A Dedication to Women/Womyn/Womxn of Color Student Artists at Rowan University

Rowan University DEI WHM & IWD 2024 Graphic (Version 2)

Image Alternative Text: Depicted are illustrated hands raised to the sky, surrounded by butterflies and loop-like lines. The hands and butterflies are depicted in shades of brown; the lines, yellow. The text at the top of the graphic reads, "We Celebrate the Power of Women/Womyn/Womxn Every Day" and "'i have always been the woman of my dreams.' —nayyirah waheed, salt." The Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) logo is positioned in the bottom right corner of the graphic, with the website link to "go.rowan.edu/dei" beside it.

Click here to download and share the graphic.


Our Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team is honored to share a new and ongoing collaboration with the Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts (CCCA). Current undergraduate art students affiliated with Melanin Palette, a student-run organization creating campus spaces and opportunities for artists of color, have submitted to our team their biographies and selections of their works in celebration of Women's History Month (WHM) and International Women's Day (IWD). We are proud to feature a selection of student artists this month and ongoing as part of Division of DEI blog and social media content.

Our Division of DEI team expresses gratitude to the Department of Art at CCCA: Dr. Donna Sweigart, Chair; Dr. Nancy Ohanian, Professor; Lisa Toman, Secretary; and Sumayyah Hayes, Founder and Student Leader for Melanin Palette, all of whom worked closely with us to foster student connections.

Click here to download and share a flyer promoting the collaboration and Melanin Palette.

Thank you to all student artists for helping to shape Rowan University and the world.


A brief timeline of historical events that led to the inception of WHM and IWD; terms and guidance for inclusive communications; ways to better center and support women/womyn/womxn; supportive resources; and educational resources for continued learning are available on the blog at this link.

To submit your artwork and be featured on the Division of DEI blog and social media platforms, please email Patricia Fortunato at fortun83@rowan.edu.


Follow the Rowan University Division of DEI:


Alexandria Bailey

Alexandria Bailey Self-Portrait

Pronouns: She/They
Field of Study at Rowan University: Graphic Design

Alexandria Bailey on the "why":
"I decided to pursue art because I believe that when words are not enough, art can help us to express our feelings that feel too much to bear at times. I love and have loved creating art out of anything and telling stories for many years, I would love to share my point of view with the world and anyone willing to listen."

Submitted artwork depicted below:
Lead Us Home, Mixed Media Collage, 2023

In the artist's words:
"Lead Us Home is a mixed-media collage centered around the topic of displacement and forced migration, particularly involving slaves and members of the African diaspora. The effects of slavery and the residual legacy of displacement have been everlasting and continue to influence the ways in which Black Americans strive for Black Liberation. Lead Us Home expresses the yearning for an understanding of our roots. For centuries, our hair has been used not only for style and expression, but to aid us in our safe travels. Before the maps on paper and our phones, we had our hair, we had our scalps. But what shall we do when thrown into an unfamiliar place with no trails to follow? We follow the Sun."

Alexandria Bailey Lead Us Home Artwork


Sumayyah Hayes

Sumayaa Hayes Self-Portrait

Pronouns: She/Her
Field of Study at Rowan University: Studio Art Illustration

Sumayyah Hayes on the "why":
"I create to convey the limitless lengths the imagination, and the visual beauties in cultures and concepts. As well as constantly challenging my own limits as an artist. After my time at Rowan, there are almost no spaces focused on Black and Brown artists here. Thus I founded the organization Melanin Palette to create said spaces, as well as for us to make connections and help each other up. I hope this group continues strongly after I graduate."

Submitted artwork depicted below (listed top to bottom):
Kwanzaa, Gouache and Ink, 2023
Father's Palm, Gouache and Ink, 2023
NJ Turnpike, Procreate, 2023

Sumayaa Hayes Kwanzaa Artwork

Sumayaa Hayes Father's Palm Artwork

Sumayaa Hayes NJ Turnpike Artwork


A'niyah Kenner

Aniyah Kenner Self-Portrait

Field of Study at Rowan University: Art, Photography

A'niyah Kenner on the "why":
"When it comes to photography, it's like telling a story with just your camera or when you edit a picture, you're basically painting but without the brush. That's my point of view in photography. I've been doing photography since I was 16 years old so it's been about 8 years or so."

Submitted artwork depicted below:
Floral Elegance, 2021

Floral Elegance, in the artist's words:
"Here is a piece that I photographed and edited titled 'Floral Elegance.' I thought this picture was very creative while doing this since it brings out beauty and potential."

A'niyah Kenner Floral Elegance Artwork