Dr. Alisha L. Jones founded the Move and Shake Women virtual peer mentoring group for women of color via Facebook in 2011, while she was a doctoral student at the University of Chicago. She sought to create a safe space where women are permitted to be brilliant, sisterly, and well-rounded. Since its founding, Move and Shake has grown to over 1,500 participants. Through the group, Dr. Jones offers events that foster community such as an annual life-work balance retreat, leadership summits, conference meet-ups, and a weekly Acceleration Call.
In 2013, Move and Shake Women launched its first Life-Work Balance retreat with a generous Innovation Grant from the University of Chicago's Graduate Student Association. We realize that there is a need for a retreat for women of color to explore the intersection of their professional, personal, and social experiences. The Move and Shake Women's Retreat is an event during which facilitators expose women to solutions on how to navigate their multiple identities such as motherhood or being a first generation academic. We are confident that this guided retreat will help us to attain our highest and best academic performance. To submit a proposal to facilitate a Move and Shake Women Retreat workshop, click here.
Many women of color scholars do not have a reflection of themselves within the academy nor do they have women who can affirm their gendered and racialized experiences. As a result, there is a need for mentorship about how to navigate their multiple identities. We realize that it may be difficult to ask questions about professionalization and personal life skills of women within one’s program. This event exposes participants to seasoned professionals’ perspective from outside their institution to facilitate an intergenerational exchange.
During the retreat, participants will receive guidance about issues that directly effect their quality of performance in work and research. This is not an event to exclude women who are not of color, but rather, provides a safe space to focus on the issues women of color face.
We would like to also model collegiality and knowledge exchange – as best as we can - among women who are contemplating academic paths such as post-docs, research abroad, tenure track positions, laboratory research, ethnography, consulting, and administration.
Photos from the last Move and Shake Retreat Pt.1, click here.
“Education destroys something,” wrote Carolyn Leste Law in This Fine Place So Far from Home. This was the response that she received when she shared with her family that she wanted to pursue academia. This stigma is a common trope for women of color in the academy who are first generation scholars.
There is synergy created when we learn about full-bodied success together. The impact that we anticipate is three-fold: accessibility, well-roundedness, and archiving resources we collect during the retreat for students after us.
As a result of our survey of women, we have found that they encounter in their communities the perception that women who pursue higher education are inaccessible, socially awkward, and perpetually competitive. It is the crisis of accessibility, the inability to deliver their knowledge in a language and action that their communities can recognize. Yet, despite this perception there is a desire among them to cultivate sisterly bonds in the academic journey, across various disciplines and among whom whose intellectual interests overlap. Also, there is a longing for mentorship in the milestones of scholarship from those who are farther along in the process.
Acceleration Calls (#accelerate)
Start your week off with the power that comes from reflecting on how faith informs our high performance thought life. This weekly conference call is facilitated by Move and Shake Women and powered by InSight Initiative, Inc. For more information, subscribe to our newsletter.