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.
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 – ...
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. Victims ...
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 ...
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, Joan Wallace-Benjamin, ...
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 ...
The Right to Research: How Data Helps Women’s Human Rights around the World – The Case of West African Market Women This past November, I had the opportunity to visit Ghana as a member of the international research advisory committee for a study on West African market women that was sponsored by the African Women’s Development Fund, Ford | West Africa, ...
A Global View on the Research-and-Action Connection: Ending Gender-Based Violence in Ghana “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” is an annual campaign sponsored by UN Women to ...
Why Are There So Few Women Leading Theatres and What Can Be Done About It? This blog was originally published on the HowlRound website on December 1, 2015, and is re-posted with permission. This week on HowlRound, we ...
A World AIDS Day Hero: Beatrice Achieng Nas December 1st is World AIDS Day. This year, I’d like to shine the light on someone whose work I really admire, someone who is dedicating her life to serving and lifting up many children and families who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. I’m talking about...
Science and the Law Working Together to Improve the Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Assault Few would argue that the value of forensic science in solving crimes has been a game changer in favor of the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenders. Indeed, forensic evidence can be credited with bringing many criminals to justice (and exonerating the innocent). In cases of sexual...
"The Hunting Ground”—Ground zero for changing social norms on sexual assault? This week we recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Indeed, gender-based violence impacts women across the globe. Rape in conflict zones or of refugees or of ...
March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place on October 14, 1979. It was the first march of its kind, and the preparation for it was rocky. The first item on the agenda of ...
Everyone Needs to STOP the Pain! Everyone Needs the Pain to STOP! Stopping the Pain of Social Exclusion “Hands up!” The universal symbol of surrender, sign of protest, and signal for self-selection to take action. All of these are integral in stopping the pain of social exclusion. Human beings are built to function physically, emotionally, and spiritually in supportive ...
Maggie Tripp: Firebrand Feminist in a Peck & Peck Suit Maggie Tripp (1921-2014) was a trailblazer with a special connection to the Wellesley Centers for Women. Known for her impeccable appearance in Peck & Peck suits (who remembers these??) when everyone else was dressed in jeans, she was ...
A Reformed Peace Conference Skeptic Earlier this summer I attended--even though I was a skeptical about peace conferences and felt they were a waste of time, energy, and resources--the Third Annual Hague Peace Conference in Holland. Living in a post-conflict country, Liberia, I ...
Women's Soccer and the New Feminist PowerWe are in a fresh feminist moment, highlighted thanks to FIFA. Hang with me while I explain. It is obviously ridiculous that the payout to the U.S. Women’s Soccer team for the World Cup victory is $2 million; the German men got $35 million last year. The...
How Foreign Abortion Bans Hurt Children The following blog article and corresponding photo was posted on the New York Daily News, June 3, 2015 by Alex Sanger, chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council and member of ...
Why Relationships Matter  by Kamilah Drummond-Forrester Relationships are essential to fostering equity and excellence in our schools and classrooms. Social and emotional learning (SEL) programs are one of the vehicles that can be used to establish genuine, caring relationships throughout school communities. SEL programs that have a whole-school implementation model and are ...
Healthy Young People Despite a World Filled With Violence The following article was posted May 4, 2015 on the Medicine and Faith blog of Lisa Fortuna, M.D., and is re-posted with permission by the author. She is pictured a pledge to be a Partner in Peace during the Mother's Day Walk for Peace in Boston, MA...
Celebrate Diversity Month-April 2015 The purpose of Celebrate Diversity Month is to recognize and celebrate the rich diversity of cultures around us. Although this is often a necessary first step toward increasing understanding and heightening awareness of the differences and similarities among us, not probing beyond these experiences can lead to a “tourist approach” to ...
Equal Pay Day & A Woman's Worth April 2016 Update: The wage gap cited has improved by 1% point since this article was originally posted in April 2015. What is a woman worth? On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, we celebrate Equal Pay Day, a day to acknowledge the continuing gap in wages between women and men. By now, we are all familiar with the statistics – women employed full-time, ...
Human Rights, Women’s Rights: Plodding Toward Progress This article, by Susan McGee Bailey, was originally published on the Girl W/ Pen blog on March 20, 2015. “Fighting for women’s equality is an arduous but ...
In Memoriam: Jean Hardisty “Fighting for women’s equality is an arduous but necessary process, ploddingly pursued by dedicated women and men who refuse to accept a lesser role for women in society.”Jean Hardisty, Ph.D., August 2013 (Photo credit: Ellen Shub) The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) community is saddened to share news that social justice champion and ...
The Power of Women’s Social Science Research in Social Justice Movements When most people think about how social change happens, the role of social science research probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, our histories of social change, social movement, and social justice have been shaped by social science research that provided crucial evidence to move things...
Valuing the Ideological Roots of Women’s Athletics Did those female gym teachers back in the early 1900s actually have it right? No one wants to return to bloomers and half-court basketball, but the coalition of female physical educators who ran women’s sports and fought takeover by the NCAA (which took control of women’s college athletics in 1980) were onto something. ...
Black History Month Matters: A Personal Reflection When I was a girl, my grandmother Jannie had only two books in her house. One was the Bible, and the other was Carter G. Woodson’s The Negro in Our History. My ...
“E” Is for Energy The Dopamine Reward System—Friend or Foe? Dopamine is trending as the most popular neurotransmitter. And why not? There are days I think it rules the world or at least the day–to-day activities of my friends and family. The craving you have when you smell the coffee brewing in the morning—thank dopamine. ...
"R" is for Resonance The Four R’s – Reading, ’Riting, ’Rithmetic, and Resonance Do you have someone in your life that “gets” you? I do. My friend Angel and I see each other every six weeks or so but each time we get together I am struck by the resonance we share, the ability to jump back into a conversation as if no time has passed. How does that ...
On King Day, Thinking about Social Movement The past year has generated national and international soul searching on the theme of social movement. In the U.S., events as diverse as the multiple police shootings of unarmed Black men, the killings of police officers on patrol, domestic violence incidents involving professional athletes, and misogynistic serial killings of women, have left ...

WCW Blog

Sign up to receive Women Change Worlds blog updates!