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White students barred from Iowa State University ‘womxn of colour’ retreat

‘Womxn of Colour Network’ hosts other events for minorities only

Female minorities at Iowa State University will have an opportunity this April to learn from one another and create new friendships away from their white peers.

The “Womxn of Colour” retreat “is a one-day event open to all women of color students on campus,” according to the Iowa State Daily, the student newspaper.

The event has the support of the university. “This retreat is very special to our executive board because usually it is planned by an entire faculty team,” Bria Felix, president of the Womxn of Colour Network, told the Iowa State Daily. Students this year will help plan it, but faculty involvement in the past years shows how the university is behind the event.

Furthermore, the retreat “is a signature program supported by the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity in partnership with the Office for Multicultural Student Affairs, the Womxn of Colour Network student organization, as well as other campus advocates, student groups, and departments,” according to a university website.

The women’s center and diversity office offer other opportunities for minority female students to get to know each other in a segregated environment. For example, this fall students could take advantage of a “meet and greet reception for women of color.”

The event goes back to at least 2011, when the WCN group was formed. “In 2011, a small group of women of color participated in a campus event that, while well-intentioned, left them with a clear message that the event was not created with their needs in mind,” Felix told the student newspaper.

She wants her no-whites-allowed event to help students grow in “love” and “compassion.”

“We want to provide our participants with a moment to breathe surrounded by love, compassion and motivation,” Felix told the student newspaper. “It’s a great introduction into the network and gives a preview of what it’s like at our meetings and events.”

This is not the only racially-segregated event going on in the coming weeks. For example, the University of Minnesota’s diversity office and fitness center are offering a class this weekend only open to “students of color.”

There is an event on March 25 called a “BIPOC Community Climb Day,” according to an Instagram post by the diversity center. The university The diversity center hosted a separate climbing event last year on Nov. 12 for “women, femmes, and non-binary individuals who want to get involved with climbing,” as recently reported by The College Fix.

MORE: Iowa suspends new DEI policies in higher education

IMAGE: Iowa State University Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.