Audio 2015

Mothers Seeking Substance Abuse Services: Analysis Including Justice-Involved Women

Erika Kates, Ph.D.

Lunchtime Seminar (51:18 min.)

KatesIn this seminar, Dr. Kates presented two types of data focused on mothers admitted to substance abuse services by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The first source is a large state database that allows for an analysis of many women’s characteristics and experiences. The second source relies on focus groups held by Dr. Kates with women staying in recovery houses. Dr. Kates reviewed the data and discussed whether, and how, women who have become involved with the justice system—some with many incarcerations—differ from women who do not become involved with the police, courts, and corrections.

Erika Kates, Ph.D. is a senior research scientist at Wellesley Centers for Women working in two major research areas—justice and gender with a focus on women and low-income women’s access to education. She has extensive experience in policy analysis and research, focusing mainly on low-income women, women of color, and immigrants.

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Risk and Resilience of Online Social Media Relationships and Networks

Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D., Budnampet Ramanudom, Huiying Bernice Chan, and Amanda Richer, M.A.
Lunchtime Seminar October 22, 2015 (43:16 min.)

Group picture2The research team presented overviews of recent and emerging findings from the Media & Identity Project, a mixed-method online survey study of over 2,300 young people aged 12-25 in 47 states with 34 follow-up interviews. The project examined the role of televised media, social media, and civic engagement in influencing how young people form their racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, sexual orientation, and political identities. Topics of discussion during the seminar included a range of risk and resilience findings related to social media use, from cyber harassment to building community and social capital.

Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D. is a research scientist with Wellesley Centers for Women and was the principal investigator of the Media & Identity Project. Her work is centered on positive youth development, including innovative electronic methods of identifying hard-to-reach vulnerable populations and how media and social networking communities influence adolescent risk or resiliency.

Amanda Richer, M.A. is a research associate at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), a Wellesley Centers for Women action program. She is currently involved in a number of projects on after school assessment aimed at understanding youth’s experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and future expectations. Budnampet Ramanudom (Class of 2018) is the Linda Coyne Lloyd Intern at WCW; Huiying Bernice Chan is in her third year interning with Charmaraman and will graduate in May 2016.

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April Pattavina, Ph.D. and Linda Williams, Ph.D. - Examining Connections Between the Police and Prosecution in Sexual Assault Case Processing: Does Exceptional Clearance Facilitate Downstream Orientation?
Lunchtime Seminar October 1, 2015 (37:52 min.)

AprilPattavinaWilliamsIn this seminar, Pattavina and Williams discussed their recent research for a multi-site federally funded study on police and prosecutor decision-making in cases of sexual assault, which revealed a pattern of “exceptional clearances”, rather than arrest, being used as a reason to close cases. This pattern indicates that prosecutors are weighing in at the arrest stage and influencing this decision by declining to prosecute. Pattavina and Williams presented their recent findings that indicate a tendency among criminal justice professionals to assume what a case outcome might be before a thorough investigation is complete. This tendency, known as downstream orientation, may cause a police officer to predetermine whether or not a prosecutor might take a particular sexual assault case to trial or cause a prosecutor to predict how the victim might be evaluated by a judge and jury, potentially affecting the way the case is processed and contributing to low rates of prosecution among sexual assault cases.

April Pattavina and Linda M. Williams are senior research scientists and co-directors of the Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative (JGBVR) at Wellesley Centers for Women. Their current and recent research includes Decision-Making in Sexual Assault Cases: Multi-site Replication Research on Sexual Violence Case Attrition in the U.S. and a supplemental study on Collection, Testing and Use of Forensic Medical Evidence, funded by the National Institute of Justice. This important work continues as a project of JGBVR at Wellesley Centers for Women.

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Laura Golakeh, M.A. - Gender, Education, and Peacebuilding in Liberia: A Dialogue
Lunchtime Seminar September 24, 2015 (26:43 min.)

