Intersectional Feminist Movement at Keele working on getting more cis and trans women, and non-binary people involved in every level of decision making.
The Women of Keele Educate (or W.O.K.E.) project aims to engage with and support all cis and trans women, and non-binary people.
We are deliberately not a registered society as we sit outside to keep the whole of Keele more accountable.
We work to educate our campus and the local community giving voices to those of us who are most marginalized.
We also want to foster a wider engagement and empowerment of cis and trans women, and non-binary people to take part in decision making across our Keele campus. One of the ways we do this is by encouraging people and supporting people to run for the paid and voluntary student politics positions within the two unions (KeeleSU and the Keele Postgraduate Association, also known as KPA). Both of which have been very heavily cis male dominated for some time.
Our first year has so far been successful, having carried out most of our aims and welcoming several success in terms of supporting people to go for roles or promotions. We have also had a year of providing spaces to listen and learn. Most importantly we have given space for our WOKE community organizers to create some real cultural changes working at every level of the University.
We have also succeeded in winning funding from various partner sections at Keele University.
Our group was originally inspired by work Celeste Jones did within Sheffield SU, along with conversations with a past KeeleSU President, Emily Horsfall. With these inspirations WOKE was co-founded by Sophia Taha, Roxy Birdsall, Kiran, and Ele Fisher. The name of the group was thought of by Molly Drummond.
We began working in freshers week 2018 and soon had a core group of WOKE Community Organizers (click here for all our thank yous!)
The First Year
In our first year we ran a series of evening public talks which started in October 2018 and occurred regularly during term-time.
We organized trips to see feminist stand-up comedy, attended protests outside Yarl’s Wood, went to show solidarity with Goldsmiths AntiRacism Occupation, we also ran #SheShouldRun campaigns in both unions. We had film screenings and workshops and made sure that the needs of those often silenced were heard in various places on campus.
In wider campus activities, our group fed back into shaping a conference at our university: ‘What are universities for now?’We managed to signpost our very own W.O.K.E Community Organizer , Gabriella Gay, to speak on behalf of all postgraduates at Keele.
In addition to this, we also managed to push for more women of colour speakers – two of which were professors we recommended! The recommendations came from the lovely PhD student, Aysha; whilst Sophia pushed for this recommendation to be seen through.
The Year Ahead (2019/2020)
Our events always aim to be at various times of the day and on different weekdays to make it as accessible as possible to the widest collection of people.
W.O.K.E. continues to welcome guest writers for our website, and you can get in contact at any point in the year.
There are recommended topics if you so need some inspiration, but you can also write about personal experiences.
It is hoped that having many people‘s experiences and learning from them through this website, as well as the many resources available (see reading resources on our menu), others will follow in our footsteps. We are hoping that this will make it easier for other institutions to make some much needed changes within their own cultures too.
We work with many existing structures on campus, including both student unions, the SU and the KPA, LQBTQ+ Soc, BAME Soc, Decolonise Keele. We have also collaborated on projects with two of the institutes, The Institute for Liberal Arts and Science (ILAS) and the Keele Institute for Social Inclusion (KISI). We will also be working with The Keele Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence (KIITE).
We welcome the chance to work with as many people as possible and are particularly hoping to work more with medics at Keele next year around International Women’s Day.
How to take part in the project:
- Speak for us: If you can be a speaker or participate in a panel, coffee morning or event please get in touch.
- Write for us: If you can write for our website, where we aim to collect intersectional women’s experiences – get in touch to let us know.
- Direct the collective: If you have recommended reading or an article that speaks to this project, send it our way! We will collect reading on one of the pages.
- Sponsor an Event: We are currently putting our budget together, if you can sponsor an event over the year, feel free to email us.
- Help us with the Everyday: If you can help with the work to: set up an event, put posters up, help us tidy up, tweet about us, take photos (the list could go on forever) – please volunteer! A community can only be as strong with the support of its members.
- Keep us Accountable: Whenever anything is done for this project, we want to thank everyone and credit ideas and contributions. Please help us with this.
- Join Us: Get in touch and work with us as a WOKE Community Organizer
Follow us on social media
Instagram: Women Of Keele Educate
Facebook: Women Of Keele Educate AKA W.O.K.E
Use the hashtag #SheShouldRunKeele #WomenOfKeele
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Women of Keele Educate