize women of color for their achievements on campus,” Pink said about the six awards to be given out. “Who’s Got Next? (for an active first-year women of color); Academic Excellence (for a high academic achieving woman of color); Legendary Leader (for a woman of color who’s involved in many leadership positions on campus); Silent Storm (for a woman of color who’s involved in many leadership positions on campus but is not formally known); Student Activist (for a woman of color who is an activist on and off campus); and Artistic Soul (for a woman of color who expresses herself through the arts).”

Though only six lucky ladies actually get the award, there are lots of amazing women of color on campus that get nominated by their peers, and are just as commendable in their respective categories. The awards show is the last hurrah of the semester by the AWA. 

Events to look forward to in the fall include Niabinji, a night of expression that showcases different performance groups on campus and their art; Triple Threat, a panel for LGBTQIA+ women of color to discuss their experiences being triple threats and Kwanza Dinner, a dinner to celebrate and educate the community on Kwanza. 

While this semester may be coming to a close, anyone interested can look forward to the fall semester. 

“Women of color or those of color who identify as women/femme can join AWA whenever we have available executive board positions!” Pink said. “We also have active members who help out with events and can attend meetings without making the full executive board commitment.”

The Black Girls Rock award show is to be held this Sunday, May 5 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Building’s multipurpose room. It will be open and free to anyone to join in on the food and performances.

Mahnoor Ali
About Mahnoor Ali 46 Articles
Mahnoor Ali is a fourth-year English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. This is her third semester with the The Oracle. Previously, she has worked as Assistant Copy Editor and Features Editor. Her favorite stories to both read and write about are Culture, Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Columns, with an appreciation for News and social issues.