Academic journal article Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

Closing Remarks

Academic journal article Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

Closing Remarks

Article excerpt

Thank you all for coming. If you didn't catch my name at the beginning, I'm Elise Lopez, the 2016-2017 President of Empowering Women of Color (EWOC). I just want to make a few closing remarks. First of all, I want to give a huge thanks to our panelists. They were phenomenal. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. Thank you very much.

I always find our conference to be a reenergizing experience. It's the pinnacle event of EWOC, and we put a lot of work into it every year. I know as law students and people in the professional world, it's a lot to take time out of your day to come to a conference, but it's always so worth it. I'm always so happy that I came and this year the attendance is really encouraging. So, thank you all for that.

I love this space because I think it's a place where we can be really honest. That's there isn't always the opportunity to do this in the classroom or the office. I think our conference represents a time where these wonderful professionals, academics, and practitioners can speak openly about their experiences, and in doing so, empower and uplift other women of color.

During our practitioners' panel, we heard about the stereotypes that the panelists work against daily, including others' disbelief that they're occupying these roles, whether they're a prosecutor, or in public interest, or the only person of color at a small firm. It's really inspiring to hear how they navigate those worlds and how they keep their energy up, because I think it's something that we law students will also encounter.

From our healthcare panel, we watched a clip from Wilhemina's War and learned about the huge inequalities that still exist in access to proper healthcare. One of the people interviewed in the film actually said that healthcare and education are the two things that are creating generations of poverty; it's an area where there's still such a huge fight. And, of course right now it's obviously very relevant as we face the new proposed healthcare bill.

Our academic panel shared how they push barriers by presenting their scholarship and working in subject matter areas that are traditionally not associated with people of color. Despite the adversity they meet, they succeed in occupying these worlds and leading in them. So, we thank you so much for your remarks, and for sharing with us, and really being open, because that's what this conference is all about. …

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