Young Women's Program

The Young Women’s Program (YWP) offers leadership training for Black Women* students and alums of the Five College Consortium.

* Self Identifying Black Cis, Trans and non-binary women are welcome in this program

The Young Women’s Program is a supportive, empowering and connected community for young Black women to engage with and train in a powerful, culturally relevant and liberating approach to leadership. The program provides free leadership training combined with opportunities for paid research and teaching.

Program Details

This program is open to Black Women Students and Alums of The Five College Consortium in Western MA (Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, Smith, Amherst, UMass) and is facilitated by ELP Director Jamila Jackson.

Participants have the opportunity to build deeply impactful relationships, experience sustainable community, learn valuable leadership skills, and contribute to the development of our innovative research. Jamila facilitates a field of equine-collaborative somatics and dance studies that brings together the wisdom of African-rooted movement and rhythm with the wisdom of horses. We work with soulful rhythms of the drum and the image, the energy and presence of the horse as a gateway into the studies of subtle energy, healing, power and freedom.

This program is integrated with The Black Women’s Leadership Initiative (BWLI) at Five College Dance. In addition to receiving support, connection and training, YWP participants collaborate with Jamila in conducting research for BWLI and teaching community workshops.

Space is limited and participants join the program through invitation.

YWP founding member Fynta Sidime Photo by Yasmina Mattison-Sudan
YWP member Stephnie Igharosa Photo by Young Women's Program member

Get Involved

For more information about the program please email Jamila at:

Interested in Donating? This program is offered to Black Women undergraduates and alum free of cost. It is funded through grants and community support! We would love your support. Please visit our donation page.

Sample of YWP Work & Research

This two-part exhibit, entitled: to be listened into speaking explores the ELP curriculum approach compiled and designed by Jamila Jackson through her 2018-2020 MFA research. This exhibit was created by Jamila in collaboration with the Founding Young Women’s Program Members: Fynta Sidime, Nica Israel, Brooke Huguley, Yasmina Mattison Sudan, Tess O’Day and Narieka Masla. It was on display for one year at Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley St. from March 2020 – Februrary 2021