Diversity Club Celebrates Women of Color


Mitski is one of the powerful females Diversity Club is honoring this month

March is Women’s History Month, during which the countless accomplishments and contributions to humanity made by women are celebrated. In honor of the often overlooked women of color who have struggled to overcome racism and sexism amidsts their accomplishments, Diversity Club has been populating the B Hall bulletin board with images and bios of the less frequently recognized women of color who have positively impacted society. Here are some of the women currently able to be seen on the bulletin board:


Kathleen Collins

Kathleen Collins was born in 1942. She raised in Jersey City, and educated at Skidmore and the Sorbonne. Collins was an activist with SNCC during the Civil Rights Movement who went on to carve out a career for herself as a playwright and filmmaker during a time when black women were rarely seen in those roles. She died at age 46, from breast cancer. Her most known work is the film Losing Ground, followed perhaps by two plays, In the Midnight Hour, and The Brothers. A never-before released collection of short fiction, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?, was published by Ecco Press in Fall, 2016.


Janet Mock

Janet Mock was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1983, as Charles Mock. She began transitioning during her freshman year of high school, and funded this transition through sex work throughout her teens. After graduating high school, she became the first person in her family to attend college and then pursued a career in journalism with several magazines. The first major publication she worked with was People Magazine, where she wrote until February 2014. She also worked at MSNBC and was featured on several shows before she got her own show. However, her first “coming out” interview was with the Magazine Marie Claire, where she now works. This interview marked the beginning of her work as a transgender activist, work for which she has been recognized for through many awards. In 2012, she began the popular Twitter hashtag #girlslikeus to advocate for transgender girls, and she also won the Sylvia Rivera Activist Award from the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. The following year she campaigned against a Phoenix law which allowed police to arrest anyone suspected of “manifesting prostitution”, a law that was used to target trans women of color. In 2014, she not only won the Inspiration Award from GLSEN, but she also released her first book, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, which the American Library Association awarded the Stonewall Book Award. Janet Mock’s work has impacted many Americans, and she continues to be a major inspiration to countless activists as well as LGBT+ folks and their allies.


Serena Williams

Serena Williams started playing tennis on public tennis courts in Compton, California while being mentored by her father. Serena and her family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida when she was 9 to attend a tennis academy. However, her father made her not participate in national junior tournaments a year later, as he witnessed parents saying racist remarks towards his daughter during tournaments. At the time she was pulled, she was ranked first for her division in Florida. Serena’s father pulled her out of the academy when she was 14 and took over as her coach for her professional debut at the age of, and since then, she has won 23 Grand Slam Titles, placing her second all-time for the most wins. She is also the first tennis player in history to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Serena has used her fame to inspire a generation of aspiring tennis players, and thanks to her donations to the Southeast Tennis Center in D.C., has helped make the sport accessible to lower-income families within inner-cities, an initiative that is needed for tennis due to the sport being more accessible for wealthy families. Serena has also had an impact on women in sports, as her dominance in tennis has made her a household name in America and makes her not only a recognized woman in the sports world but also makes her a cultural icon and celebrity. Serena’s personality on the tennis court is as notable as her athleticism, as since she started playing she has had a competitive and fiery, along with a uniquely humorous personality. She has never hesitated to call out an audience or an official if they were being unjust or disrespectful towards her. It has been because of her outspokenness that has made her a dominating figure in sports, as she has never faltered when she has been faced with racism or sexism.


Diane Humetewa

Diane Humetewa, born December 5, 1964, who serves as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona and served as United States Attorney for the District of Arizona from December 2007 to August 2009. Humetewa was confirmed in 2014 as the first Native American woman and enrolled tribal member to serve as a federal judge, one of three Native Americans in history to serve in this position. Humetewa is also a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Humetewa has served as counsel to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and to the Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice, as a member of the United States Sentencing Guideline Commission, Native American Advisory Committee, and as an Appellate Court Judge for the Hopi Tribe, of which she is an enrolled member.



Mitski Miyawaki, known mononymously as Mitski, is a Japanese-American singer-songwriter who uses her multiracial and multicultural upbringing to inspire her work and fuel her activism. At only age 26, she has released 4 studio albums, all receiving much critical acclaim. Mitski was born in Japan, but spent her childhood moving across the globe from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Malaysia to China to Turkey, among other countries, before settling down in New York City. With influence from many diverse cultures, Mitski has struggled to fully adopt the norms of the more assimilationist United States, and has detailed the resulting internal and external conflicts in her songs. In addition to being a vocal advocate of women’s and minority rights, Mitski donated a portion of the proceeds from her recent tour to support protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The Indie / alternative genre is known for being male-dominated, with female contributions frequently stereotyped as less being innovative and more complacent, yet Mitski’s powerful voice and eloquent anger slices through close mindedness in an infectious way.


Check on the B Hall bulletin board regularly to see more notable Women of Color throughout history!