‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌
In this issue:
  • A Note from WLRC Director
  • WLRC News & Upcoming Events
  • CAN Resources
  • Staying Connected: Updates about COVID-19 and WLRC/CAN
  • CCUSC Events & Resources
  • Campus Opportunities
  • Community Opportunities
  • Connect with us!
A Note from WLRC Director

In the academic semester alphabet, we are at the letters F (F for Final Exams) and G (G for Graduation).

Congratulations to all students who are have completed this phase of their academic journeys!  This semester was challenging in a way that others were not.  Whether you are the first in your family to have a college or terminal degree, have overcome enormous obstacles to get to the finish line, or not, this is a moment to celebrate - and for us to celebrate your tenacity, focus and insistence in fulfilling your educational dreams!

Celebrate the latest cohort of graduates (majors, minors, concentrators) from Gender & Women’s Studies Program!  Graduation/dance party is on Friday, December 11.  RSVP here.

The university will hold its virtual commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 12.

If you still have to take the exams or grade them, here’s some sound healing to help you cross the finish line, courtesy of UIC’s Global Asian Studies Program.

In the COVID-19 pandemic alphabet, I think we are at the letters, E, H, and V.

E for Eviction.  H for Hunger.  V for Vaccine.

Here, I am channeling the amazingly subversive work of Olive Senior, a Jamaican-Canadian feminist writer who, like many others, has been composing pandemic poetry since March 2020.  The body of work (a second wave of poems has begun) beautifully catalogues how COVID-19 has created a shared vocabulary, rearranged social, political and economic relationships, and operates as a cultural force in ways that we would not have imagined.

Housing and food insecurity touch our UIC community in multiple ways and are connected to the issues of social justice that many of us study, organize around, teach about and seek solutions for in our class discussions, research, public seminars, etc.  It is even true to say that economic insecurity is part of – and even produced by - the workings of universities in ways that are often unrecognized.

I don’t think we talk about these issues enough.

Some of our students and staff live in and support families that are struggling with housing and food security.  Many students make use of the Pop Up Pantry run by the Wellness Center for this reason, and there's growing awareness about food insecurity among college students.  But a recent report from the U.S. Government Accounting Office brings these issues even closer to home.  The report shows that employees of several state university systems, including neighboring Indiana, are among the working poor, relying on federal public benefits like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) and Medicaid.  They need public benefits to get by because their incomes are not sufficient to take care of themselves and their families.   The National Women’s Law Center also notes that the problem of hunger and food insecurity is hitting Black and Latina women the hardest during these holidays.  Put these data points together and something else becomes more visible.   True, we know how structural inequalities around race, gender, and class are intertwined to produce vulnerability for women of color living on the economic margins between poverty and barely surviving.  And I hope that we are also aware of the ongoing struggles of university workers – from facilities staff to healthcare workers to graduate employees and contingent faculty – for a fair and living wage.  But this assemblage of facts should be acceptable to us or go unremarked in our university community.

In a related and delayed crisis, the moratorium on evictions in the state of Illinois is set to expire on December 12, 2020 (the same day as UIC's commencement).  We can only hope that it is extended by Governor Pritzker.  But if the moratorium does expire, what are the implications for staff and students who are currently or expecting to be enrolled at UIC?  Already, we are seeing more students who are struggling with houselessness during the semester, and who are balancing heavier economic demands due to COVID-19 with responsibilities of fulltime study.  If the moratorium is not extended, I believe that we need to think about what kinds of emergency support the institution can offer to minimize the destabilizing impact of being houseless, especially over the holidays.  And where women of color make up a large proportion of our undergraduate student body and are especially visible among the lower tiers of staff who are also more economically vulnerable, personal safety and economic safety are intertwined.  I urge our university community to think creatively about how to make sure all members of our community can withstand the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Students, you can inform the policies enacted by the university for subsequent semesters; let your voice be heard by sharing your experiences here.

While we wait for new policies and directives that speak to these needs, there are several things that we can do as individuals and small groups to ensure connect those who are most vulnerable to networks of care.  Make monetary donations to food distribution programs like Market Box, the Greater Chicago Food Depository or your favorite mutual aid project.  Help grow Brave Space Alliance’s Crisis Pantry Network which serves LGBTQ+ and gender nonconforming people of color, and people living with disabilities in Chicago. And of course, support UIC’s Pop Up Pantry all-year round.

