Two seniors were awarded this month for their campus achievement at the annual Phenomenal Women of Color Awards, an event sponsored by the ethnic studies department and Alumnae of Color Committee.
The ceremony was held at the Mills College Art Museum on April 1 and students, faculty and alumnae gathered to celebrate the achievements of students of color and campus clubs that promote diversity.
Seniors Jabrilla Carr and Ashley Grant were honored during the award ceremony. Carr received the Reaching Beyond Award for her excellence in building coalitions between communities of color on campus.
“Being honored is very important to me because it lets me know how much they appreciate us as students in this department. I truly appreciate ethnic studies in everything they’ve done for me,” Carr said.
After graduation, Carr said she hopes to further her professional and academic career through developing communities of color and promoting equality in education.
Grant received the Spirit of Dolores Huerta Award, which recognizes a student who has demonstrated a courageous, conscientious and intellectual pursuit of justice. The award was named for the Latina labor leader, organizer and social justice activist who co-founded the United Farm Workers union.
“I’m glad that they are honoring me and the work that I do,” said Grant, current ASMC Co-President. During her time at Mills, she has been vice president of the Black Women’s Collective, an active member of the ethnic studies community and a Senior Resident Adviser for the Division of Student Life.
The co-chairs of the Alumnae of Color Committee, Cynthia Guevara and Darice Balabanis, gave the graduating seniors roses. Anita Aragon Bowers, an alumna and resigning president of the Mills Alumnae Association, honored them with a toast.
“I had just the easy pleasure of being able to give the toast and past years I helped organize, but it was really the co-chairs’ department and alum relations that organized and the event facilitated it,” Bowers said.
First-year Rachel Reyes, who attended the ceremony, said she was inspired by the accomplishments of the senior class.
“Events like this remind me why I wanted to come to Mills because everyone is so empowered and I just feel really good about being at this school. It kind of just renewed my faith in women of color,” Reyes said.
Senior Latasha Warmsley praised the Alumnae of Color Committee for planning the event.
“I felt honored that alumnae would take time out of their busy schedule to come share their experience,” said Wormsley. “To be able to look back and reflect on the past year really helped to solidify how far we, as phenomenal women of color, have come.”