WCW Blog

The Women Change Worlds blog of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) encourages WCW scholars and colleagues to respond to current news and events; disseminate research findings, expertise, and commentary; and both pose and answer questions about issues that put women's perspectives and concerns at the center of the discussion.
As a country we seem to be moving far away from the nurturing and sustaining activity of the settlement houses of our past. The first settlement house, established in New York City’s Lower East Side – Neighborhood Guild – was founded by Stanton Coit, and just a few years later came Hull House in Chicago, materializing through the passionate vision of Jane Addams. ...
This article was posted by Amy Banks, M.D., on June 19, 2018 in her Wired for Love blog on Psychology Today. Like many, I have been watching in horror the images of children taken from their parents, housed in caged containers, huddled under silver blankets. As the intellectual ...
We don’t live in an “either/or” world. Most non-sport institutions get this. It’s why Starbucks has unisex bathrooms, why there are forms to change your gender on government documents, why there is even a concept of “preferred pronouns.” But athletics remains stubbornly committed to a male-female dichotomy. Enforcement of that rigid divide is again ...
The Wellesley Centers for Women is mourning the death of Deborah Holmes, Chair of the WCW Council of Advisors and a passionate activist committed to the lives of women, people of color, equity, and social justice across the world. “Deborah understood the intersectionality of social justice causes as well as the necessity of making change on multiple fronts at once, and she lived ...
A few days ago, my eyes fell upon an online post discussing recent studies that showed how unpredictable work schedules in low-wage industries, especially food and retail, are really bad for families. The article ...
WCW and Old City Publishing named feminist writer and activist Jennifer Baumgardner as the new editor in chief of Women's Review of Books. She will be its third editor, after Amy Hoffman and WRB founder Linda Gardiner. Baumgardner was ...
A message from Open Circle, the elementary school social and emotional learning (SEL) program at the Wellesley Centers for Women: Since the start of the new year, 17 schools had experienced the terrifying reality of gun violence. Yesterday, unfortunately, the eighteenth school ...
As I reflected earlier this month on National Girls & Women in Sports Day, it felt different this year. Rather than a pumped-up opportunity to celebrate strides—the sweat, guts, and proficiency of female athletes—my conscience urges reflection. I can’t write about National Girls & Women in...
This blog was originally posted by the International Press Service News Agency and is reproduced with permission from the author. As the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York draws near, women from every corner ...
The fifth-grader’s voice was full of emotion as he shouted, “That’s not fair! What a mean thing to do!” He wasn’t upset about an event on the playground, or on the school bus. This student was reacting to an incident described in a picture book entitled Yoon and the Jade Bracelet, ...
By the end of my first year at Wellesley College, I knew that I wanted to explore the world of research. I had taken the first of many gender studies courses to come, and left class with a head full of questions that I not only wanted answers to, but wanted to take a stake at answering. A stroke of luck brought me to an event for students to meet with research scientists at the Wellesley ...
This blog was originally posted on Psychology Today and is reproduced with the permission of the author. The #MeToo movement is giving a viral voice to women (and men) who have been the targets of violence and harassment. It...
As we enter 2018 with eager anticipation, it is a natural part of the transition into the new year to establish personal and career resolutions. Many business leaders consider ways to refresh the strategy for their organizations seeking to answer questions such as “How can my team help our organization achieve its goals with a greater impact?” For Capgemini’s North ...
I have been a fan of MarketPlace: Handwork of India for decades, not simply because it is a Fair Trade organization but also because I love their clothing. I am the happy owner of many of their shirts (long and short sleeved), dresses (winter and summer), jackets, and wraps. Some of my clothes are ...
We all have heard it, women earn about 20 percent less than men. But when, how, and why does the gap emerge? Everyone has an opinion on it, and these opinions range widely – which leads to many frustrating public opinion exchanges. Are we eternally stuck in a rut arguing about what the ...

