Standing Committees to Coalitions
In 1973 one of the founders of what we now know as the Coalition for Women’s Identities wrote the ACPA President to inform him that “The Women’s Task Force of ACPA is alive!” A group of eight women met in Washington D.C. to discuss what a “Women’s Task Force” would be and how it would function within the larger Association. Out of this original Task Force sprang the Standing Committee for Women (SCW). In a 42 year history, SCW has tirelessly advocated for women within ACPA, higher education, and the community. As an entity group we have published research and scholarship, advocated for our membership within the association, served as political agitators, and pushed on the learning edges of our Association, and engaged in critical work in Student Affairs.
In the past several years our entity group has engaged in critical self-reflection about who we are and who we are here to serve. The conversation with our current directorate and membership revealed that the name no longer represents who we are and who we strive to be. In an effort to more clearly represent our mission of inclusion for all woman-identified members of ACPA, and with the input of our current Scholars in Residence, the name “Coalition for Women’s Identities” emerged.
The spectrum of women or female-identified people, trans* identified people, advocates and aspiring allies, and many multi-faceted humans make up the population that CWI is here to serve. We hold space for those that experience oppression or discrimination based on gender, gender identity, and gender expression. We work to cultivate our space within ACPA to be intersectional, critical in nature, and supportive of those that are often silenced or made invisible in higher education.
The name change to Coalition that all Standing Committees agreed to comes from a desire to make plain our advocacy and activism. As entity groups we represent many salient identities within the Association. Our goal, collectively, is to serve our membership and be agents of change within ACPA and higher education. Our name change is a clearer representation of who we are today, and who we will intentionally continue to be in the future.
I hope that you, our membership, will reach out and engage with CWI. We want your feedback, to read your blog posts, to see you at Convention, or to interact in a webinar. We want the work of our entity group to be guided by the needs of our members. Thank you for being part of our coalition. I can’t wait to hear from you.
Ways to Engage with CWI:
Chair, Coalition for Women’s Identities
The University of Oklahoma