As a graduate student, I found the Convention an inspiring educational experience. The high level of energy with which participants arrived became more intense as the week went by. A sense of excitement and a spirit of mission permeated the atmosphere. People were eager to share their experiences in women's studies and to learn from others. Many left with a heightened realization of how much remains to be done at their institution. They also left with an increased commitment to bringing about the needed institutional and social changes.
One concern prevailed throughout the Convention: how can NWSA avoid becoming a predominantly white women's organization? If women's studies is to be a tool for social change, it must strive to incorporate democratic ideals into its process and structure. An organization which is not integrated in terms of race and class will only repeat the same forms of oppression which characterize male-dominated institutions and organizations. Judging by the small percentage of Third World women at the Convention, it is clear that the building of an organization which cuts across racial barriers remains an enormous, yet exciting,challenge. Some of the dialogues at the Convention reassured me that there is not another academic arena more committed to addressing the issues of sex, race, and class than women's studies. The plan to focus next year's Convention on race and racism reflects this commitment.