The International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) in McAllen collaborated with local Chicanx/Latinx organization, C.R.A.F.T. Cultura, in hosting a panel and workshop to draw awareness to the general representation of women and girls in various areas of science. This event provided a safe and inclusive space at IMAS for local Hispanic/Latinx women and girls, ages 16+, to engage with one another and begin an open dialogue about their futures. 

“We are truly grateful for C.R.A.F.T. Cultura’s willingness to collaborate with us and take a leadership role in developing and presenting this STEM-focused program at the museum”, said Ann Fortescue, President & Executive Director at IMAS. Our work together is part of IMAS’ participation in Cambio, a year-long, national professional development program designed to help museum teams shift internal organizational practice to better create STEM experiences that are culturally relevant and responsive to Latinx audiences. 

The workshop, Muejeres Sembrando Conciencias, served as a space for women and girls to access local role models, listen to their success stories and challenges within the STEM field, and to share resources and advice. This event was put together to support and observe the nationally recognized International Day of Women and Girls in Science.  

“I loved how welcoming and inclusive the atmosphere of this event was,” said Mickaela Casas, Moderator and C.R.A.F.T. Cultura team member. “I was touched by how many women who did not previously know each other created a space and conversation that facilitated the exchange of experiences, knowledge, and compassion. 

The event consisted of panelists Dr. Dona E. Cooper-Dockery: owner and founder of FoodAMed Vegan Restaurant and Emporium, Cooper Internal Medicine, and Cooper Wellness and Disease Prevention Center; Dr. Silvia Patricia Solis: lecturer for the School of Interdisciplinary Programs and Community Engagement and co-host of The Feminist Hour/La Hora Feminista on Vaquero Radio (UTRGV’s student streaming station); Angela Rojas: UTRGV Biology graduate, local native plant enthusiast and conservationist; and Sonya Cirlos: Adjunct Lecturer for the Department of Computer Science at UTRGV and co-founder of RGV developer organization, Frontera Devs. Together, these panelists are interested in supporting and empowering the Rio Grande Valley community’s future. 

Participants engaged in a discussion and Q&A with the panelists, a plant-based food and juice sampling by FoodAMed based in McAllen, TX, and a Native Plants workshop facilitated by Angela Rojas. This event was also supported by the UTRGV Biology Club, Grind Coffee, and CREO. 

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