Just over a year old, the Wom*n of Colour Autonomous collective is continuing to provide an important space for individuals that negotiate race and gender as important aspects of their identity. The collective has a strong online community, where anyone that identifies as Indigenous or marginalised by White supremacy is invited to join.
This year started with an open call for any members by Tabitha and Shareeka (2014 office bearers), to come forward to assume this very role. I initially shied away from such a position, but then realised I wanted to actively contribute to a space that provided so much comfort, openness and learning. As a medical science student I often found race and gender to intersect with interpersonal interactions with tutors, peers, lecturers that left me alienated and frustrated. It is testament to the collective’s supportive and encouraging presence that I am in this position, and I am very grateful.
To crack things off we had an intimate screening of Brandy’s Cinderella ft. Whitney Houston and Keeping up with the Kardashians, which was a chance to meet some new faces. Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April, the Wom*ns Collective and WOC collective organised a film-screening fundraiser of Manakamana, and relief donations, which are being sent through Disaster Support Nepal. For any readers who wish to contribute with monetary donations, Mitrataa Foundation and Guthi Australia are both grassroots organisations that are contributing to disaster relief in various areas affected.
This year holds some exciting new plans, such as working on a zine, as well as with other collectives such as the Muslim Wom*ns Collective & Indigenous Collective to strengthen and expand our commitment to intersectional feminism.
As this collective is a space for solidarity, strengthening our radical form of entitlement to facilitate our voices being heard, not marginalised or silenced as it regularly is in other political and social contexts is vital. You can keep up with events by joining the ‘Usyd WOC Autonomous Collective’ Facebook group, and following us at womenofcoloursydney.tumblr.com.