We've got you covered

The Columbia Chronicle

We've got you covered

The Columbia Chronicle

We've got you covered

The Columbia Chronicle

Get exclusive Chronicle news delivered to your inbox!
* indicates required

Kickoff brunch sets the stage for UPLIFT women’s week

Peyton Reich
Students and faculty eat an array of brunch foods and drinks being served at the Uplift Kickoff Brunch on Monday, March 11, 2024, at the Student Center.

In celebration of women’s empowerment, the Student Diversity & Inclusion department hosted a kickoff brunch to mark the beginning of UPLIFT Women’s Week. The event held in the Exhibition Hall on the 5th floor of the Student Center on Monday, Mar. 11, brought together 85 attendees of students, faculty and alums for a hearty spread and performances.

Columbia is celebrating Women’s History Month for the second year through UPLIFT. Charee Mosby-Holloway, SDI director, said that the brunch is a way to start off Women’s Week, thank the partners who have worked with them and provide a platform for student performers and visual artists to share their perspectives on the celebration.

We really wanted to celebrate Women’s History Month,” Mosby-Holloway said, “especially last year as the campus was unveiling multiple murals celebrating women and women’s suffrage.”

Mosby-Holloway said the fight for gender equality is still ongoing, and we should celebrate both the progress made and the areas that still need improvement. She believes that events like this provide opportunities for both celebration and reflection, giving the community an opportunity to recognize achievements while also thinking about what needs to be changed.

Stella Huang, a graduate student of arts management, enjoyed the brunch and the atmosphere, which made her excited about upcoming events throughout the week. There were question sheets on the tables about remarkable women in different fields, and she said she was able to gain insights by answering them.

“I appreciate that women can do anything and can be who they want to be,” she said. “The power of women is beyond imagination and it helps move history forward.”

Seham Ayyad, an alum of the creative writing program at Columbia, was among the performing artists invited by SDI. One of her pieces was about women’s suffrage and the fight for women’s rights, while also celebrating womanhood.

“I just feel really passionate and I think that it’s important for women to showcase their voices and be heard,” she said. 

Ayyad highlighted the significance of poetry and how powerful words can be in influencing people.

“I hope that my poetry could reach the audience and reach their hearts in the perspective of them feeling like they could relate, especially women, especially because this event is for women,” she said. 

One of SDI’s goals is to engage Columbia students in the exploration of their identities and in understanding the ways in which identity is uniquely actualized, expressed and lived. Through their programming and advocacy, they hope to continue celebrating and supporting women.

“This event highlights how women are gorgeous, how women are powerful, not because we can achieve any goals, just because we are women and we are powerful with our female energy,” said Anfisa Gladkikh, a first-year film and television major and one of the visual artists for the exhibition. 

Gladkikh was able to showcase her short film titled “Love” which is a compilation of clips of her past relationship and to show women that they can feel love despite the distance between people. 

The brunch commenced the series of events prepared this week, focusing on how women support each other and create community and transformative change. UPLIFT Women’s Week celebrates women’s progress toward equality and recognizes the ongoing efforts to create a better future for women everywhere.

Copy edited by: Jordilin Ruiz 

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kate Julianne Larroder
klarroder@columbiachronicle.com   Kate Julianne Larroder is a junior communications major, minoring in journalism. She joined the Chronicle as a reporter in January 2024.   Hometown: The Philippines
Peyton Reich
Peyton Reich, Photojournalist
preich@columbiachronicle.com   Peyton Reich is a junior photojournalism major, minoring in marketing. Reich has covered the Mexican Independence parade, Columbia's Black Student Union and theatre performances. Reich joined the Chronicle in August 2023.   Hometown: Flossmoor, Illinois