The 2011 Womyn of Color Conference featured social and political activist Dylcia Pagan as its keynote speaker for the welcome ceremony.
“To be empowered means to have a total being that can create change. Create forums of educating people.
The tools that you have are your culture. Theres no magic to it. When you become aware of the contradictions of society, and know that you are bigger than they are. Because we are people are color, society tends to assume where you are. Sometimes when you get a title, you take that title to your head. That is de-powerment. If you sell your essence, you are not I am. You are they.
I’m able to be who I am because I have people in my life. Because I always knew who I am. I never wanted to be anything but my essence. You become joyful when you honor ourselves. Especially womyn.
Every woman should be a casica because we are. We have to honor ourselves in that realm. Brothers, you have to honor your sisters and your friends as queens. We create life, we are the mothers of the universe… We are really badass womyn. We ain’t no princesses. We all are queens. Let’s get rid of carraiges. Let’s make our own carraiges of struggle.
We have to be able to look at life, enjoy the moment, enjoy yourselves, and enjoy the unity and spirit that you all have.
This womyn also dances and jams, but this womyn works. Let’s look at the art world. Everyone here is an artist. I’m sure you can create a message that is positive about who you are. Create. People don’t know what it’s like to be a young man or young woman of color. You can create our stories, our history.
I’m not telling you to play, I’m telling you to work, I’m telling you to win. What I’m telling you is to go inside that cultural essence and change the world. ”