Mujeres con un Proposito (MCP) is a student lead club for Latinas to create an empowering and welcoming space for women of color and to help the Latinx community.
“Being able to have that sense of community and women around me that inspire me to be a better version of myself is something that we also want to give to other women as well,” said Natalie Ferrer, MCP vice president.
WCU is a predominantly white institution (PWI) where 78.8% of undergraduates are white and 7.9% are Hispanic, according to collegefactual.com. Though, these numbers do not show how Latinas can feel alone or different in a PWI.
When asked why they joined MCP, all four members of the executive board had similar answers describing wanting to find a sense of community and feeling like it was hard to in a PWI. They all found that sense of community through MCP.
Ferrer joined MCP because her friends recommended it and she realized that MCP was exactly what she was looking for, people who looked like her and had the same experiences as her.
When Jackie Rocha-Medellin, MCP president, was a freshman, she felt secluded and lacked a sense of community. Her counselor, who was the MCP president at the time, recommended she join MCP.
Wendy Flores, MCP social media chair and historian, has social anxiety. Her anxiety made it difficult to branch out in her freshman year, but she had one friend who brought her to the MCP meetings.
Krysta Perez, volunteer coordinator also tagged along with a friend to the MCP meetings and overtime she became more involved.
MCP often have meetings for members and anyone who wants to connect and have fun. Activities can be game nights, craft nights, watching a movie or playing Just Dance. MCP often posts on Instagram at mcp.wcu about meet ups or upcoming events.
Marinna Da Costa is the faculty advisor for MCP, and she reached to the group for the position because she can relate as a Latina, and she finds that supporting students with diverse backgrounds is important. Da Costa has a daughter who goes to WCU and has attended some MCP meetings.
“She’s had a really positive experience, so to be able to even see that translate into someone I love and know that she has support within this group is amazing,” said Da Costa.
MCP was formed in 2019 by a group of Latina women at WCU who felt like there wasn’t a space for Latinas to come together and discuss their hardships and experiences.
“I just think it’s crazy to think how this group of just strong Latinas came together thinking, hey, we just want a space for ourselves and then eventually we’re able to be approached for other opportunities,” said Rocha-Medellin.
MCP is not only about creating a safe space for Latinas, but to help the Latinx community at WCU and in Jackson County.
“We want to reach out to communities that maybe aren’t having as much attention as they should or they don’t have as many resources,” said Rocha-Medellin.
MCP hosted an Easter egg hunt for the children in the LEAP program on Thursday, March 30 at the Cullowhee United Methodist Church playground. LEAP is an after-school program for students from Cullowhee Valley School that speak English as a second language.
MCP has supported Latinx groups on campus like the society of Hispanic Engineers by helping them acquire funding for national conferences.
MCP has also partnered with Lasso, a group for all individuals in the Latinx community, and SGA to host a cookout celebrating Latinx.
MCP sponsored two events during Hispanic Heritage Month, a discussion on how culture affects mental health and MCP members participated in a round table discussion on the topic.
“We want to extend and let other folks on campus know that that we’re here to support other women, and we definitely want to support other women of color and Latinas,” said Da Costa.