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.
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 will be new challenges. It occurred to me that this is the ...
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’t represent the best of who we ...
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. ...
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 ...
Females outnumber their male colleagues in higher education, tend to get better grades, yet do not proportionately pursue STEM-related (...
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 Combahee River Collective was a ...
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). ...
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’t enjoy seeing people...
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 selfie sticks, and wearable ...
Photo courtesy of MELC 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 and doctors to help the ...
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 has led to the notion ...
This article was originally published on Huffington Post and is posted with permission by the author. Reproductive freedom. What do these words mean? ...
On December 10th, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which includes several provisions for out-of-school time (...
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...
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, and ...
This blog was originally published on the HowlRound website on December 1, 2015, and is re-posted with permission. This week on HowlRound, we ...
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 Beatrice Achieng Nas, ...
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 assault, there was hope that advances in evidence gathering would lead to more prosecutions. ...
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 child brides are all horrific and this day makes it clear that violence against women is ...
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 the planning conference, held in Philadelphia, ...
Everyone Needs to STOP the Pain! Everyone Needs the Pain to STOP! “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 groups. This simple fact has recently ...
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 an “improbable” feminist whose indomitable ...
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 had become aware that peace was ...
We 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 $2 million is almost cute, considering...
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 the Wellesley Centers for Women Council of Advisors. ...
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 purposeful about infusing culturally-responsive curricula further ...
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. Because I am a priest and a psychiatrist I spend a ...
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 understanding difference, particularly ...
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, year-round earn only 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. While ...
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 necessary process, ploddingly pursued by dedicated women and men...
“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 WCW Senior Scholar Jean ...
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 along. As head of the Wellesley Centers for Women, the ...
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. Their message--that sport should be about self-...
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 ...
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. That ...
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 happen? When I heard ...
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 us wondering who we are as a nation. ...
I was many things at ten years old, but one thing I wasn't was accepted. My family moved to a new town that summer—it was 1972—and on the first day of school when the school bell rang I stood in the middle of the girls’ line anxiously waiting to meet my new classmates. As I was studying my shoes I heard the laughter and the whispering, “What is that new boy doing in...
Twenty-five years ago, when I was studying the human nervous system in medical school, I learned that the body has an automatic system running in the back ground 24/7—the autonomic nervous system—like the system that runs in the back ground of your ...
Below are links to two articles from good friends of the Wellesley Centers for Women—Susan McGee Bailey and Alex Sanger. Susan is the former, long-time executive director of ...
October was LGBTQ History Month. We should continue to celebrate, reflect, and get back to work! It has been less than 50 years since Stonewall, the start of the current LGBTQ Rights Movement. There have been trials and tribulations, along with celebrations. Today, ...
Opponents of LGBT equality often try to make LGBT parents seem like a new and untested phenomenon, and therefore something to be avoided. The history of LGBT parents and our children, ...
October is Let’s Talk Month, part of a national campaign to encourage families to talk with teens about sex and relationships. In March 2013, I shared tips on how ...
Let’s Celebrate U.N. International Day of the Girl by Supporting the Malala Yousafzais of Our World This article was originally posted on October 11, 2012 on the Women Change Worlds blog. Today, Malala Yousafzai, was named a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She ...
October 10th is Mental Health Awareness Day. We live in a time of easy access and quick fixes. People expect to be able to stream a video in less than 60 seconds, to have the entire written history of the world at their fingertips, even to have a complete dinner delivered in under 30 minutes. Given the mind-numbing pace of life, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised by my clients&...
September is National School Success month, a time when parents are focused on helping their children begin a positive start to the new school year. At this time I urge you to consider those children who, through no fault of their own, are struggling to succeed academically because of exposure to early adversity and trauma. WCW...
This is a repost from an article originally published on this blog September 6, 2013. National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) is a time to both raise awareness of suicide as a national public health issue, and to think critically about how suicide can be prevented. In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents (Hoyert & Xu, 2012...
Recently, NPR, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health, released a poll that found that one-quarter of Americans reported that they had experienced significant amounts of stress in the ...
Courtney Martin, a friend of the Wellesley Centers for Women, journalist, author of “Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists,” and one of the founding directors of the Solutions Journalism Network, is a ...

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