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Ask Dr. BKW: Should higher education women of color start network group?

Women of color employed in institutions of higher education can come together in a sisterhood to feel supported in their positions for the betterment of the chosen profession. As you start planning the networking group, remember the women of color who will participate do not have to be employed only at your institution (including 2-year and 4-year colleges/universities). It is important to come together knowing you are supported in a non-judgmental environment with comments being confidential.

Planning is the key for successful women of color networking group. Here are some ideas to build the sisterhood of higher education women of color network group.

1. Create a list with contact information of potential women of color to invite,
2. Select date, time and site for the initial meeting,
3. Create an e-vite invitation and send to prospective attendees from ones listed in number one (1). As part of the invitation, it is suggested to ask them to share with persons they know who may want to become a part of the sisterhood network,
4. Provide light refreshments for the event, if needed,
5. At first meeting discuss purpose, goal, role of attendees, future meetings dates, times, sites and types of events (e.g., luncheon, spa day, book club, visit local attractions, attend state happenings), and
6. Use various social media outlets to stay in touch until next face-to-face gathering (e.g., set up Face Book group page, set up blog page, text, Goggle hangout).

These are just some ways to begin the sisterhood relationship for women of color working in institutions of higher education. Remember the gathering is a time to get reinvigorated to continue the high standards of professional women.