WOC LATEST NEWS
At Women of Colors, we develop relationships to overcome barriers. WOC has led initiatives that serve at-risk youth ages 6–18 with after-school programming. These students have worked with mentors, learned coping skills, and gotten involved in community-building activities. If we want to reach children and teens, we need to first develop positive relationships with them.
At Women of Colors, we foster community through storytelling. The forum How I Overcame encourages an open dialogue among women of colors who are passionate about overcoming challenges as a community. Our panelists help others by telling stories of what and how they overcame.
At Women of Colors, we teach skills for wellness and a healthy, happy lifestyle. From December 2019 to February 2020, we administered the Prime for Life program to youth in juvenile detention, measuring their understanding of prevention strategies before and after completing the training. Our participants saw an increase in average test score from 57% to 67%.
At Women of Colors, we give kids and teens a voice. The event Your Voice Your Choice involves young people as not only beneficiaries but ambassadors of WOC’s mission to give back to the Saginaw community. Our youth consortium plans fun, productive workshops for other middle and high school students.
At Women of Colors, we help students develop skills and confidence. WOC has offered an after-school program called Students and Future Technology (SaFT). Students from second to twelfth grade learn about robotics and computer programming, work on hands-on projects, and collaborate with partners or small groups.
At Women of Colors, we build a better community. Why does Women of Colors sponsor a program called I’m Still a Man? WOC started the men’s and women’s forums to reach parents. Our volunteers are passionate about promoting safe places for transparent dialogue within and among families.
At Women of Colors, we acknowledge that it takes community to make a difference. We want all youth in the Saginaw community to have a safe and warm winter. Thanks to the help of our donors and volunteers, WOC has made the holidays happier for hundreds of children and families through our annual Warm a Child for Winter event. Learn more about the coat giveaway here: womenofcolors.org/warm-a-child-for-winter
At Women of Colors, we are here for our community. Evelyn McGovern, WOC’s president and cofounder, views community as a key value. “Women of Colors is a community organization,” she says. “We are here for the community. We can’t do what we are doing unless we have collaboration with agencies, businesses, churches, and schools.”
Seven out of eight participants surveyed indicated that they enjoyed the topics discussed in WOC Prevention sessions. Eight of eight found their mentor knowledgeable. (February 2020)
20 of 20 people who returned surveys about our forum How I Overcame noted that they would attend similar events in the future. (July 2020)
Nearly 100 students participated in our annual Students and Future Technology program. (2019)
Over 40 kids and teens in the Saginaw Bay Area attended WOC’s forum Your Voice Your Choice. (January 2020)
Women of Colors hosted five forums in a year attended by a total of 300 people. (2019)
Of the 33 people who returned surveys about the forums Time to Have a Conversation and How I Overcame, 27 noted that they were left feeling “hopeful” and 31 noted that they were left feeling “inspired.” (2020)
In the annual Warm a Child for Winter event, Women of Colors distributed more than 400 coats and winter accessories to children up to 16 years old. (2019)
In a six-month period, Women of Colors reached more than 1,000 community members, including 700 youth. (November 2019–April 2020)
During that time, she met Yvonne Riggins Thomas and Evelyn McGovern while they were recruiting membership and planning programs for the youth of Saginaw. She first utilized their volunteer services for Saginaw African Culture Festival and Family Youth Initiative (FYI) Programs, for which she served as Vice Chairman and Coordinator, respectively.
Since Lynn was a Licensed Clinical Family Therapist, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and Certified Prevention Specialist, she was approached by Evelyn to help make a dream come true. Together, they implemented a prevention program to provide service for youth and adults under the umbrella of WOC. “With my education, organizing, and leadership skills in programming, we were able to complete the tasks before us,” Lynn recalls.
Lynn celebrates the growth and community impact that has come from collaborating with like-minded leaders to make a difference: “We organized and supervised a Prevention Team for WOC. We started with 2 Prevention Specialists, and now we have 11 staff members, which includes 4 volunteer members.” The Prevention Specialists are provided with ongoing trainings throughout the year and utilize evidenced-based programs as defined by Women of Colors, the State of Michigan, and Mid State Health Network.
“I love serving and helping the people of my community, and that’s why I became a social worker,” says Lynn, who shares that they are working with the Prevention Specialists to become certified by McBAP and ICRC very soon. The WOC Prevention Team is already reaching thousands of viewers of all types through virtual and face-to-face programming. Prevention Specialists have been working in Saginaw Middle and High Schools, Saginaw County Juvenile, churches, and homeless shelters, to name just a few!
1) In the Time to Have a Conversation forum, we hear new perspectives on systemic racism from a variety of panelists who are active community leaders. What conversations have you started or joined?
2) At Women of Colors: Prevention, we give students tips and training on how to cope with anxiety, manage anger, evaluate risk, build self-esteem, and develop social and life skills. What else would be valuable to include in a youth curriculum?
3) In the forum How I Overcame, we hear transparent stories from female panelists who want to inspire listeners to sit more comfortably with or even give voice to their own stories. What have you overcome?
4) We provide STEM training and empower students to take charge of their lifelong learning process through Students and Future Technology, a program for elementary, middle, and high school students. What does “lifelong learning” mean to you?
5) In the event Your Voice Your Choice, we collaborate with Saginaw youth to plan workshops and a talent presentation. Why is it important for young people to have a voice in their community?
6) In the forum I’m Still a Man, we hear from a variety of panelists about their experiences with manhood and what it means to navigate and negotiate that role in today’s society. Why is it important for men to tell their stories?
7) At Warm a Child for Winter, we provide children with warm winter clothing and an event to warm their hearts. How will you spread kindness to others?
IN THE COMMUNITY
2020 WARM A CHILD
On Saturday, November 14, Women of Colors will host the 7th Annual Warm a Child for Winter event. WOC, in collaboration with community leaders, schools, churches and other agencies have given over 1,000 new and gently used coats, hats, scarves, gloves and books to underprivileged children in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
WOMEN OF COLORS
Women of Colors offers a variety of youth and adult programs. Fill out the form below to inquire about our programs.