Empowerment Dinner

Empowerment Dinner info

May 16, 2024
5:30pm - 8:00pm
VU Multipurpose Room

Empowerment Dinner Scholarships, & Awards

Support the Empowerment Dinner

Empowerment Dinner:
Celebrating Women of Color and Their Allies

The Office of Multicultural Student Services invites you to join us for the Empowerment Dinner: Celebrating Women of Color and Their Allies on Thursday, May 16th in the VU MPR. Doors open at 5:30pm, and the program starts at 6pm. Our theme for this event is "Your Body, Your Autonomy". Formerly called the Women of Color Empowerment Dinner, our hope is to create a space that is welcoming and inclusive of all gender identities, while also understanding that women of color face specific challenges due to systems of oppression including racism and sexism.   

Empowerment Dinner overview

The evening will include ESC club performances from Baile Folklorico and the Vietnamese Student Association. We will also host a diverse panel of faculty, staff, and students as well as present the Empowerment Dinner Scholarships and Empowerment Dinner Awards. This event is free and includes dinner for attendees. We encourage attendees to wear their most empowering outfit. Registration is required and space is limited.

Empowerment Dinner awards

Please nominate a faculty, staff, or student for the Empowerment Dinner Award. The purpose of the Empowerment Dinner Award is to recognize a student, a faculty, and a staff member at Western who has mentored or encouraged women of color. This award honors an individual who has distinguished themselves by demonstrating excellence in contribution to women of color while enhancing understanding and sensitivity to their issues and concerns.  One Empowerment Dinner Award will be in honor of Dr. Reneé Collins.  Dr. Collins served Western for more than 30 years before retiring in 2019 as the associate dean of students and director of Student Outreach Services. Dr. Collins passed away on February 24, 2022, but her legacy of care and love of community lives on. “We are excited to honor Dr. Collins’s legacy. She understood the importance of creating spaces that centered and celebrated women of color and was a champion of the Women of Color Empowerment Dinner,” states Amy Salinas Westmoreland, director of Multicultural Student Services. All enrolled students, faculty, and staff of Western are eligible. Nominees may demonstrate some or all of the following characteristics: Creative, Compassionate,  Determined,  Inspirational, Positive, Supportive, Advocacy, Community builder, Innovator,  Leader, Mentor,  Teacher/friend. Nominations can be submitted via the Empowerment Dinner Awards nomination form.  

Empowerment Dinner scholarship

Students still have time to apply for the Empowerment Dinner Scholarship. The Empowerment Scholarship for Women of Color and their Allies was established at Western in 2007. This community initiative includes an academic scholarship for students who demonstrate support for women of color at Western. Applicants should be a currently enrolled student who can demonstrate their contributions in work, volunteerism and/or studies that center women of color. The Empowerment Scholarship Committee will select two $500 scholarship recipients. The recipients will be honored at the 2024 Empowerment Dinner hosted May 16th at the VU MPR. To learn more about the scholarship criteria and to complete an application, please visit the Centers for Student Access, Community, and Intercultural Engagement website.  Applications close April 29.