FemCo influencing UDM women both here and abroad

The University of Detroit Mercy’s Feminist Coalition, FemCo, was founded in September 2022 by Morgen Rhodes and Maryam Qoda, president and vice president of the organization, respectively. This group has not only been influential in many young women’s lives on campus regarding education and social issues but has also led many to find a supportive and uplifting group to navigate the difficulties of the college experience.  

“I created FemCo because I felt like women’s voices were not being heard and uplifted enough on campus,” Rhodes said. “I wanted to create a group that works toward a more inclusive and just environment for all. FemCo works really hard with the WGS committee here at UDM to uplift marginalized voices, [and] educate their faculty and students.”  

As stated, FemCo works closely beside the Women in the Gender Studies Program on campus to further the importance of women and marginalized groups’ intellectual advancements.  

Qoda said that one of her defining moments when it came to the decision to aid in the start of FemCo was the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022.  

“I spent the whole summer thinking of ways to get involved on campus to advocate for social justice, women’s rights and things like that,” Qoda said.  

After that inspiration, she also relayed that the election of 2022 drove her and FemCo to realize the support for women’s rights, which were bolstered politically by the overturning. FemCo itself also led voting drives and helped students register to vote in the elections of 2022 to ensure that young voices were heard.   

FemCo invites all to join in their work to advance women’s equality and education, especially as it resides on a college campus.  

“I have always been an advocate for sisterhood and women empowerment,” said Stella Rodriguez, the outreach officer of FemCo. “There’s a profound sense of solidarity and empowerment that comes from being surrounded by like-minded individuals who are dedicated to creating a more equitable society.”  

FemCo collaborates with other educational clubs on campus to bolster the recognition and empowerment of women in male dominated fields, such as in STEM. 

Many of the FemCo executive board members spoke fondly of their founders, Rhodes and Qoda.  

“The history of FemCo started off with Maryam and Morgen… [and] their tremendous work ethic and ideas to support different girls to succeed together,” said Jannat Turfan, the treasurer of FemCo. “This organization is simply a sisterhood of other girls fighting for our rights or freedom of choice.”  

Qoda described FemCo as a huge “sleepover” between the members and the supporting faculty. The sentiment of love and pride the members of FemCo have for this organization was echoed in all their responses.  

The Feminist Coalition often collaborates with other organizations to further the message of women empowerment. This can be seen in their fundraisers and events. In the past they have led organized protests, hosted educational lectures, movie nights and more.  Their upcoming events in March support Women in Gaza, an organization sending hygiene products to women in Gaza.