• Research and Action Report
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    New Research & Action Report

    Catch up with WCW in our Research & Action Report, an update of our most recent projects and research findings.

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  • Persist to Power Video
    VIDEO

    From Persistence to Power: Facts, Truth, & Equity for Women

    June 2017

    Leading researchers, advocates, practitioners, and policymakers came together at our #persisttopower research forum to discuss gender while focusing on intersectionality, paid leave, income equality, health, and safety.

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  • Women's Review of Books
    NEWS

    Rethinking Eleanor Roosevelt

    July/August 2017

    The new issue of Women's Review of Books explores and celebrates the vibrant life of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

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  • In the news
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    WCW in the News

    Our research scientists and project directors discuss their work and share expertise with major news outlets.

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  • Mother Daughter Journey in Research and Action
    VIDEO

    A Mother-Daughter Journey in Research

    Senior Research Scientist Tracy Gladstone, Ph.D., and her daughter Sarah, a Wellesley College student, share how a bat mitzvah project transformed into a five year journey in research and action combatting obstetric fistula and its mental health implications in Ethiopia.

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The Wellesley Centers for Women is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College.
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Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary: Not a Safe Bet

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2011
by Amy Hoffman, M.F.A.

In its September 11, 2011, issue, the New York Times Magazine brought together a group of pundits for a roundtable discussion, moderated by reporter Scott Malcolmson, of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: Michael Ignatieff, James Traub, David Rieff, Paul Berman, and Ian Buruma. Scott, Michael, James, David, Paul, and Ian: not a woman—nor a person of color—in the bunch. This particular group had been invited because each had published a significant article previously in the magazine about the issues under discussion—which doesn’t justify the choice; if anything, it makes it worse. Not only were women absent from the magazine’s 9/11 anniversary discussion, but we weren’t included in the debates of the past ten years!

Wellesley Centers for Women

Focus on Research at the Jean Baker Miller Intensive Institute

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2011

Original research was a key focus at this year’s Intensive Institute held in June by the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Wellesley Centers for Women. All Institute attendees paticipated in a skills-based workshop, “Creating Connection in a Sea of Disconnection: Research Informed Clinical Practice,” with Mary Tantillo, Ph.D., Jennifer Sanftner, Ph.D., and Renee Spencer, Ed.D. The seminar was based on Spencer’s work on mentoring and on Tantillo’s and Sanftner’s recent article, “Measuring Perceived Mutuality in Women: Further Validation of the Connection-Disconnection Scale,” published in the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A with Rangita de Silva-de Alwis, S.J.D.

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2011

Interview by Susan Lowry Rardin

A lawyer armed with the law in the form of three UN Human Rights Conventions, Rangita de Silva-de Alwis, S.J.D. seeks to amplify women’s efforts on behalf of equality and justice. One of her recent leadership events, organized with Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior, was the “Rabat Roundtable: Women Leading Change in the Arab and Muslim Communities,” which was held late in the 2011 Arab Spring and involved women leaders from the Middle East/North Africa region. Her strategies, which focus especially on Asia and the Muslim/Arab communities, feature the building of networks of women’s organizations and the linking of interest groups—especially through the power of those international human rights Conventions, as she describes in this interview.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A: Investigating the Economic Implications of Women's Realities

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2011Kerr

with Sari Pekkala Kerr, Ph.D.

Sari Pekala Kerr, Ph.D., who arrived at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) in 2010, brings not only experience in economic research and consulting in the U.S. to her work at WCW, but also expertise in analyzing economic effects of government policies in her homeland of Finland. That expertise became possible because of Finland’s remarkable record of demographic statistics, which reflect—in a breadth of detail that can amaze many—the experience of three generations of Finns. The Centers expect many of Kerr’s contributions to benefit from that research. Her newest project—supported by the Centers’ 35th Anniversary Fund—will study how maternity leave policies in both Finland and the United States affect women’s subsequent employment.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary: Creating Equitable Schools with Teachers at the Forefront

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2011

by Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D.

U.S. education is in trouble . Many types of school reform have been proposed and tried, but most are not working. They are not creating real solutions to problems. I believe that education reform will continue to falter unless it treats teachers as whole human beings, not as neutral pass-throughs, or as failing parts of machinery. Too often teachers are punished, disrespected, and excluded from conversations on what might actually make education successful for all of our students. What teachers know, what they can contribute, is left out of most efforts to reform education. We cannot change our schools, our systems, without respecting the deep experience of teachers.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Schools Leverage Social and Emotional Learning in Turnaround Efforts

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2011

Last year, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson identified 14 “Turnaround Schools,” described as significantly underperforming and in need of monitoring, support, and reform. Twelve of these schools were also designated by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as “Level 4” schools: those with consistently low scores and no substantial improvement over a four-year period in both English/ Language Arts and Mathematics on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS).

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A: The Changing World of Work and Family Balance

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2010

with Nancy Marshall, Ed.D.

For many years, research done by the Work, Families, and Children Research Group at Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) has provided policy makers, community leaders, and other scholars with data, commentary, and testimony concerning the effects on family members of many factors, including working conditions, poverty, the division of labor at home, and early care and education. Nancy Marshall, Ed.D., who joined WCW in 1985, now leads the group, which includes Wendy Wagner Robeson, Ed.D., and Joanne Roberts, Ph.D., senior research scientists at WCW.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A: Healthy Living in Out-of-School Time

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2010

with Georgia Hall, Ph.D.

With funding through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ’s Active Living Research Program , the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women, has launched a one-year project designed to assess physical activity and healthy eating standards and practices in out-of-school time programs. A collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Boston and the YMCA of the USA, the project will look at out-of-school time programs that serve children and youth in grades K-12 during afternoons, evenings, holidays, and vacations. Programs serving low-income children of color will be a particular focus in the national sample studied. The project allows the investigators to initiate policy research that will assess current out-of-school physical activity and healthy eating policies and practices before new national policies are put in place.

Project directors Georgia Hall, Ph.D., senior research scientist at NIOST, and Jean Wiecha, Ph.D., associate professor in the UMass Boston department of exercise and health science, will work with Ellen Gannett, M.Ed., director of NIOST, and Barbara Roth, M.Ed., YMCA national director for youth and family programs, in carrying out the study.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Connecting through Technology with the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2010

Reflections and perspectives from Amy Banks, M.D., JBMTI director of advanced training

“I am so glad you are offering the webinars. Twenty years ago I went to the Wednesday evening Stone Center Colloquia and loved them. But then I moved to Texas and had kids so I couldn’t travel. These allow me to feel a part of it again.”

These words were shared with me last October by a participant who attended the pilot webinar, “I Feel Your Pain,” offered by the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Wellesley Centers for Women. This webinar was part of a new lecture series, The Neurobiology of Connection. Clinical trainings are not new for the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute. We have been teaching Relational-Cultural Theory to mental health providers, educators, and social policy advocates throughout the United States and abroad for almost 30 years.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Open Circle: Updates from WCW ’s Social Emotional Learning Program

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2010

Open Circle, a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women, works with elementary school communities in New England, New York, and New Jersey to help children become ethical people, contributing citizens, and successful learners. This program helps foster the development of relationships that support safe, caring, and respectful learning communities of children and adults. The Open Circle team is currently updating its grade-differentiated curriculum to provide more support around bullying prevention and increase accessibility and applicability to urban communities. More details about these updates will be posted in the next issue of Research & Action Report.