Women's Resource Center

Coalition for Women Students

The Coalition for Women Students (CWS) was formed in 1912 as the Association for Women Students (AWS) by the Washington State College women students. The term “coalition” was adopted in the fall of 1993 to express a common vision for the student groups involved. A coalition is comprised of distinct groups or persons in alliance for joint action. In this case the joint action is heightening awareness of issues pertaining to women locally and globally.

CWS has been the leader in making relevant social and political issues prominent at WSU. Programming has been intended to educated students on foreign and domestic affairs since the 1920s. CWS has always focused on events for students and has become involved in political activities and advocating for safety, equity, and diversity on campus. Currently, CWS is comprised of six groups: The Association for Pacific and Asian Women, Black Women's Caucus, Men for Social Change, Mujeres Unidas, Native American Women's Association, and the YWCA of WSU. CWS also funds two other organizations: the Women's Transit Program and the NEW Leadership Summer Institute. CWS symbolizes unity and diversity by representing the interests of women from diverse cultural background. CWS and its coalition groups sponsor programs and activities that heighten students' awareness of issues pertaining to class, race and gender.

For more information contact the CWS Chair by email or call 509-335-7118.

CWS red fist logo CWS logo surrounded by logos of six member organizations
  • Association of Pacific and Asian Women

    two asian women giving a presentation
    logo for Association of Pacific and Asian Women

    The Association of Pacific and Asian Women is committed to coordinating student programs that heighten awareness of Pacific and Asian women’s issues. APAW’s programs empower community and individual pride, celebrate our rich cultures, and highlight our diverse contributions. The Association of Pacific and Asian Women fosters leadership development opportunities for women by bringing ideas and vision into action on an individual and group level. Women’s leadership roles are supported and fostered within our organization.

    Building Bridges

    Building Bridges, a multicultural showcase of talent and skill, has been a part of Washington State University’s agenda for 15 years, and in that time the various groups in our community have learned to work together in order to strengthen our bonds. Building Bridges is a chance for all of us to show the beauty of the diverse backgrounds which enrich WSU. This annual program is a chance for members of the WSU community to show who we are, without constraints, censorship, assumptions, or stereotypes.

    APAW asks that groups use this opportunity to speak to the audience about the many aspects of their cultures, to show that we are able to unite together as a multicultural community.

    Captivate

    The CAPTIVATE Conference was an annual student conference coordinated by APAW at the WSU Pullman campus. CAPTIVATE stands for Community, Activism, and Pride Today….to build Identity, Vision, and Achievements Tomorrow. Our goal is to celebrate these messages and to affirm our commitments to the EMPOWERMENT of AAPI women.

    Previous CAPTIVATE speakers include:

    • Helen Zia, Journalist and Author
    • Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask, Professor of Hawaiian Studies at University of Hawaii
    • Phoebe Eng, Author, Publisher of A. Magazine
    • Magdelen Hsu-Li, Singer & Songwriter
    • Angela Oh, Author, Journalist and Activist

  • Black Women's Caucus

    portrait of several black young women in formal outfits

    The Black Women's Caucus serves as a support system for African American Women on the WSU campus. Its main focus is to serve as an instrument through which African American women are able to express their concerns about issues they face globally as well as locally. BWC is also concerned with educating other students about the pioneering roles and major contributions of African American women in this society. Membership is open to all students who share the concerns of Black Women's Caucus. 

    Events put on by BWC in the past have included formal dinners celebrating the work of African American women, recognition of the work done by men in support of women in the community, and invited speakers.

    logo for black women's caucus

  • Men for Social Change

    The purpose of Men for Social Change is to educate men on their positions in regards to social issues, which are commonly seen as women's issues alone. The organization is inclusive, so we encourage all students to join. We use critical discussions and events to identify oppressive ideologies in today’s society, as well as shedding greater light on the sexual violence against women. Through our focus on women we are able to tackle different systems of oppression that affect women like sexism, racism, ableism, and classism. This organizations mission is to tackle the patriarchy through activism, community service, and encouraging men to become a supportive voice to women empowerment movements.

    Having men support underrepresented groups is important, so we aid our sister organizations to educate about women's challenges and strengths from their own cultural perspectives.

    We have done so by:

    • Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention events in April.
    • Working closely with Green Dot and Alternative Violence of the Palouse.

    The Teal Ribbon Event

    An annual event that pays homage to YWCA's clothesline project in the Fall. Everyone is encouraged to sign a teal ribbon and pin them up with many other teal ribbons on the mall. This is to show that Washington State Students know sexual assault and domestic violence happens, and we are here for those affected.

    smiling man in front of display of teal ribbons
    logo for men for social change
    closeup of teal ribbons with messages for sexual assault survivors

  • Mujeres Unidas

    logo for mujeres unidas
    mujeres unidas students teaching kids to make pupusas

    Mujeres Unidas represents the interests and issues of Chicanas/Latinas at WSU and coordinates activities and opportunities of interest to multicultural women students. Members contribute to community projects and provide peer support for Chicanas and Latinas. In addition, MU provides women with the opportunity to gain leadership training and experience.

    ELLA Conference

    MU historically organized a yearly ELLA Conference (Educated Latinas/Chicanas Leading America). The conference provided opportunities for students to learn about leadership development skills, health issues, identity issues, and career planning. The mission of ELLA was to recognize, foster, and develop the leadership of Latinas/Chicanas in the U.S. As part of the Women of Color Symposium, they invited speakers and facilitators who help us realize our highest potential.

    Community Cultural Projects

    Mujeres Unidas also commits to community projects including visits at elementary schools and the senior center, and is a co-sponsor of speaker programs and Semana de la Raza activities. Each October, MU also sets up Day of the Dead Altars to honor those women who have passed away but left with us a rich legacy of wisdom.

    Members of Mujeres Unidas often organize meetings around cooking and sharing a variety of culturally traditional foods. 

  • Native American Women's Association

    logo for native american women's association
    Native woman helping a small child dress in traditional regalia

    The purpose of the Native American Women's Association is to address the needs and concerns of Native American students at Washington State University, with a special emphasis on issues that affect Native American women. NAWA encourages Native American women to assume leadership roles on campus and become actively involved in the community.

    In addition to participating in planning and implementing the Women of Color Symposium, NAWA provides and co-sponsors other programs and projects which enhance multicultural efforts at WSU.

    These include:

    • American Indian Heritage Month activities in November
    • Pah-Pu-Loots (Pow Wow) --Works in partnership with KuAuMah to plan and coordinate this annual event, and provides a traditional dinner for participants
    • Community projects including Family Socials, WSU Alum Roundtable
    • Co-sponsors of speaker programs and other multicultural programs.

  • YWCA at WSU

    logo for YWCA: eliminating racism, empowering women
    four diverse women in YWCA t-shirts

    The YWCA at WSU is a member association of the YWCA of the USA. We have been part of the WSU community since 1895 and are proud to be part of this women's membership movement. The YWCA of Washington State University is currently involved in several programs on campus and in the community which provide leadership opportunities for young women and volunteers.

    One Imperative:  The Elimination of Racism and the Empowerment of Women

    We participate in the Women of Color Symposium and local/regional Racial Justice programs through funding speakers and presenters, giving students opportunities to attend training sessions, and through educational art programming for grade school students.

    We actively and selectively seek partnerships and build coalitions with many groups and organizations on our campus and in our community, and the United Way funds our primary school programs.

    If you want to learn about challenging social issues while seeing the differences you can make in your community, the YWCA has a place for you! Membership in the YWCA of WSU offers you the opportunity to participate in exciting activities, programs, and events. Membership is open to anyone regardless of gender, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or disability.