Against the Current: Collective works on State Violence, identity and Resistance

Part 5: 10 Point Plan Remix ft. The Women of Color at Penn

The interviewees were asked, "What do we need as women of color? From Penn? From men at Penn?"
However, these are more than just responses. Never forget that, as women of color, our experiences cannot be measured by the standards that already exist and our hardships cannot be repaired through these same standards. These are our demands, these are wants, these are NEEDS. It is time for us to cease from giving in to society, and allow them to begin to rebuild our backs that we, so selflessly give.

1. LISTEN. Truly listen to what we have to say. You cannot help us if you don't understand what we're saying you are doing wrong.

2. Affinity groups.
"We're not always gonna be strong, sometimes we need those places to breakdown and sometimes we also need those places to be magic and dope and stuff like that. Like we need both at the same exact time." 

3. Stronger sense of the internal community.
"It was so strong, it was so unifying and strong and powerful and if we had more of that, If we could be more united d on like different things and issues and I feel like that could be, that could be something, that like when I was talking about before with loud, like other peoples voices being heard, that was something that couldn’t be ignored bcause we were so united"

4. Removal of measures of how and when to succeed.
"... we can graduate in 3 years, 5 years, like why is there a time line?"

5. More Spaces to heal/Openness. 
“Openness, a lot of times when stuff happens to us we don’t talk about how it affects us, and so we hide those feelings. It’s a habit, I feel like not even just acknowledgment..." 

Awareness from Faculty/Staff of what it means to be a Woman of Color at Penn.
"When trump got elected, I told my professors... me and my other black friend were like, 'Can we get an extension on this assignment?', they were muting or piazza posts, they were like ignoring us and we kept posting them and then I got an email from them like 'Oh why would, something something, I don’t like that he won either but how would you feel if we gave all trump supporters an extension just because like trump won?', blah blah blah something something. And then the group me incident happened and then they all reached out and they were like 'Oh I'm sorry, um I didn’t think it was this serious but blah blah you can get your extension.' So I think there just needs to be, I don’t need to like have an easier time here, I don’t need people to feel bad for me but like I do need my professors to like, and not just to be willing to give me extensions, but like offer them like hey I understood, ‘I saw this happened like to all my black students like if you need an extension, like its granted’, so I think like, professors in general need to be more aware."

7. Real productiveness. Creating initiatives that actually help 
"Active thinking, and active working on that is like what we need and putting that throughout CAPS and other departments."

9. Financial literacy. We need to know what's actually happening with our financial situations because any change that might not affect a white student who has the thousands to easily pay for their tuition, 99.9% of the time, women of color do not. Most of the time we don't have mommy and daddy money. If our parents don't even know what it even means to be in an Ivy League institution, they definitely would not know what financial hold means or how to even navigate the online  website to pay bills, with money they don't even have. Removal of the expectations that we all know what we're doing and have money.

10. To the white men: we know the melanin in us is uncommon and irresistible, but our color doesn't give you authority to sexualize us. To our Black brothers: the melanin we share doesn't allow for comfortability and give you the excuse to cross the line. And if and when you do, own up to it. Do not make us feel the same way that our oppressors have done throughout history.  To Penn: stop invalidating our victimhood. It's hard to deal with a rape or sexual harassment, and it's even harder when the only form of authority that can actually help us, doesn't believe us.

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  1. "African Queens", Alexander Henry Fabric,