MU #Presses for Progress

Marshall University celebrated Women of Color Day Tuesday with a “#PressforProgress” luncheon.

A national network of women established Women of Color Day in 1986 to celebrate women of African, Indian, Asian, Pacific Island, Latina, Hispanic and Native Alaskan heritages.

“Women of Color Day is important to me because it shows that, despite stereotypes, what you may see on TV or social media, we have dynamic women of color impacting lives and making change, and they are right on our campus and in our community,” Shaunte Polk, sponsored programs administrator for Intercultural Affairs, said. “Sometimes it is so hard as a woman to get the recognition that we deserve and even more so when you are one of color, but when you have programs such as these that highlight amazing women, it gives everyone on campus and in the community a glimpse of the reason we appreciate these women so much.”

Polk said Press for Progress came from the International Women’s Day celebration. It was the international’s celebration theme and she said she believed it would fit with the Women of Color celebration as well.

The luncheon featured guest speaker Terri’Ane Berkley, a native of Charleston, West Virginia and executive director of the East End Family Resource Center in Charleston.

“Terri is someone who always been a passionate and dynamic speaker, whether it was giving a speech or reading a poem, and when she speaks it leaves you in awe,” Polk said. “To the committee, she was just the person to drive home the point of this year’s overall message for the Women of Color program #pressforprogress.”

Berkley displayed a desire for progress and compassion for many years. She worked within her community as a mentor and help it grow.

Polk said she hopes people would stop accepting the way the world is and instead try to change it.

“I hope people decide to not be complacent, continue to let our voices be heard and to continue to press forward and progress gender parity,” Polk said.

Michaela Crittenden can be contacted at [email protected].