Circle of Sisterhood provides young women a ‘supportive and inclusive’ environment


Oakland University’s women come together to uplift each other in group sessions. The Circle of Sisterhood is a Center for Multicultural Initiatives, psycho-educational group that meets every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Nicole Lucio, the Assistant Director for Multicultural Initiatives, co- facilitates the circle. Lucio graduated from OU with a degree in elementary education and later received her master’s in counseling.

“Overall, we want to provide an environment for young women that is supportive and inclusive,” Lucio said. “The ultimate goal is to retain students and get them to graduation. We want to make sure students feel connected and have a support base at Oakland University.”

“It’s been running for quite some time now,” said Denise Jones, Retention Coordinator for the Center for Multicultural Initiatives. “There was a need for African American women to come together and converse.”

Jones studied psychology and graduated from Oakland in 2009 and obtained her master’s in counseling in 2011.

According to Jones there are anywhere from 15-20 students per session.

“We like the group of women to connect,” Jones said. “We collaborate with Black Employee Resource Group.”

Black Employee Resource Group provides resources to enhance professional and career development for Oakland University’s African American faculty and staff.

“Last year, we had a retired instructor come into speak to the group,” Jones added. “The mission is to target Native American, Hispanic and African American women.” 

The format of the session is to set up the chairs for students in a circle to create a more intimate setting.

“We take the temperature of the room,” Jones said. “Each student defines how they’re feeling for the day by using one word.”

Sometimes the agenda of the sessions requires the ladies to pick the topic for the day.

“Each lady writes a topic, puts it in a hat and it’s randomly chosen,” Jones said. “The group is amazing. We’re working with an awesome group of women.”

The next group meeting is Thursday, Oct. 9, at 4 p.m. This meeting will provide information on the women’s retreat at Camp Tamarack in Ortonville, Michigan from Oct. 10 through Oct. 11, for students who plan to attend.

The registration fee to attend the retreat is $10 and payments can be made in 104 North Foundation Hall. 

The retreat is an annual event, and according to Lucio, it’s designed to stimulate self-awareness and leadership skills in female students.

“We have an open door policy,” Jones said. “It’s a place where women can go to vent and express themselves. If we spend more time uniting and supporting one another, we would be unstoppable.”

For more information, go to or like and follow the Facebook page Oakland University Center for Multicultural Initiatives.