This calendar year has been quite turbulent, but the steady, prescient and expert knowledge of Black women in medicine who are committed to health equity and justice is probably one of the bright spots in addressing this pandemic.  Scientific expert and immunologist, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, who has been lead researcher in the development of vaccine against COVID-19.  Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, is a national expert on inequalities in the healthcare system, has been appointed to co-chair the incoming Biden administration’s COVID-19 Taskforce.  Dr. Uche Blackstock has shifted from care provider to focusing on advocacy for racial equity in healthcare and helping to shape national and local strategies to distribute the vaccine.  Last but not least, Black feminist practitioner Dr. Brittani James, a physician at UIC and co-founder of the Institute for Anti-racism in Medicine (IAM), is actively shaping public discourse about how the vaccine matters to African Americans.  By using an approach that recognizes the skepticism about the vaccine as a product of a well-documented histories of medical neglect, mistreatment and experimentation on people of color in the US, she is also reminding public health practitioners that any refusal to take this history serious will end up causing more harm to the very people who are already more likely to be exposed to COVID-19.  I recommend that everyone read her Twitter thread and bring these ideas to bear on the conversations about the vaccine in the days to come.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Natalie Bennett

CAN Resources
A cup of coffee, a notepad with pencils on top, a notecard with paper clips, a WLRC promo card, and WLRC buttons all form the border of a poster with text about Don't Cancel Your Class! 

Don't Cancel Your Class! 

Are you thinking about cancelling class or assigning “busy work” because you can’t teach due to personal, family, or work obligations? Don't Cancel Your Class!

Arrange for a CAN presentation instead and keep your students learning and engaged even in your absence. DCYC! Is for any instructor--tenure-track, adjunct/contingent, graduate teaching assistants--who wants to make alternative arrangements for a class. We offer a variety of topics, including consent, dating violence, harassment/stalking (online and in person), healthy relationships, and toxic masculinity.

Aerial photo of UIC's campus 

WLRC will be working remotely for the Fall 2020 semester. We can be reached at wlrc@uic.edu and will continue to stay connected with you through email and social media.

The Campus Advocacy Network will continue to serve UIC students, faculty, and staff. Our confidential advocate is available for virtual appointments. To schedule a meeting or request more information, please email can-appointment@uic.edu. You can also call (312) 413-8206 and leave a voicemail.

We are open to connecting with you in multiple ways:

  • Phone: (312) 413-8206 or (312) 488-9784
  • Video conference (Webex or Google Hangouts)
  • Online chat (Google Chats)
  • Email

More info & resources

CCUSC Events & Resources
CCUSC logo: "Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change" in red text on a white background, with the UIC red circle to the left. 

UIC's Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change will all be open and available virtually this semester! Click each center's name below for this week's events, services, and resources:

African-American Cultural Center

Arab American Cultural Center

Asian American Resource and Cultural Center

Disability Cultural Center

A navy banner has bold white lettering at the top of the flyer, smaller navy text on a white background in the middle, and a navy banner at the bottom with a yellow link to the guide and white logos for the UIC Disability Cultural Center and UIC Disability Resource Center. 

UIC Online Events Accessibility Guide

The Disability Resource Center and the Disability Cultural Center have partnered to create this guide, which offers a consolidated resource for event planners as they facilitate accommodations. It details ways to build accessibility into events from the start and covers

  • Planning
  • Publicity
  • Responding to Access Requests
  • Setting Up ASL/CART in Online Platforms
  • Facilitating Events for Accessibility
  • Access Practices for Events of All Sizes
Campus Opportunities


UIC Burnout Survey

The purpose of this survey is to collect quantitative and qualitative data on student experiences at UIC during the COVID-19 pandemic. This data will inform future and present movement building among student groups and coalitions that aim to advocate for student rights and demands. Collecting student narratives will provide insight to student needs during this time as well as identify major problems across campus.

Sound Healing

UIC GLAS sends you all a wave of good soothing vibes for finals week with GLAS Minor and GSAB Co-chair Renae Mijares Encinas’ Sound Healing Playlist. Listen to it here: https://bit.ly/SoundHealingPlaylist

Radical Creativity: A Virtual Exhibition of Student Artwork

Are you Creative? A Writer? Photographer? Graphic Artist? Sculptor? Filmmaker? Musician? Dancer?
Join the African American Cultural Center as we explore the meaning of Radical Creativity by creating an exhibition of Student Artwork that imaginatively addresses the themes of social justice, individual freedom, community, and the power of joy.  Submit your work at aacc@uic.edu for consideration to be included in our April exhibition, Radical Creativity. 

