By: Lexi Zabel
Who doesn't enjoy music, dancing, food, and getting dressed up for a night to spend time with friends? Recently, Graceland’s Intersectional Feminism Alliance (IFA) and Inclusion Diversity Equity Alliance (IDEA) organizations worked together to throw a spring formal for the whole campus. The goal of the formal according to Jillian Hough, an officer of IFA, was to “bring people together and have a good time.” The reason they decided to have the event on April 1st was because March was Women’s History Month and April is Black Women’s History Month, which are both celebrations that these groups encourage and support. Both IDEA and IFA advocate for equity for all people but have specific areas they highlight. With this being said, IDEA focuses more on diversity and different cultures, while IFA “looks at the different aspects of a person's identity/background, such as race, gender, education, sexuality, religion, socioeconomic status, and ability, and how the privileges and disadvantages of each aspect intersect.” Having a formal put on by these two organizations was not only a blast, but it also brought people together and allowed them to “celebrate their differences.”
As mentioned above, IFA and IDEA spent many hours planning and organizing this event for their fellow peers. The suggestion first arose when Layla Aiwohi, an IDEA rep this year, realized that Graceland has a formal first semester, but not in the spring. IFA offered to help IDEA with this project, and from there they worked tirelessly to plan and set up the event. When talking about the special connection between IFA and IDEA and the purpose of working side by side to host the formal, Hough says, “IFA is currently going through the process of becoming one of the clubs that fall under IDEA, like BSU and the Latinx club. We are really excited to join IDEA because they're a great group of people and are amazing to work with.” Although IFA and IDEA are not directly connected right now, they plan to join next year, which means they will be able to use their strengths and plan more exciting and welcoming activities.
As of right now, IFA holds bimonthly meetings that are open to anyone interested. At these gatherings, they hang out and do something that is educational for everyone involved, such as making stickers for the period product dispensers. Next year, IFA is hoping to put free period product dispensers in all the bathrooms to make them available to anyone who needs them. Overall, the goal of IFA “is also for people to recognize how complicated identity is and why it is important to treat people with equity.” Both IFA and IDEA look forward to the possibilities of working together next year and continuing to make campus a more welcoming environment.