The Center for Women & Community holds celebratory flash mob


by Nia Decaille

A sea of black t-shirts that read, “lead, educate, support, transform,” were worn by flash mob members that congregated around Haigis Mall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  The event, which took place Wednesday, April  2, was to spread awareness about the Center for Women & Community (CWC) and celebrate International Women’s Day.

The women’s organization originally planned on the event for Mar. 12, but was forced to reschedule due to inclement weather. But this didn’t stop 20 dancers from throwing off their coats, dancing to an upbeat pop tune and making a typical Wednesday a little more entertaining for UMass students.

Flash mobs are spontaneous, but also carefully planned. The event was sent as an “invite only” and participants were given access to an events webpage with program details and dance tutorial videos.

Dancers performed to David Correy and Millane Fernandez’s “The World Is Ours.” Choreography was provided by Flavia Santos de Araujo Araujo, a trained Educator Advocate and current graduate assistant at CWC’s Women Of Color Leadership Network and  Darlene Depina, another Educator Advocate at the CWC.

The  “flash mob surprise” was a celebration and the CWC had much to dance about. The organization was established in 1972 according to their website, as a “multicultural based campus-based center.” In 2012, the CWC formerly known as The EveryWoman’s Center changed its name to reflect their engagement within the five campuses as well as the larger Hampshire county community, and their work with all genders. In 2012, the center celebrated its 40th anniversary and now has eight different branches that work to serve the community looking for volunteer opportunities, counseling services, education, advocacy initiatives, support groups and other communal resources.

After the dance, many of the CWC staff members handed out information on the services offered and upcoming workshops and events. As the dancers put on their coats and left Haigis Mall as if nothing happened, there was hope that the UMass community will discover the ways CWC can provide resources and assistance to women everywhere .

Nia Decaille can be contacted at [email protected]

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