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History

Established in 1999, the Women of Color Empowerment Dinner brought a group consisting of faculty, staff, and students together to dialogue about current issues and share stories of struggle, courage, and accomplishment. Empowering one another, these women provided a foundation of community and support, setting the stage for continued development of the program.


The Women of Color Empowerment Dinner contributes to diversity at Western Washington University. It continues to celebrate the success and accomplishments of women of color. The WOCED provides a forum to address current issues, increasing awareness of and concerns related to the issues of women of color.


As a result of attending the 16th Women of Color Empowerment Dinner, students will:

        • listen to a renowned female role model deliver a keynote, motivational speech

        • celebrate the accomplishments and successes of women of color

        • dialogue with peers of color, staff, faculty mentors, and alumni

        • identify leaders with whom to develop relationships/connections

        • acknowledge current and past Annual Award recipient(s)

        • acknowledge students who are attending

        • develop supportive social and educational communities

        • address social and cultural issues


Since the beginning, Western Washington University has been inspired and empowered by the words and wisdom of over 35 panelists. Former speakers include:

  Reneé Collins • Becky Diaz • Robbie Ferron • Midori Takagi • Juanita Jefferson • Monica Hunter
  Lydia Ledesma-Reece • Star Rush • Meesha Grinter • Pat Fabiano • Maria Perez • Laverne Lane-Oriero
  Christina Castorena • Tina Lombard-Harris • Carmen Best • Patricia Paul • Josie Estrada • Tanya Kim
  Cheryl Crazybull • Vickie Toyohara-Mukai • Michele Vendiola • Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney • Rhonda Coats
  Barbara Finkbonner • Linh Vu • Marcella Fleming Reed • Maria Ivarra • Angelique Davis • Tina Young
  Luz Maria Gonzalez • Rohini Anand • Guadalupe Perez • Laurel Yamaguchi • Sarah Ishmael (Student)
  Raquel Montoya-Lewis • Kelly Barefield (Student) • Kristen French • Debora Barrera Pontillo
  Kathi Hiyane-Brown • Patricia Whitefoot • Karen Dade


For more information on the 16th annual Women of Color Empowerment Dinner contact chair
Joan Ullin at 360.650.7443 or email: Joan.Ullin@wwu.edu