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The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 20, 1995 - 5
.Women of color gather, discuss issues at annual
By Christy Glass
Daily Staff Reporter
A diverse group of students gath-
ered for the second annual women of
color symposium Saturday in the Busi-
ness School to discuss common issues
minority women face in society.
Tamera Woodard, an LSA senior
and an event organizer, said the
symposium's goal was to empower
women of color.
"The point of the symposium is to
bring ourselves to the forefront,"
Woodard said. "We want to empower
ourselves, because historically women
of color have been an ostracized group."
The first keynote speaker was
Toyomi Igus, the managing editor of
the academic publications at the Uni-
versity of California at Los Angeles's
Center for Afro-American Studies.
In her speech, Igus used the rela-
tionship between her African Ameri-
can grandmother and her Japanese
mother to show how women of color
can overcome their differences and
work toward common goals.
"Although these women were very
different, they became the best of
friends because they focused on the
two things they had in common - their
love for my father and for me," she said.
Igus said that today women of
color must come together in the same
way to combat their shared concerns.
"Today, as women of color, we
must focus on our common bonds, be-
cause in this country right now we have
more similarities than differences," she
said. "As women we need to stop fight-
ing each other and work together."
The speech was followed by a day
long schedule of workshops led by
University faculty and graduate stu-
dents and a second keynote speech by
Lorraine Gutierrez, a visiting profes-
sor from Washington, D.C. The work-
shops focused on issues such as spiri-
tuality, sexuality, motherhood and
Sumaya Villanueva, a graduate
student in sociology and a facilitator
for the workshop on sexuality, said
the workshop explored the ways
women of color could define them-
selves outside current sexual roles
"A lot of times women feel they
don't have an option," she said. "Usu-
ally women link their sexuality to
reproduction and motherhood, or as a
sexual object. It seems like there is
not much leeway."
Teri Rosales, a graduate student in
sociology, also served as a facilitator
at the symposium. She said that the
event was empowering for women of
color on campus.
"I came here with the confidence
that there would be other women with
the same issues as me," she said. "It is
a real comfort to know that other
women have the same struggle as
Thylias Moss, an English professor
and last year's keynote speaker, facili-
tated the workshop on motherhood.
"One of my main points is a defi-
nition of motherhood, and about the
establishment of memories for my
children," she said. "As a mother, I
want to establish lasting images for
my children after I am gone."
expected, only about 30 attended. Tanya
Clay, an LSA senior and coordinator
for this year's symposium, said that the
low turnout was a disappointment.
However, Clay said she was
pleased with the symposium. "Every-
body enjoyed the workshops and we
had a lot of great speakers," she said.
University employee Carol Griffin discusses racial and gender issues at the
women of color symposium Saturday.
*Students, school board
spar over magazme
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AMAN OF NO
GROSSE POINTE (AP) -Given
achoice of surrendering editorial con-
trol of their literary magazine or los-
ing funding, Grosse Pointe South High
School students say they would rather
*give up the money
Debate over control of the maga-
zine began after some parents com-
plained that the February issue of Im-
prints contained contributions that deal
with suicide, religion and violence.
"They just want us to print things
that are uplifting to students," Im-
prints editor Michele McShea said
last week. "Living in Grosse Pointe,
Owe have a very sheltered community.
We're presenting a view that you
wouldn't ordinarily see here. But just
because you don't see it, doesn't mean
it doesn't exist."
But school board member Sears
Taylor contends the magazine over-
stepped its bounds.
"I don't think the schools should
have to pay for somebody else's gra-
tuitous use of violence, or dangerous
glamorization of suicide, or the sacri-
legious treatment of any religious
person," Taylor said.
The articles range from wildly
irreverent to darkly foreboding. One
student describes the fictional sport of
killing postal carriers. There is a poem
about killing "the Lord with a bastard
sword" and sewing His head back on.
But most disturbing to Taylor
and some other parents was a short
story titled "Scissors" by Jenny
Holmes. The story chronicles the
depression of an unnamed girl who
seeks solace from her pain by peri-
odically cutting herself with scissors.
The girl eventually kills herself by
slicing her wrists in a hot tub. The
number for a suicide hotline is printed
under the story.
"The thought of a young girl in a
bathtub bleeding to death with a copy
of Imprints next to her scared the hell
out of me," Taylor said.
Taylor vowed to cutoff funding for
Imprints, whose $8,000 annual budget
comes from school coffers, unless the
students give up editorial control.
A booster group at the school
already has announced it will not
fund awards given annually to stu-
dents who work on Imprints.
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