found < In a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus earlier in October, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, made a public commitment to appoint an African American to its currently all-white board of directors – in the foreseeable future. The promise came when <...
I applaud the strength and solidarity of the women (and men, too) who are asserting with the hashtag #MeToo, that they are among the estimated one in five women who ...
The Supreme Court of India ruled last week that sex with one’s wife under 18 years of age will be deemed as rape for which the husband can face up to 10 years of imprisonment. This judgement, being hailed ...
Since 1981, the United Nations has observed International Day of Peace on September 21. In its resolution, the UN marked the day as a “globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.” But how far along are we...
It’s back-to-school time and families, youth, and educators must adjust their schedules for another school year. In the midst of the forms and information families receive – or that get “lost” in a child’s backpack or locker – you may have heard something about a social and emotional learning (...
Friday, September 8, is International Literacy Day! In my opinion, every day should be called Literacy Day given its critical importance to all. This is especially true for very young children as developing language and pre-literacy skills are paramount to later academic success...
The Trump administration has announced the rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision will affect 800,000 young people in our country. Within six months, they could lose their protected status. This will ...
New Messages in Boston Race Protests In 1973, when I was 21, I dropped out of college in New Jersey and moved to Boston. I didn’t have a clear plan or strong reason for the move. A girl I knew, on whom I was developing a huge crush, had relocated here; so had my boyfriend (life was complicated). The bookstores in Harvard Square stayed open until midnight—in contrast to the ...
Reflections on Charlottesville Why has it been so hard to eliminate racism in the United States, despite concerted and valiant efforts, ever-growing numbers of people of goodwill, lots of good thinking about the issue, and some clear-cut progress and gains over the years? As a researcher and director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, a research institute with a demonstrated commitment ...
13 Reasons Why and the Need for Correct Messages About Teen Depression and Suicide By now, parents and professionals have reacted to the new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. Mental health advocates and school administrators have highlighted the risks of depicting suicide as a means of revenge, ...
A Week to Appreciate Afterschool Professionals – April 24-28 It’s Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week! Perhaps we should back up - what is an Afterschool Professional? Maybe you call them staff, teachers, or care providers. There are many names for the same thing &ndash...
Female Kicker Makes History When Arizona high school senior Becca Longo on Wednesday officially signed on to be a kicker for Division II Adams State University Football, ...
Supporting Housing Stability for Victims of Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Sexual Assault This policy brief originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2016 Research & Action Report from the Wellesley Centers for Women as part of the multi-media series Advancing the Status of Women & Girls, Families & Communities: PolicyRecommendations for the Next U.S. President. ...
For the Trailblazing Women Who Mentor Me January is National Mentoring Month, a time to recognize the value of mentoring in all its forms. Kavindya Thennakoon ‘19, a student assistant in the WCW communications department, reflects on the profound impact that...
Year-End Reflections: 2016 2016 was an intense year. The Wall Street Journal’s Year in Review captured the feeling quite well with this headline: “The World Order in Flux.” It has felt that way not only in the geopolitical sphere, but also in the ecological sphere ...
The Power and Purpose of Post-Election Relationships One of the central themes of the work we do at Open Circle is relationship building. Developing and nurturing positive and meaningful relationships in schools within the adult community, among the student body and between adults and students is the foundation for creating a learning environment in which everyone feels cared for, can ...
World AIDS Day: Reflections and Hopes from an African Village The Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation, (PCE) my persistent mission and struggle, is building a firm foundation for Uganda's rural young people as well as shaping the attitude and consciousness of the grassroots people. This World AIDS Day, ...
VAW: A Call to Action Yesterday was the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women—is the glass half empty of half full?  It is clear that this day calling for the elimination of violence against women is still necessary—in fact, it is crucial. ...
Three Activities to Help Students Deepen Their Gratitude This article originally appeared in Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at...

found < Approaching Adulthood: Assisting Youth Aging Out of Foster Care In 1954, the United Nations established Universal Children’s Day (November 20) to promote togetherness and children’s rights. It is a day that reminds and encourages us to work towards a better future by improving the wellbeing of children all across the globe. In recognition of Universal Children’s Day, <...
Thoughts on the Safety Pin--To Wear or Not The International Day of Tolerance (November 16) was established in 1995 by the United Nations to help increase public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. In our current climate of heightened intolerance both in public discourse and acts of violence, we need no reminders--but we do need clarity and strategies to build our strength and ...
November 9th Reflections: Through Harriet Tubman’s Eyes We have a new President-Elect. For many of us, on either side of the aisle, it is not what we expected. My daughter cried when I told her, not just because she is a girl, but also because she is an immigrant. She is scared, and I, as her mother, had to reassure her that life will go on and that we will be okay even if there ...
What’s Next: Coming Together Since voting this morning, all I have been able to think about is the next four years. Without even knowing yet who is going to win, my mind has already jumped ahead. What do we want the next four years to be like? What can we do to make them be the way we want them to be? The negativity of the last 18 months has been excruciating, and I know it doesn&...
Preventing Depression in Young People This policy brief originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2016 Research & Action Report from the Wellesley Centers for Women as part of the multi-media series Advancing the Status of Women & Girls, Families & Communities: Policy Recommendations for the Next U.S. President. ...
Partnerships are Critical to Student Success The days are getting shorter, the air feels crisper here in the Northeast, and children everywhere are heading back to school -- a welcome return to routine and to the exciting possibilities of a new year, but still it’s hard to let go of summer. Fresh and sweet in our minds here at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) (and ...
Encouraging Girls to Pursue STEM Females outnumber their male colleagues in higher education, tend to get better grades, yet do not proportionately pursue STEM-related (science, ...
The New $20 Bill: A Victory for Women, or, Happy about Harriet! One of my favorite footnotes in the world appears at the bottom of the first page of the Combahee River Collective Statement in the first edition of Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology on page 272. It reads, &...
The Value of Mentorship: A Personal Reflection Two summers ago I started what I thought would just be a summer job at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), with Georgia Hall, Ph.D, a senior research scientist with the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST). That ...
Fighting... Women in Sports I’m not an athletic purist, one who finds poetry in the elemental mano-a-mano competition of strength, agility and smarts (sigh, yes, I know there’s strategy) of boxing and mixed martial arts, which include grappling moves. Honestly, I just don&...
Connecting with You in 2016 People of all ages are spending more time on smartphones or tablets. Did you know that smartphone users are expected to increase to 70 percent of the global population, or 6.1 billion phones, by 2020? In the past couple of years many have experienced the phenomena of ...
Photo courtesy of MELC An OST Quality Case Study My father-in-law used to say that getting old is not for the faint of heart. It takes a dogged determination to persevere while keeping on top of new issues that arise. I think the pursuit of quality in out-of-school time is similar. That effort is long-term and takes group effort, not just individual commitment. Just as there are services...
Re-Thinking Self-esteem If there is one notion that’s likely to receive nearly unanimous validation in contemporary culture, it’s that self-esteem is a good thing. While there may not be agreement on what is it or how to do it, its elevated placement in Maslow’s hierarchy ...
MotherStruck! This article was originally published on Huffington Post and is posted with permission by the author. Reproductive freedom. What do these ...
Professional Development is a Key to Quality On December 10th, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which includes several provisions for out-of-school time (OST). ...
Local and Global Perspectives on Human Rights, Drugs, Crime, Women and Children Substance abuse among women in Massachusetts is increasing dramatically. It is also a worldwide problem. Locally and globally we need to work for a public health model that is responsive to human rights concerns and effective in protecting families and communities. The United Nations will be holding a General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in ...

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