Posted December 10, 2012

Multicultural crafts bazaar puts books within reach for scholarship winners


For senior broadcast journalism major Wafai Dias, attending Temple University Women of Color’s Dec. 7 Multicultural Bazaar was a way of showing support for women leaders across campus.

Now in its third year, the annual event brings local vendors to the Howard Gittis Student Center to market scarves, jewelry, totes and other crafts to students and faculty. Proceeds from table rentals support the Temple University Women of Color (TU-WoC) book scholarship fund, which helps selected Temple female students of color purchase books and supplies. 

Dias is one of six women who has benefited from the fund over the past two years. She said she knows how beneficial the award has been and wants to help create the same opportunity for other young women at Temple.

“Five hundred dollars... may not seem like a lot of money to people,” said Tiffenia D. Archie, director of faculty recruitment and Retention in the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership. “But several of the young ladies said ‘If we didn’t get this $500, we really may not have been able come back, because we would not have been able to afford books.’”

Archie, who created the TU-WoC in 2009 along with Human Resources’ Assistant Vice President of Learning and Development Marie Amey-Taylor, said the idea for the bazaar came about as a suggestion by one of the group’s members.

“It’s about the women of color here on campus wanting to give back and nurture and mentor the next generation of women of color,” she said.

TU-WoC was created to provide a supportive environment for women of color at Temple to engage in discussions and foster interaction and dialogue. Serving the university as staff members, administration and faculty, the members of TU-WoC represent the diverse ethnicities and religious beliefs across campus, said Archie.

Over a period of three or four months, TU-WoC members go out to events across the community and gather interest in participating in the bazaar, said Archie. The group hopes to grow the event in size each year.

A recent lunch with scholarship winners showed group members just how important the funds can be. 

“For me that was a real moment — I understood why we were doing this,” said Archie. “We are really making a difference in the lives of these young ladies.”