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.
This blog post is reproduced with permission from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, NJ. It was first published on the Human Capital Blog. If you ...
Two Open Circle trainers from the Open Circle Program, Jen Dirga, MSW, and Sallie Dunning, Ed.M., traveled to Uganda ...
Today we lost a Phenomenal Woman writ large and a national treasure, Dr. Maya Angelou, at the age of 86. Last year on April 4, 2013, we cross-posted a birthday tribute to her extraordinary life here on Women Change Worlds and at the blog page of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights ...
More than two weeks have gone by since 276 young women were abducted from a high school in Nigeria,* and there has been relatively little attention to their plight from the international community and news media. These are young women who had returned to the school...
A few weeks ago we recognized Middle School Month--dedicated to re-emphasizing the importance of middle school programming and the unique developmental needs of adolescents. The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (...
For five years, from 2008 until 2013, I studied how Mississippi implements its child care certificates for low-income women who received the certificates as a welfare benefit. I brought to the work a racial lens and decades of studying the political right as a movement. I found a ...
The following blog article was posted onHuffington Post, March 25, 2014 by Alex Sanger, chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council and member of the Wellesley Centers for Women Council of Advisors. ...
We need more girls and women to consider careers in STEM--science, technology, engineering, and math--particularly computer science. Computers are everywhere and are part of our lives in so many ways--phones, cars, home, workplace. Women who can master technology may find more career opportunities and new ways to make a difference in their communities and the world. Further,STEM ...
Wellesley College has a legacy for producing storied female leadership. Our alumnae include two Secretaries of State and the most female Fortune 500 CEOs of any American college or university. This legacy was what drew me, along with many other students, to the College. We, too, wanted to be leaders, and ...
Social Justice Dialogue: Leadership for Social Change Too often, discussions about leadership confuse leadership with authority or management, and ignore the unique imperatives public leaders face. This trend is especially troubling in a socio-political context that characterizes “the public” as dependent and inefficient, and redistributes financial and political power from ...
Work at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) is undertaken with the goal to help inform change makers, amend attitudes, and to help shape a more just world for women and girls, communities and families. The interdisciplinary team of scholars, administrators, and advisors who ensure that WCW’s mission moves forward are informed by their own and others’ work, as well as ...
Last year, when President Barack Obama proclaimed February Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, he noted that an estimated one in ten teens will be hurt intentionally by someone they are ...
This will be the first time that female athletes are allowed to compete in ski jumping at the Olympics so it’s fitting that the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia ...
New York Times columnist and anti-trafficking advocate Nicholas Kristof recently opened January’s Human Trafficking Awareness month with a Google+ Hangout entitled, “What does 2014 hold for the fight against modern-day slavery?” My answer is the need to dispel myths about...
When Nelson Mandela died, many of us reflected on his efforts at reconciliation. We wondered how anyone who had endured nearly three decades of imprisonment and witnessed the denigration of his people could emerge from his cell and talk about reconciliation with his jailors. For ...
This time of year, many people are thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. More often than not, these resolutions revolve around things we’d like to change in ourselves or our lives. But what about the things we’d like to change about our world--the things that are bigger than ourselves and our own individual lives? This year, I’m advocating for a different...
The following blog article was posted on Huffington Post, December 30, 2013 by Alex Sanger, chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council and member of the Wellesley Centers for Women Council of Advisors. As we...
This article was originally published December 19, 2013 on Girl w/ Pen by Susan McGee Bailey, who served as executive director of the Wellesley Centers for Women ...
  WOMEN=BOOKS, the blog of Women's Review of Books (WRB), features reviewers and book authors ...
Empathy and mutual respect provide the underpinnings for societal trust and economic stability. Neuroscience confirms that we are hardwired to be in connection with one another; cultures that create an ethic of hyper-individualism put us at odds with our natural proclivity to relate and connect. As Einstein once said: &...
Policies, procedures, and protocols for bullying prevention and intervention are now a requirement for most schools across the country. Yet policies that are developed and implemented in isolation are insufficient to address the challenges of bullying behavior. It is also critical to create a school culture and climate of communication, collaboration, and trust where children and ...
I was asked to write this post about The International Day for Tolerance and I must admit that I had never even heard of it. But as I considered "tolerance," I thought of its role in my life. Being a middle aged queer mom, I came of age in the 70s and 80s not expecting tolerance from ...
This article was originally published May 10, 2013 on Huffington Post by Alex Sanger, chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council and member of the Wellesley Centers for Women Council of Advisors. Virginia and New Jersey have spoken...
Social Justice Dialogue: Eradicating Poverty When people have limited choices, have no secure directions to follow, and are held back by insurmountable barriers, they are bound to remain in a situation of stagnancy, including poverty. Poverty is experienced physically and ...
The controversy surrounding lack of women on Twitter’s board of directors as it is going public with an IPO, has rekindled interest in diversity on corporate boards. In research ...
