• Can Extended Family Keep Teens from Making Risky Sexual Decisions?
    NEWS

    Can Extended Family Keep Teens from Making Risky Sexual Decisions?

    April 2018

    WCW researchers investigate how extended family members can help teens make smarter decisions about dating, sex, and relationships.

    Keep reading>>
  • How To Be a Change Agent
    VIDEO

    How To Be a Change Agent

    Each person has systems in which they are privileged or oppressed. Once a person is aware of how they fit into a system, they can work to change a small piece of it, says Emmy Howe.

    Watch the video>>
  • Mother's Day
    GIVE

    Celebrate Mother's Day with WCW

    For Mother's Day, we asked our friends what they want the world to know about the women in their lives.

    Find out what they said>>
  • Women's Review of Books
    NEWS

    New Women's Review of Books

    March/April 2018

    This issue looks at books about Colombian painter and intellectual Emma Reyes, activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Khan-Cullors, the difficulties scholars of color face in gaining tenure, and more.

    Keep reading>>
  • Lunchtime Seminar Lineup
    NEWS

    Meet, Think, Learn With Us This Spring

    Spring 2018

    Our spring Lunchtime Seminar Series runs through May 10 and will feature thoughtful discussions on NCAA Women's Basketball, preventing youth depression, activism for scholars, sexual assault prosecution, teacher wellbeing, and child marriage.

    View the calendar>>
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 with Layli Maparyan, Ph.D.

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Research & Action Report,Spring/Summer 2015

By Layli Maparyan, Ph.D.

Remembering Beijing: Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration / Platform for Action and CSW59

This year we commemorate the 20th anniversary of an important milestone in the history of the global women’s movement: The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA). The BPfA was the outcome document of the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women, which took place in Beijing, China, in September, 1995, along with the parallel NGO Forum in Huairou, China. The U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women represented the culmination of two decades of international women’s mobilizations (in Mexico City, Copenhagen, and Nairobi) and announced the formation of a truly global women’s movement. The Beijing/Huairou events were attended by over 50,000 people. Thus, this 20th anniversary is an important time of both celebration and reflection, not only for those who attended the events, but also for all those who care about and work on the issues enshrined in the BPfA.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A with Sari Pekkala Kerr, Ph.D.

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2015

Sari Pekkala Kerr, Ph.D., arrived at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) in 2010 as a deeply experienced senior researcher/micro economist. Her expertise and research accomplishments have significantly broadened the Centers’ reach into the economic implications of various government policies and marketplace realities, often with a particular focus on gender. As a micro economist, she typically studies the effects of such policies and realities on the lives of individuals, families, and children. She also brings to her work in the U.S. significant contributions from her continuing research of related issues in Europe, especially her native Finland. As a social democracy, that nation maintains a vast body of demographic statistics that has enabled her to study and quantify effects of various policies on millions of specific individuals. In some of her current work in the U.S., she seeks as far as possible to achieve an analogous breadth of scope.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Black History Month in Germany

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tinyglobeLayli Maparyan, Ph.D., Katherine Stone Kaufmann ’67 Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and Professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College, engaged with diverse youth groups in Berlin, Germany in January 2015 to discuss the meaning of Black History Month and how it can cultivate social change leadership, not only in the U.S. but also around the world. Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Berlin, the week-long tour offered Maparyan the opportunity to deliver a lecture, “Building Cultures of Inclusion Across Race, Ethnicity, and Religion: Comparing Notes Across the U.S. and Germany and Cultivating Social Change Leadership,” and engage in discussions with students and faculty of the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Free University; at University of Stuttgart; and at Freiburg University. Within the framework of the “womanism” praxis, Maparyan outlined non-oppositional problem-solving tools and illustrated how simple, personal acts can create amity and inclusion from the personal all the way up to the institutional level. In Bonn, Maparyan presented “A Womanist Perspective on Development” at the University of Bonn/ZEF, and “Building Cultures of Inclusion across Race, Ethnicity, and Religion: Comparing Notes across the U.S. and Germany and Cultivating Social Change Leadership” at Bonn University. Her trip concluded with Black History Month: A Storytelling Evening at Jugendkirche and a community meeting at the Anne Frank Educational Centre.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Depression Prevention and Obstetric Fistula

