Often women, especially women of color, are not receiving the support they need to cultivate a sense of self-worth and feelings of empowerment. The University of Utah’s organization, the Women of Tomorrow, however, is hoping to provide that very support system. I interviewed Kadelyn Egan, a member of the Women of Tomorrow (WOT) about what the organization is doing to support women from all backgrounds.
What is the main goal of the Women of Tomorrow?
The Women of Tomorrow aims to support and empower women attending the University of Utah and other women in the surrounding communities.
What activities does the Women of Tomorrow do as a group?
The Women of Tomorrow is currently involved in planning an event in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 10, 2018 in collaboration with the U’s Refugee Center. We have also hosted different workshops, such as resume workshops, LinkedIn workshops, self-care workshops, leadership workshops and more. We have also hosted other events, such as semester socials for all members and potential members where we create an open, friendly, inviting, and ultimately positive atmosphere for all in attendance. This creates a space that we hope promotes everyone to get to know each other and its where a lot of close friendships begin to bud.
We have done a photo exhibition in the Union titled, “Women who Embody Power,” and are currently planning on doing another photo exhibition in collaboration with the photographer who has taken pictures for “The New Americans of Salt Lake.” The photo collection on Facebook features many current members of WOT, who were recruited for the project when the photographer came to one of our meetings last semester!
How do these activities empower women?
All of these activities are fueled by what our members and leaders want to do each semester. In that sense, we become the voice and body that allows our members to accomplish, do, and learn what they want. We are passionate about everyone in our group being able to use their voice and to act upon it together. The workshops that we host include people in the University of Utah community, such as the Career Services Center, who come in and present to us about resumes, cover letters, self-care, leadership skills, etc. They teach us valuable skills that everyone should know. Other displays and activities that we do spotlight our members and their accomplishments, removing the barrier that a lot of women of color face: invisibility. Together we empower each other and push each other to reach our goals.
What is the most important thing for women on campus to remember?
You are not alone. There are support systems and people in this community that are here FOR YOU. All you need to do is reach out to them. If there are none, be the start of one! Because the truth is, there is probably someone else who feels the same exact way and could use a support system.
The barriers women face, especially black women and women of color, are many, but remember that there is always power in minds and numbers. Ignore others who choose to stay close-minded, ignorant, uneducated. YOU can be the role model for other women.