Working Assumptions

WOCN is representative of many races, cultures and ethnicities, work experiences, levels of education and life experiences. Everyone is valuable and appreciated for what they bring to the table. We will maintain these assumptions in our national work: Difference among humans is NOT a deficit. Cultural diversity is a gift.

  • OPPRESSION is PERVASIVE and HURTS us all, though not in the same ways.
  • “There is no hierarchy of oppression.”
  • Indigenous peoples continue to struggle silently to overcome multiple oppressions. We recognize and honor this struggle as we do the struggles of all communities of color.
  • None of us “invented” oppression; we inherited it. Though its creation is not our fault, we must now accept responsibility for our role in its continued existence.
  • Our commitment to eliminating all forms of injustice must be a lifelong one.
  • Racism, classism, heterosexism, and all other forms of oppression are BOTH systems of oppression and systems of privilege.
  • All of us have had the experience as a target of oppression, as well as the experience of privilege. We must also understand multiple oppressions and/or multiple privileges vary these experiences.
  • As women of color we have the ability to still exert power/privilege over each other. We must examine our personal role in this as well as educate other women of color about this. Our commitment as women of color to understand and interact with each other deepens our relationships and ensures our collective survival.
    • Adapted from Cultural Bridges by WOCN staff and advisors