Our mission as the Black Women's Alliance is to provide a form to address the needs and concerns of black women undergraduate students at MIT. BWA aims to promote the awareness of black women's issues in the MIT community through activities designed to increase the visibility of Black women on campus. We strive to encourage interaction with other campus groups and encourage the scholarship of Black women at MIT. We focus on promoting activism, unity, friendship, and community for black women undergraduate students at MIT.
On September 27, 1997, the MIT Black Women's Alliance held its first meeting, entitled "Sister to Sister." The meeting wanted to bring black undergraduate women together to begin the process of creating a sisterhood, a network of support. However, the story of the founding of the BWA started well before this first meeting. It’s rooted in the lack of interaction and connection the founding members felt among black women on campus; in the lack of support made available to MIT's black women; and in the lack of a voice for this segment of the population. One winter's day, the founding women, Danielle Hinton ('00), Ticora Jones ('00), Kerone Peat ('00), Shayna Smith ('99), Jolene Saul ('00) and Kamla Topsey ('00), met in McCormick's West Penthouse to begin their plans for starting an organization specifically for and about black women. The founders developed the vision and purpose of the organization by meeting with other students who were in leadership positions, such as Harsha G. Marti ('97), then Senior Co-Chair of Chocolate City. They created allies among faculty and administrators, such as Dean Ayida Mthembu. And, through the efforts of Hinton, took advantage of the support and network of the LeaderShape Program.