Mission Statement

The University of California Research Cluster for the Study of Women of Color in Conflict and Collaboration researches, writes on, and shares ideas concerning the conditions of women of color in the US and the "Third World." Departing from critical perspectives surrounding the category "women of color," the cluster's mission involves the study of the complexities of multiple, dispersed, and conficting identities.

Since the term "women of color" emerged as a political category about fifteen years ago, its meanings and invocations have been repeatedly problematized. The cluster focuses its attention on the multiple interpretations and expressions of identities which this category both embraces and refuses. At the core of our work is an exploration of the ways in which we as women of color refigure cultural identity by resisting, reclaiming, and reinventing our collective selves.

Through the critical engagement with these issues, we reclaim our right to self definition in order to understand how women of color reject forms of cultural hegemony that force objectification and invisibility. Acknowledging our strength and conviction gives impetus to the different forms of insurgence women of color deploy to gain insight into the realities of lived experience and political resistance. We work both in collaboration and conflict to reveal how the societies we inhabit are pervaded by race, gender, class and sexual subordination.

Our endeavors are made possible by the generous funds earmarked for a period of three years (1995-1998) by Professor Angela Y. Davis, UC Presidential Chair, and the Center for Cultural Studies. These funds support a variety of programs and events, including the Women of Color Film and Video Festival, conferences, pedagogy workshops, curriculum development, and presentations by guest speakers. We encourage and welcome those interested in participating in this work to join the Research Cluster for the Study of Women of Color in Conflict and Collaboration.