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tinyglobe Although surgical repair of fistula is associated with improvements in women’s quality of life and mental health, researchers have found even after being treated surgically to repair their fistula, many women still have difficulty engaging in family and community life. Tracy Gladstone, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Stone Primary Prevention Initiatives at WCW, traveled to Gondar, Ethiopia where she trained nurses to implement a new evidence-based depression prevention program being piloted at the University of Gondar Fistula Center. After initial planning meetings in Spring 2014, Gladstone and her team conducted onsite interviews in December with clinicians as well as patients who shared their knowledge about fistula; they talked about their current social support and coping strategies and expressed an interest in learning skills to manage their worries and feel better. After developing a protocol, Gladstone returned to Ethiopia in March 2015 and trained the clinicians (pictured below), providing follow-up support via web-based communications as the hospital team readied for implementation. This spring, data from the first two cohorts who took part in the cognitive behavioral therapy program, and from the clinicians who led the initiative at the hospital, have resulted in promising positive outcomes—depression symptom scores decreased substantially. Further program details will be included in the Fall/Winter issue of the Research & Action Report.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Prevention of Child & Adolescent Depression in Latin America

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tinyglobe Tracy Gladstone, Ph.D., also traveled to Santiago, Chile in April 2015 where she presented at the inaugural symposium on the Prevention and Early Interventions in Mental Health focused on “Prevention of Depression: Translating Research Into Practice.” This is the first version of a series of biennial conferences that aims to develop new and/or updated strategies and action plans, and seek to broaden the support for evidence-based prevention and promotion in mental health in Chile and Latin America; it was organized by the Child And Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Chile. Gladstone presented on the CATCH-IT program which utilizes an internet-based interactive system to prevent the onset of a depressive episode in at-risk teens.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Women’s Studies and Women in Academia

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tinyglobe Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D., founder of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity presented at a conference on women’s studies in China and other parts of the world held at Capital Normal University in Beijing, June 26-28, 2015. This program was hosted by The Center for Studies in Chinese Women’s Culture, the Forum on Women’s Literature in Chinese, and the Women’s Literature Commission of the China World Association for Chinese Literatures. McIntosh delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the conference which focused on women’s studies.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary with Jondou Chase Chen

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2014

by Jondou Chase Chen, Ph.D.
with Gail Cruise-Roberson, B.A., Emmy Howe, M.Ed., and Emily Style , M.A.

Jondou Chase Chen, Ph.D. is an associate director of The National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum. Chen has been a SEED leader since 2003 and a SEED summer staff member since 2005. He is an associate in the department of Human Development at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he teaches, advises, and provides research and grant support. He co-facilitates a graduate-level SEED course, as well as a monthly SEED support group for recently trained New York City-area SEED leaders.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary with Sumru Erkut

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2014

by Sumru, Erkut, Ph.D.

Sumru Erkut, Ph.D., is a senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women; she served as an Associate Director from 1995 to 2014. Her research has encompassed variations in the course of child and adult development, women and leadership, and educational program evaluation both in the U.S. and abroad.

Wellesley Centers for Women

WCW Research Shows Effectiveness of A Middle School Sex Ed Program

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2014

In late October, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, the Wellesley Centers for Women, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and ETR announced new findings published in the Journal of School Health that show Planned Parenthood’s middle-school curriculum, Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works, helps kids wait until they are older to have sex. It is particularly effective for boys.

Wellesley Centers for Women

From 40 to 50: A Roadmap to Our Half Century Mark

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2014

An organization’s theory of change helps explain the process by which that organization’s activities contribute to desired outcomes. At WCW, we operate with a shared understanding that research, theory, and action all make vital contributions to the social-change process. High-quality research provides data about what is, tests theories about why, and evaluates what works, allowing us to see beyond opinion, to raise awareness about important issues, and make better investments in policies, programs, and practices that are effective. When change makers, decision makers, and opinion leaders are informed by rigorous research, their initiatives are more likely to be successful.