University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Indigenous Women & Women of Color Student Summit

This World is Ours to Build: 2018 Indigenous Women & Women of Color Student Summit

Flower with shades of blue petals. Center of flower is a white circle, inside is hand-written text that reads "This world is ours to build." Under the flower in cursive hand-written text: "Indigenous Women & Women of Color Student Summit."

The Indigenous Women and Women of Color Student Summit, organized by the Women's Center, takes place every other year. We are proud to partner with the Carlson School of Management in organizing the next summit, which will take place at the University of Minnesota on Saturday, March 24, 2018. 

This summit is by and for indigenous women and women of color students to learn from each other, network, and explore leadership, personal, and professional development. The summit prioritizes and centers the voices and experiences of women-identified indigenous students and students of color. 

Register for the 2018 Summit

Click here to register for the 2018 Summit, then join and share the event on Facebook!




Summit Keynote: Autumn Brown

We are delighted to announce that Autumn Brown will be the keynote speaker for the 2018 Keynote for the Indigenous Women and Women of Color Student Summit: This World is Ours to Build. Autumn Brown is a mother, organizer, theologian, artist, and facilitator. She is a worker-owner of AORTA, the Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance, a cooperative devoted to strengthening movements for social justice and a solidarity economy through facilitation, political education, and consulting. She is the co-host of the podcast, How to Survive the End of the World, with her sister, adrienne maree brown. Autumn writes speculative fiction and creative non-fiction. She lives in rural Central Minnesota with her partner and three brilliant children. 




About the 2018 Summit

This World is Ours to Build: The theme of this summit was inspired by civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, who said, “Remember that consciousness is power… Tomorrow’s world is yours to build.” We were also influenced by Alicia Garza, activist and co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter, who reminded us, “This is the time for us to not just dream about what could be, but also start to build alternatives that we want to see.”

Thank You to Our Summit Co-Sponsors

Diamond Partners

  • Carlson School of Management
  • Multicultural Student Engagement, Office of Student Affairs
  • TCF Bank
  • College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Office for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health, School of Public Health


Gold Partners

  • Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Initiative
  • Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, Office for Equity and Diversity
  • University Indigenous Women and Women of Color

Summit History and Background

The inaugural summit, Safe Spaces, Critical Connections, was held in 2011 and centered around the themes of community-building, activism, leadership, and dialogue. The second summit, Loving Each Other Harder: Women of Color, Community and the Intersections of Our Identities*, was a continuation of the conversations that began in 2011. This conference took place in March 2014, and was an opportunity for attendees to examine these ideas in the context of intersectionality. A mini-conference, Being My Sister's Keeper: Supporting Each Other Through Action, was held in March 2015. 

The third summit, held in March 2016, continued and expanded upon past conference themes, and provided an opportunity for attendees to examine these ideas in the context of leadership, confidence, and cultural strengthWhat are the multiple identities of women of color? How do they affect the learning, leading and living experiences of women of color students, particularly at predominantly white institutions (PWIs)? How do these identities affect how women of color see and work with one another?

In 2016, we re-named this bi-annual event (formerly titled Women of Color Student Conference) as the Indigenous Women and Women of Color Student Summit. Dr. Debbie Reese, at the American Indians in Children's Literature website, provides a resource that may be helpful in understanding why we chose to rename this bi-annual event.

*We are inspired by and graciously credit Maegan Ortiz (mamitamala) for the creation of the language of “loving each other harder” and Jessica Marie Johnson, author of Diaspora Hypertext, for her writing featuring the same language.

Pictured: Plenary session with the People's Movement Center on healing justice at the March 2016 Indigenous Women and Women of Color Student Summit: Igniting Leadership, Confidence, and Cultural Strength