Social Justice Dialogue: Eradicating Poverty More than the Gender Wage Gap…On Many Fronts the Economic News is Not Good for Women In spite of attention-grabbing headlines like, “The Richer Sex: How the Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love, and the Family" (Liza Mundy, 2012), on many ...
Social Justice Dialogue: Eradicating Poverty A frequent theme in the discussion on poverty is the degree to which poverty persists across generations. While the United States is touted as the land of opportunity where everyone can attain their American dream, poverty is still the ...
Work at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) is undertaken with the goal to help inform change makers, amend attitudes, and to help shape a more just world for women, girls, their communities, and families. The interdisciplinary team of scholars, administrators, and advisors who ensure that WCW’s mission moves forward are informed by their own and others’ work, as well as ...
A gated community can be more than a real estate development. Last year, I visited an ailing friend who lives in a gated community on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. I waited at a guardhouse while my white host, on the other side of the gate, was asked on the phone whether I should be let in. Waiting, I felt guilty until proven innocent, with a tinge of "Am I an imposter? Do I ...
September is Healthy Aging Month and there is no one more ideal at the Wellesley Centers for Women to contribute to a blog on this topic than Ruth Harriet Jacobs, Ph.D., a gerontologist, sociologist, ...
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), and, in 2011, nearly 16 percent of adolescents in ...
Part II: Social Scientific Perspectives on Making Change in America Yesterday, in my reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, I blogged about how the issue of pursuing change can be viewed through a social science lens--not just through a ...
Social Scientific Perspectives on Making Change in America Yesterday I attended the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington with two members of the WCW staff. We had been in Washington, D.C., for a series of meetings--indeed, we had just met with a liaison to the White House Council on Women and Girls earlier ...
August 26, Women’s Equality Day, always raises mixed feelings for me. I can join in the spirit of celebration over how far women have come from the days when my graduate school professor announced in class that if the political science department ever hired a woman, he would ...
Over the past few months, in my role as the Chair of the American Camp Association’s (ACA) Task Force on Non-Cognitive Skills, I have been immersed in the research and popular literature on what journalist-author Paul Tough ...
What can a good-looking, white woman with a Smith College degree and middle-class upbringing teach us about prisons in America? When she was in her 20s, Piper Kerman was persuaded by her lover Norma--who was involved in an international drug ring--to carry a suitcase of drug trafficking money into the U.S. She...
Work at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) is undertaken with the goals of informing change makers, amending attitudes, and shaping a more just world for women, girls, their communities, and families. The interdisciplinary team of scholars, administrators, and advisors who ensure that WCW’s mission moves forward is informed by their own research and lived experiences. The ...
Sheryl Sandberg’s recent book, Lean In, created a media frenzy. Before that, Ann-Marie Slaughter’s 2012 article in The Atlantic, “...
 Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled that denying recognition and benefits to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Gay and lesbian couples who are legally married (they are able to do so in 12 states and the District of ...
This blog post, by Kathy Schleyer, was entered in the Wheelock College Policy Connection 2013 Student Blogger Contest and earned second place. The original post can be found on the Wheelock College Blog. It ...
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed June 4th as International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression(resolution ES-7/8)in 1982 to recognize the “...
This commentary appears in the Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2013 Volume 34 • Number 2 (forthcoming), published by the Wellesley Centers for Women. When we think about employment and health, we often think about high risk jobs and occupational safety. The recent deaths of first responders in Massachusetts and Texas highlight these serious concerns. However, many ...
May is National Mental Health Awareness month, a fitting time to be mindful of the suffering caused by mental illness. Even though I am a psychiatrist, working daily with people diagnosed with mental illness, I am stunned by the statistics on the incidence of mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health in any 12 month period, 26.2 percent of adults are diagnosed with a mental illness. That ...
This article was originally published May 10, 2013 on Huffington Post by Alex Sanger, chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council ...
Sometimes sports brings out the worst in us. Players taunt. Parents criticize. Coaches belittle. And at other times it is within the context of sports that a spotlight is shined on the best of the human spirit. There are many things that I love about sports participation and spectating. I am easily entranced by the last second shot, sudden death, or match point. There is an ...
Are you paid what you’re worth? How much do you earn? Is your paycheck fair? These are the kinds of questions we don’t talk about in public, or even with co-workers. We might broach them with close friends or family, but many Americans don’t like to talk about whether our paychecks are fair. However, when women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, and this ...
This blog was originally published on the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Voices of our Community Blog. We may remember today many ways, but one of the happiest has to be by wishing an ebullient “Happy Birthday!” to one of America’s living national ...
This blog appeared originally on YWCatalyst blog. Author Peter Biro is the husband of Nova Biro, a participant in LeadBoston, YW ...
One of the things I like best about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, is something she says on page 9. Addressing the debate about whether the key to increasing women’s access to power lies in...

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