Submissions Due March 26th, 2021
Exhibition Date April 5th - May 7th, 2021

Friday, December 11
Please join us for a celebration and dance party honoring GWS Majors, Minors, SJ Minors, and GWS Grad Concentrators graduating this Winter 2020. We lift up the naes of our graduates, hear remarks from Golden Apple Award-Winning Radical Educator Jenine Wehbeh, and then switch over to Twitch for a dance party with DJ Emancipation! For questions or accomodations, please contact rcaidor@uic.edu. RSVP here.
Saturday, December 12
4:00 - 5:30 pm

Join Food Recovery Network to learn about food waste, food insecurity in minority groups, and the effect of COVID-19 on both of these issues. There will be a discussion and Q&A at the end. RSVP here.



Gender and Women's Studies Spring 2021 Courses

GWS is offering some amazing courses this spring, including ones on contemporary Latina literature and gender in the Middle East and North Africa. Check them out!

Middle Eastern Societies

SOC 465/POLS 465

CRN: 34274/3485

Are you interested in knowing about the Middle East? To learn about its politics and its people as well? This class is for you. For questions email: atefsaid@uic.edu. 

Introduction to Arab American Studies 

ANTH 242/GLAS 242
Professor. Nadine Naber
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:45 am 

The course addresses key themes in Arab American Studies: immigration and racism; family, gender, and sexuality; socio-economic class; religious affiliation; arts and cultures; and politics and political activism. For any additional information, please contact: naber@uic.edu

Community Opportunities
December 10
Join the American Friends Service Committee and partners on International Human Rights Day to celebrate the Prison + Neighborhood Arts / Education Project’s forthcoming book Carving Out Rights From Inside the Prison Industrial Complex and launch AFSC’s #FreeThemAll December Days of Action for mass release of those in prisons, jails and detention centers. The program will include a panel discussion as well as performances by musician Damon Locksand poets Tara Betts and Eric Blackmon. Find out more, including how to register here.
Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration is hosting their 7th Annual Holiday Solidarity Toy & Toiletry Drive virtually. Find out more about this and related mutual support efforts organized in Solidarity with incarcerated survivors, particularly moms and kids by following their page for the drive here.

Every other Friday from 2:00-3:30PM
Next Session will be on December 11

The Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL) is looking to provide a safe and supportive community space to address mental health concerns during the Covid crisis. FB Event page with more info.
December 9-11, 2020
OutSummit is a space to share insights, challenges and best practices, and to strategize across civil society, state and private sector boundaries for the human rights of LGBTIQ people. Our keynote speakers this year will be Hamed Sinno, lead singer of the Lebanese-American indie-rock band Mashrou' Leila, and Filipino American supermodel and trans rights activist Geena Rocero
Support PRIDE
Partners of Refugees in Illinois Disability Employment is a state wide initiative that strives to develop employment training and capacity-building programs that will improve vocational rehabilitation and employment options for refugees with disabilities in Illinois and elsewhere.

Become a volunteer:
If you would like to serve on one of PRIDE's advisory boards, please send an email to roosheyh@uic.edu. In your email, please specify which advisory board you are interested in serving.

Call for Submissions:

Thinking Gender 2021: Call for Abstracts

Abstract Submissions due Sunday, January 10, 2021

The UCLA Center for the Study of Women invites graduate student scholars and artists to submit abstracts or synopses of in-progress scholarly papers, dissertation or thesis chapters, or article drafts, or in-progress film/mixed media works to workshop at our 31st annual and first virtual Thinking Gender Graduate Student Research Conference.

This year’s conference theme, “Care, Mutual Aid, and Reproductive Labor in a Time of Crisis” will focus on feminist, queer, trans, transnational, Indigenous, and intersectional approaches to care, mutual aid, and reproductive labor.

Connect with us!
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Have you checked out our websites (WLRC and CAN)? We add lots of useful content throughout the year, so be sure to bookmark both!

Get social with us!

We post regularly on WLRC's Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and on CAN's Facebook.



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