The WSU chapter of the American Association of University Women, the Warrior Women Coalition, created two $250 scholarships for both women and non-binary students who demonstrate financial need and identify with a marginalized identity, including, but not limited to, race, religion, sexual orientation and ability.
Public Relations Liaison of AAUW: Warrior Women Coalition and senior secondary education major Andrea Ozanich said the scholarship was formed and rapidly funded after members came to the realization that there is a distinct lack of diversity—of all kinds— in many professional fields.
Ozanich said the scholarship is meant to combat lack of diversity and assist those students who identify as having marginalized backgrounds graduate and enter the workplace successfully.
She said the scholarship will be available for the winter semester and will be distributed to two students who complete the application process and agree to participate in AAUW the following year.
Although the official application process and application deadline has not been determined, Ozanich said it would be free response questions pertaining to social justice issues that are prevalent in many students’ lives and at WSU.
The first AAUW chapter was created in order to advocate for policies that “support challenges to sex discrimination in higher education and in the workplace,” according to the AAUW headquarters’ website.
Founded in August 2015, WSU's AAUW was created to “ameliorate the lack of support for women on campus regarding social justice issues,” said Ozanich.
She said in the past year, they held numerous events that brought attention to topics, including equal pay, campus sexual assault and voter registration.
Senior art and media arts major and AAUW Public Relations Liaison Samantha Mannino said members have the opportunity to empower both themselves and the people around them and create crucial dialogues on topics that affect women daily.
Ozanich said AAUW became a network for women and feminists of all racial backgrounds and gender identities in many different ways.
She said they supported women and women’s rights in WSU Housing and Residential Life and became champions of intersectional feminism, consciously not only supporting women and “white feminism,” but every female student who has been affected by any sort of women’s rights issue.
Ozanich said the scholarship is evidence of an attempt to diverge from feminism’s stereotypically Caucasian dominated image into something more inclusive and rich.
Ozanich said the chapter also gives members the opportunity to obtain scholarships to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, where students are able to network with leaders from every other AAUW chapter in the nation.
Mannino said she hopes the AAUW scholarship “will provide students with not only monetary assistance, but prompt many to join an organization with plentiful resources and a strong support network.”
She said being a part of AAUW provides an “outlet for people to share their activist voices, and the more people we have creating dialogue… the more wealthy in knowledge Wayne State will be inside and outside the classroom.”
For more information about AAUW, contact members at firstname.lastname@example.org.