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womentable

Photo from Tanya Jain, Penn Association for Gender Equity

Student leaders handed out buttons and flyers on Locust Walk celebrating the contribution of women of color in notable activism movements. 

Co-sponsored by Penn Association for Gender Equity and United Minorities Council, the Celebrating Women of Color in Activism event aimed to promote solidarity among women of color and highlight the intersectionality between feminist and race issues. 

The student leaders of the two organizations picked 14 women to celebrate, including artist Frida Kahlo, gay liberation activist Marsha P. Johnson, and Elouise Cobell, who initiated the largest class action suit against the United States government in history for Native American rights.

The flyers included information about the women, while the buttons displayed feminist or race-related sayings such as "intersectional feminism" and "proud women of color." 

College sophomore Angela Yang, who is also the constituent affairs chair of PAGE, said they put on the event as part of their goal this year to "promote women of color and underserved marginalized groups."  

"We want people to learn more about what PAGE does and get involved in gender equity activism," Yang said. 

Yang described the event as a fun way to learn about the contributions and struggles faced by women of color. 

“It’s important that women of color feel solidarity … it’s important for them to know this is a relevant issue on campus being talked about,” she said.

A group of PAGE members chose the 14 women featured in the event with the intention of being as diverse and inclusive as possible, Yang said. This list was then approved by UMC leaders.

College and Wharton sophomore Beverlye Gedeon, who is the communications chair of UMC, emphasized the event's goal to unify women of all races. 

“The goal is to pay tribute to all women of color," she said. "Issues faced in feminism are not specific to one race, we want to focus on the intersectionality of that."

Gedeon added the event was part of the culmination of UMC Unity Month, whose theme was "Between the Lines" and emphasized intersectionality. She said that this was especially relevant given Penn's diverse student body, and that Tuesday’s event was aimed at giving students a platform to discuss their identity.

Yang also mentioned that the event helped promote a speaker event co-hosted by PAGE on Wednesday. Along with the Spice Collective and Radical South Asian Collective, PAGE will be hosting Sujatha Gidla, who is an award-winning author and the first female Indian conductor in the New York City Subway system.

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