Black women on Albion College’s campus, both students and alumni, have been doing phenomenal work to create a more inclusive space for marginalized students.
From Ida B. Wells to Angela Davis to Laverne Cox, Black women have historically been on the front lines as trail blazers for change while simultaneously being one of the most disrespected, unprotected and neglected women in this country and around the world. Despite being constantly struck down by society, Black women continually rise up.
Black women on Albion’s campus are no different. Despite all the trials and tribulations they have to face on an everyday basis, Black women at Albion continue to take charge in leadership roles and make campus a place for the better. And they deserve their credit.
The Pleiad’s “Black Women Winning” series aims to highlight Black women on campus and all they have achieved and continue to achieve.
Lucretia Woods, a senior from Chicago, is a biology major and psychology minor. On top of being a first-generation college student, Woods’s senior year, she became the first in her family to join Greek life. She is a new member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, where she has taken the leadership role of being her chapter’s president.
“I am a first generation grad as well as a first generation Greek,” said Woods. “I had a lot of women in my life that were AKAs, not necessarily family members, but women that I knew like teachers, neighbors, and they were all phenomenal women. And I really wanted to be like them.”
Woods also decided to join AKA because of the legacy she wants to leave behind for other Black women with aspirations like her.
“I also joined because we go to a small PWI [predominantly white institution], so it’s not, you know, much representation for us on this campus,” said Woods. “And I’m also about being a part of something bigger than myself, and the best way to have done that is to be a part of an organization like Alpha Kappa Alpha where scholarship and service are the main priorities of that organization.”
In addition to being president of AKA, she is also vice president and choreographer of the Divine Dance Team.
“I’ve always been a dancer. And then I came here, and there weren’t many options to choose from, and I felt like Divine Dance Team had the best dynamic for me to fit in with. So, I quickly did that, and my sophomore year, I ended up becoming choreographer,” said Woods.
Woods is on the pre-med track and, as such, is naturally is a member of the Wilson Institute, where she has found life-altering opportunities. Through an internship in her hometown, she was able to connect with everyday people in communities like her own.
“This summer, I did an internship with a COVID-19 clinical testing center/research center. So, basically, I did contract tracing in poverty strengthened communities, like my own. And we contacted people who might have contracted the COVID-19 virus. We also contacted people who they might have been around. You know, just trying to lower the numbers in those communities who are being most affected by COVID-19,” said Woods.
Doing internships and being a part of AKA are not the only ways Woods is making an impact that goes beyond herself. She also plans to use her medical background to help the Black female community directly.
“I want to work inside of hospitals in low income communities because it is a proven fact that hospitals in low income communities are low staffed. They have no resources whatsoever. Most people who have babies there end up either dying during childbirth or the babies end up having some kind of complication,” said Woods.
With Black mortality rates in mind, Woods has her eyes on a long term goal that would be ground breaking for low income families, especially low income Black families.
“One day, I want to open up a birthing center in a low income community. I’m hoping to do that after working a few years as a midwife or a gynecologist,” said Woods.