Luther College Chips

Scott hosts Women of Color Reception Dinner

+Interim+Dean+for+Institutional+Equity+and+Inclusion+Lisa++Scott+delivers+a+speech+during+the+Women+of+Color+Reception+Dinner+on+Oct.+25.
 Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa  Scott delivers a speech during the Women of Color Reception Dinner on Oct. 25.

Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott delivers a speech during the Women of Color Reception Dinner on Oct. 25.

Jorge Contreras (‘20) | Chips

Jorge Contreras (‘20) | Chips

Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott delivers a speech during the Women of Color Reception Dinner on Oct. 25.

Jorge Contreras, Staff Writer

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Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott organized a reception dinner for women of color on Oct. 25. Scott welcomed more than 25 students, faculty, and staff identifying as women of color to share in food and conversation in Peace Dining Room.

Scott’s main goal for the session was to encourage women of color to unite and seek out leadership roles by giving information about how to do so. Students were seated at tables of eight to encourage conversation with other women of color on campus.

Scott circled around the room and introduced herself to students while they ate dinner before standing up at the front to present a short speech. In her speech, she talked about her personal experiences in working with women of color.

“My very first job in higher education was as a director of a women of color program,” Scott said in her speech. “I was floored that somebody was going to pay me to work with women of color. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was some of the best six and a half years of my entire career and it laid the foundation and the groundwork for the work that I do now.”

Scott was grateful to host this event for the students and encouraged them to continue meeting in the future.

Jorge Contreras (‘20) | Chips
Janet Irankunda (’19) introduces herself to the attendees at the Women of Color Reception Dinner.

“I’m hoping that this is not the last gathering,” Scott said. “I’m hoping that among you, you can think about ways of supporting each other.”

After Scott’s welcoming words, each of the students introduced themselves by sharing their name, year at Luther, nationality, and major.

“One of my interests is leadership,” Scott said. “We are in a place where there are not a lot of faculty of color, so how do we bring that here?”

Scott also mentioned how she and staff from other departments on campus are working towards helping women of color succeed at Luther.

“My colleagues and I will be meeting with women alums next week and in the coming months,” Scott said “We will have conversations about mentoring, internships, travel abroad, and how we bring those resources to bear on our success.”

Scott then showed a TED talk titled “It’s About Time to Value Young Women of Color in Leadership” by Brittany Packnett to help students realize the importance of gathering in a community.

“Do not dim your voices, do not take the easy way,” Scott said. “Think about how to walk with your heads up on campus and in a larger society. You are determined to be heard, determined to be seen. I’ll help you all to think about how you can come together in community.”

Attendee Fezile Mnisi (‘20) felt encouraged by Scott’s words and said that she appreciates having her on campus.

“I feel Luther was in a place where it was negligent of our emotional needs and didn’t really have a structure that we can rely on,” Mnisi said. “Lisa Scott’s work is beneficial to the community because we will have a more positive environment with better-supported women of color.”

Attendee Khwanhatai Kongkapetch (‘20) agreed with Mnisiadding that Scott is helping them not only in their college life but also when thinking about the future.

“Sometimes we focus a lot on how to get things done on time but not really about who we want to become in the future,” Kongkapetch said. “[Scott] reminds us that there are still a lot of things we could accomplish in our lives. Scott is an amazing woman. If there’s anything else that Luther needs, it is definitely to have more people like Lisa Scott.”

The reception ended with a session of group photos. Scott encourages everyone to contact her at [email protected] or the Diversity Center located in the Union in for more information.

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