The Women of Color in the Academy Project (WOCAP) is a campus-wide faculty network at U-M that supports scholarship focused on understanding the experiences of women of color in the academy and advocacy work to address the challenges and issues faced uniquely by women of color in the academy. To advance this scholarship and advocacy work, WOCAP provides professional development and a supportive and inclusive community that includes writing retreats, weekly writing sessions, bi-annual dinners, and other networking and professional development opportunities. WOCAP is open to all faculty who support or are actively engaged in this work.
Achieving a university where all women of color faculty experience success, leadership, visibility and representation at all levels of governance.
The campus-wide WOCAP faculty steering committee would like to extend an invitation to participate to all instructional track faculty who support or are actively engaged in scholarship or advocacy work focused on the experiences of women of color in higher education. Together, we can call attention to structural barriers and promote solutions to enhance the success of women in color in academia.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information about WOCAP.
Maria Castro, R C Schneider Collegiate Professor, Professor of Neurosurgery and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, Medical School
Patricia Coleman-Burns, Assistant Professor Emerita of Nursing, School of Nursing
Youngju Ryu, Associate Professor of Modern Korean Literature, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Director of the Nam Center for Korean Studies
Hitomi (Tomi) Tonomura, Professor of History, Women’s and Gender Studies, and American Culture, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Robin Wilson, Associate Professor of Dance, School of Music, Theatre and Dance
Camille Wilson, Professor of Educational Foundations, Leadership & Policy
Robin Pankey, Program Coordinator
This award honors the late Shirley Verrett, a U-M Professor who “would have walked the world over for her students.” Ms. Verrett was a James Earl Jones Distinguished University Professor of Voice at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and an internationally acclaimed opera singer with over 40 roles during the course of her illustrious four-decade career. She was one of the pioneering leaders in the generation of Black opera singers and her legacy continues to pave the way for female artists from diverse backgrounds.
The Award recognizes a faculty member whose work–teaching, performance, scholarship or service–supports the success of female artists from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds. The nominee must be within the “Art” field as broadly defined to include literary, visual, and performance arts (e.g. poetry, photography, painting, dance, theatre).
Established by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost in 2012, the award carries a $5,000 prize and is available to all tenured/tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty as well as lecturers at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Ashley Lucas, Professor of American Culture, English, and Latino Studies in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, Residential College, Professor of Theatre & Drama, Penny Stamps School of Art & Design, and American Culture at the University of Michigan. Former Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project and current Director of the Latina/o Studies Program
Daniel Washington, Professor of Voice, School of Music, Theatre and Dance
Tiffany Ng, Assistant Professor of Carillon and University Carillonist
Naomi André, Associate Director for Faculty, Residential College, and Associate Professor, Afroamerican and African Studies, the Residential College, and Women’s Studies
Anita Gonzalez, Professor of Theatre & Drama, School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Professor Emeritus George Shirley, Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Emeritus Professor of Voice, School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Professor Emerita Lorna Goodison, English Language and Literature, Afroamerican and African Studies
Professor Charles Oyamo Gordon, English Language and Literature, School of Music, Theatre
Professor Robin Wilson, Department of Dance, School of Music, Theatre and Dance
Professor Glenda Dickerson, Department of Theatre and Drama, School of Music, Theatre and Dance
The resources on this web page may be informative for people who are interested in the mission and activities of WOCAP. WOCAP is not responsible for, nor does it control, the content of the websites listed below. The resources listed on this web page may be updated periodically.
The Women of Color in the Academy Project (WOCAP) has a rich grassroots history that began in the summer of 1994 with conversations among a group of diverse and passionate faculty, staff, and administrators across U-M schools, colleges, and units.
These conversations focused on the structural barriers facing women of color in the academy and solutions to enhance their success that ultimately led to a joint proposal submitted to the Office of Academic and Multicultural Affairs by the Center for the Education of Women and the U-M Women’s Studies Program.
The proposal was approved with co-funding from OAMA and the Office of the Vice President for Research to develop WOCAP, currently supported by the Office for Diverasity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office of the Provost.Read More
While more than two decades have passed since the Women of Color in the Academy Project was created at the University of Michigan, the need to reduce feelings of isolation, stigmatization, and to foster an inclusive community continues to be a priority.
This emerged as a theme in the U-M Faculty Campus Climate Survey on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that was conducted in 2016.
While 74 percent of U-M faculty said they are satisfied with the campus climate, underrepresented faculty, particularly women of color, continue to experience the campus climate as unsupportive and unwelcoming.
Providing a deeper understanding of the survey findings are WOCAP members’ responses to an inquiry at the group’s 2019 dinner celebration: “What does it mean to be a Women of Color faculty, lecturer, research scientist, research fellow, or postdoctorate?”
In its 27th year — 25th-anniversary events were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — WOCAP has grown exponentially from a handful of members meeting in their individual homes over potlucks to more than 300 members across a variety of schools and departments, and more than 100 faculty and administrators having served as Steering Committee members.
Check back here for more information on upcoming WOCAP events!
Other questions? Please email the WOCAP Program Coordinator at email@example.com.
A networking event in the summer of 2010 for area professionals, featuring the performances of 3 UM faculty members: renowned jazz pianist Geri Allen, bassist Robert Hurst, and dancer Robin Wilson.
“State of Women of Color at the University of Michigan Address”
Held in the Winter of 2008, the purpose of this panel of speakers was to spark dialogue within the university community about the state of recruitment, retention, and promotion of women of color faculty across ranks, departments, and units. We hoped to develop interventions that will lead to the successful recruitment and retention of women of color, as well as improve classroom environments, departmental climates, and service contributions.
The video project “Through My Lens” was completed in the fall of 1999. The video was produced to capture the experiences of women of color faculty at U-M as a part of a broad undertaking to create a dialogue that would lead to promoting reform in the recruitment, retention, and overall satisfaction of women of color faculty in academe.
The 27-minute presentation captures salient commentary by women of color faculty on such pertinent themes as campus climate, isolation/lack of community, balance issues between career and family, and recruitment/retention issues.