Center for Latino Studies
Sacred: A Writing Group for Women of Color
Sacred is new writing support group for women of color faculty at the University of Houston-Downtown. The purpose of this initiative is to encourage and empower women of color to protect and prioritize the value of their intellectual contributions to the university and to their respective disciplines. Research shows that women scholars of color tend to experience heavier teaching and service loads than other groups of faculty. Such disproportionate demands on our time and labor often negatively impact research productivity and have historically led to lower rates of tenure and promotion for women of color in academia. At the same time, studies also indicate that students of color benefit academically from seeing people who look like them in permanent faculty positions and leadership roles within a university setting. As a Hispanic-serving and Minority-serving institution, with a student population that is majority women, the University of Houston-Downtown could better serve its student body, in part, by increasing the retention and promotion of women faculty of color.
With this goal in mind, the Center for Latino Studies and the Center for Critical Race Studies are committed to creating a space to support women scholars of color in the production and dissemination of their scholarship. We are partnering to offer a protected time slot and location for writing, in addition to opportunities for collaboration with and support from other women of color. Sacred is open to women and nonbinary people who identify as persons of color (a category including but not limited to Black, Latinx, Native/Indigenous, Asian/Pacific Islander, Arab, Muslim, and other Global South populations).
Our vision consists of writing sessions and support circles hosted regularly throughout the semester at a sacred time and location. The program launched in Spring 2019 with a series of bi-weekly Writing Retreats every other Thursday afternoon. For the Fall 2019 semester, the program will be moving to once monthly daylong writing retreats in our new official space, S431.