LGblog cropLaura Golakeh, M.A., shared personal reflections about how education enabled her to break the shackles of fear, pain and trauma in Liberia and gave her a new energy to give back to a "crying society.” The first member of her family to attain a master's degree from the United Nations mandated University for Peace, she believes that despite the many challenges girls face in Liberia and around the world, when they are educated they can transform their own lives, their families as well as their communities. Golakeh discussed the multiplier effect of educating girls and other examples and possibilities for gender, education, and peacebuilding in Liberia.

Laura Golakeh is founder and executive director of Right to Read Liberia, a Mandela Washington Fellow 2014, member of the 2014/2015 Gender and Peacebuilding class at the United Nations mandated University for Peace, and a 2015 summer intern at the Wellesley Centers for Women.

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Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D.: Communications about Sex in the Nuclear Family and Beyond: How Extended Families Support Teens' Sexual Health
Lunchtime Seminar April 16, 2015 (55:22 min.)

GrossmanTalking with family about sex can protect teens from risky sexual behavior. Parents play a critical role in family sexuality communication, but today’s adolescents often rely on nontraditional communities for support, including extended family and “fictive kin,” who can serve as core parts of the family unit, particularly among African American and Latino families. Beyond a focus on parents, few studies investigate who in the family teens talk to about sex, why they talk to them, and how these conversations connect with teens’ sexual behavior. This talk shared findings from teen surveys and teen and parent interviews to describe the who, what, and why of teens’ talk about sex with their extended families as well as how talking with extended family relates to teens’ sexual behavior.

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Kate Price, M.A. and Janelle Nanos, M.A.: Finding Answers: A Journey toward Truth and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation
Lunchtime Seminar April 2, 2015 (31:50 min.)

In this presentation, Kate Price, M.A. and Janelle Nanos, M.A. talked about their amazing journey together while investigating Price's history as a child sex trafficking survivor. Nanos, a Boston Globe journalist and fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, asked Price if she could write a story about her after Price's lecture to 200 nuns and clergy at the 2012 Sisters of St. Joseph Ant-Trafficking Task Force conference. Since then, this simple inquiry has transformed into a solid partnership. Together they have unearthed pieces of Price's history that had remained a mystery for decades and continue to work toward telling Price's story on a national level.

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Brian Fuss, M.P.A.: LGBT Elderly Individuals Living in Rural and Suburban Florida: Policy and Practice Recommendations
Lunchtime Seminar March 26, 2015 (49:12 min.)

By 2030, estimates predict that 83.7 million people in the United States will be over the age of 60, at least 6 million of whom will identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), 2014; U.S. Census, 2010). Understanding this demographic growth has led to research, recommendations, and advocacy on behalf of older LGBT adults and elders. However, these actions are almost exclusively focused on LGBT seniors in metropolitan (urban) areas. LGBT seniors in rural and suburban areas are under-served by researchers; there is even a lack of discussion of the existence, much less the needs, of this population. Focusing on Florida, this presentation explored three recommendations for serving the needs of the increasing number of LGBT elders living outside the city.

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WCW Lunchtime Seminar Series

    • Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) scholars offer seminar and panel presentations during which they share their work with other scholars and the general public. The WCW Lunchtime Seminar Series, for example, offers residents and visitors to the Greater Boston area the opportunity to hear, in person, about work by WCW researchers and program staff. Other special events bring these researchers and program staff into communities for special presentations to the Centers' many constituents.

    • Recordings of some past lunchtime seminars and other special events may be heard by clicking on the links below. You may need to adjust the volume when playing an audio file on your computer.

    • Please note that data and background information cited in these presentations were current for the date of the presentation but should not necessarily be considered the most current research on the related issues today.

  • The Wellesley Centers for Women Lunchtime Seminar Series is made possible by support from The Cowles/Sulzberger Fund, an endowed gift to the Wellesley Centers for Women.