Sisters of the Round Table


Sisters Of the Round Table (SORT) is an organization dedicated to building community among women of color at Colgate, and that’s just what it has done for the women leading the organization today.  

Co-chairwoman Toni-Ann Yapp is a senior concentrating in neuroscience and African studies who has been involved with SORT for four years now.

“The main point of SORT’s mission is to build community among women of color. That encompasses a lot of things we do: from programming to weekly meetings, to having a support network even when you’re leaving Colgate,” Yapp said. “Right now we are focused on forging relationships between individual members; we even have a SORT big/little mentorship program where we connect a senior with an underclassman to provide the underclassman with that additional layer of support as a new friend and someone they can turn to and ask for advice. Sometimes it does get hard here, and it can be very easy to feel isolated, so we want to overcome that with our programming.”

Fellow Co-chairwoman Haley Taylor, a senior concentrating in educational studies and psychology, also joined SORT as a first-year. 

“SORT is such a special place to me because it was the first club I joined when I was a first-year. I wanted a place that would feel familiar and I completely fell in love with the community, the people and the support it offered. I’ve stayed in it for so long because I hope it can still be a welcoming place for new students and new members,” Taylor said.

Through SORT, first-year representative Adanya Jeudy, a sophomore concentrating in English, peace and conflict studies and Spanish, found a community where she felt welcomed.

“I found SORT [as a first-year] and it was like a godsend because it was a great community of women. For me, SORT has been a place where I can talk to other women of color who share the same experiences,” Jeudy said.  “My position now as first-year representative is a great fit for me because as someone who loved this club as a first-year, getting to share that with other first-years is also important to help build our community.”

“I didn’t notice until I came here that being a woman of color on a [predominantly white] campus is kind [of] jarring,” Jeudy said, “so for me, SORT was a great space for me to feel comfortable and know I won’t be judged for the things I say, or what I share, or how I exist. I take these experiences into account when I try to build our community with new members. I try to share with first-years that this is a community you’re coming to and we are so happy to have you.” 

Yapp joined SORT as a first-year, as well, at a time when the organization looked a little different than it does today but still emphasized sisterhood and bonding. As a co-chairwoman, she hopes to continue shaping the club to best serve members.

“Sometimes it is hard to try and build a really cohesive community at Colgate especially among people of color. SORT was definitely the club for me to have that influence and the resources to throw the events we wanted to and put my ideas forth and try and really build a community here,” Yapp said.

Yapp is looking forward to making this a successful year in her new role alongside Taylor by increasing the sense of community among members.

“As co-chairwomen, we have the final say for all the initiatives and develop an action plan for events and programming. I also coordinate weekly meetings. We have the manager position, but we are a really cohesive and collaborative group so it’s hard to define roles because we all do a little bit of everything,” Yapp said.

Yapp’s Colgate experiences since the first day she arrived on campus four years ago are instrumental in her decisions as co-chairwoman.  

“When I was a first-year there was some divisiveness between different groups of women of color at Colgate and now, as co-chairwoman, I’m really trying to bridge that gap… When I was a first-year, the older women I knew definitely had a different outlook on Colgate as a very different environment than what we have now. Now it’s a lot more accepting and progressive, and I do find the barriers between certain social groups have been broken down even more. I feel like SORT has been a good means of trying to bring people together from a variety of spaces on campus because of their shared identity of being people of color.”