by Prajukta Ghosh

The Mizzou Black Women’s Initiative celebrated Pinked Out Thursdays during the month of October to spread awareness against breast cancer. The purpose of encouraging people to wear pink on Thursdays is to mark the significance of the fight against breast cancer raging in minority communities.

The community organized a breast cancer awareness table at Speaker Circle where their role was to pass out slips that contained a variety of breast cancer awareness facts along with goodie bags. They also did a partnership photo with the Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative, their brother organization.

“We take a pink-out photo with them and post it on social media and also we do ‘Bras for a Cause’ … where we decorate bras and hang them up in the BCC [Black Culture Center] so people become aware about this particular month,” Rachel Richardson, programming assistant, said. 

MBWI is designed for incoming Black freshman women who are seeking to learn more about academic success, career stability, bridging the gap between communities on campus, becoming more involved and fostering community amongst other women, However, they don’t have to embody any specific requirements to be a part of it. 

It is imperative for MBWI to embrace the celebration of this month since many people in the community are hesitant to learn ways to prevent breast cancer from affecting the population on a wide range or what measurable steps need to be taken once it enters the body. 

The Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative also took the step of offering students on campus the opportunity to spray their hair pink to promote support against breast cancer.  

“We are here supporting and making sure that people know of it by spreading awareness. Wearing pink throughout the month can be effective since you will see more people dressing up in pink and you ask questions, which will push you to research about the significance of it,” Torrey Eavie, the President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, said. 

“MBWI is about career and identity exploration, learning about intersectionality and making Mizzou a better place where black women can have a safe place on campus,” Alana Hayes, a mentor at MBWI, said. 

The members of MBWI also branch out into communities and perform in different community services. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the group to operate completely virtually last year, but their sense of community has not been lost as they returned to predominantly in-person operations this year.

Currently, the group is working on a project based on documentaries centered on black women or told from a black woman’s perspective. They also have done a project where members went around to social justice centers to become familiar with resources that are available for them. An upcoming project will be centered on how black women are perceived in society.

Edited by Ryan Cohen