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.

WCW's Women Change Worlds Blog

In Memoriam: Jean Hardisty
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
“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 ...
The Power of Women’s Social Science Research in Social Justice Movements
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Valuing the Ideological Roots of Women’s Athletics
Laura Pappano
Women Change Worlds
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-...
Black History Month Matters: A Personal Reflection
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
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
Amy Banks
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
"R" is for Resonance
Amy Banks
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
On King Day, Thinking about Social Movement
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
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. ...
"A" Is for Accepted
Amy Banks
Women Change Worlds
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...
"C" Is for Calm--Four Ways to Click
Amy Banks
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
2014 Round-up
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Women Change Worlds
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 ...
The Greying of the LGBTQ Community
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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, ...
Seeking LGBT Parents in History
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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, ...
Let's Talk about Sex
Jennifer Grossman
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Brave New Girls -- a timely repost
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Supportive Human Relationships: Often Overlooked in Our Search for Quick Fixes
Amy Banks
Women Change Worlds
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&...
Let’s Celebrate ALL Students during National School Success Month
Michelle Porche
Women Change Worlds
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...
Suicide Prevention: The Depression Link
Tracy Gladstone
Women Change Worlds
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...
Is Stress Making Us Sick?
Nancy Marshall
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Child Care and the Overwhelmed Parent
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Facebook: Friend or Foe
Linda Charmaraman
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Open Circle Training Goes to Uganda
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Two Open Circle trainers from the Open Circle Program, Jen Dirga, MSW, and Sallie Dunning, Ed.M., traveled to Uganda ...
In Memory of Maya Angelou
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
#BringBackOurGirls
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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...
Middle School Expanded Learning Opportunities: 20 Years and Growing
Ellen Gannett
Women Change Worlds
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 (...
A Case of Structural Racism
Jean Hardisty
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
UN Commission Calls for Increased Efforts to Promote Gender Equality
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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. ...
Computer Literacy: A valuable skill for all girls and women
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
A College Student’s Perspective on Leadership
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Reframing Leadership as a Democratic Practice
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention
Nan Stein
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
The value of sports for career launch
Laura Pappano
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Dispelling “violence against women and children” myths in human trafficking
Kate Price
Women Change Worlds
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...
Remembrance, Recognition, and Reconciliation
Erika Kates
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
A Different Kind of Resolution
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
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 Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Women's Rights in 2013
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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...
Learning from Amy
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Provocative Discussions on Women, Writing, Art, Society...
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
  WOMEN=BOOKS, the blog of Women's Review of Books (WRB), features reviewers and book authors ...
Connections Are at the Core of Social Justice
Judith Jordan
Women Change Worlds
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: &...
Bullying Prevention Starts with Adults
Nancy MacKay
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Creating Space for More Than Tolerance
Emmy Howe
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Did the Republicans Lose Women in the 2013 Elections?
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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...
Poverty and the Rural African Girl
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Enough with the Excuses—Corporate Boards Need Women
Sumru Erkut
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
More than the Gender Wage Gap
Erika Kates
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Tackling Inter-generational Poverty through Education
Sari Kerr
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
The Gated Community of the Heart
Peggy McIntosh
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Healthy Aging: Reflections & Tribute
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
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, ...
Suicide Prevention: The Depression Link
Tracy Gladstone
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Reflections on the March on Washington, Part II
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
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 ...
Reflections on the March on Washington
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
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 ...

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Views expressed on the Women Change Worlds blog are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Wellesley Centers for Women or Wellesley College nor have they been authorized or endorsed by Wellesley College.

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