Congrats, Graduates! Summer plans, Feminist foreign policy, and more...
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In this issue:
  • A note from our director
  • The Breathing Room
  • Additional Upcoming WLRC events
  • Staying Connected: Updates about COVID-19 and WLRC/CAN
  • CCUSC events
  • Campus opportunities
  • Community opportunities
  • Connect with us!
A note from our director

Time to Exhale

This is a time to wind down, rest, and reflect on all that we have been through together over the past 15 weeks.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

You have persevered under challenging circumstances. Whether you had a lot of support and love to get you to this moment, or you have had to scramble and scrape to make it across the finish line, this moment is yours. Savor it. Take a minute to understand who you have become over the duration of your studies at this urban public university, and to give thanks for the faculty, staff, peers, family members, co-workers, programs, and opportunities that brought you this far. Even if you don’t have clear plans for the near future, celebrate that you have come this far by faith and hard work, while working to overcome self-doubt and all sorts of obstacles to accomplish something of your own. We see you! We celebrate you!

To the students who have worked with WLRC and CAN in various capacities during your studies at UIC: We hope that you will take all that you have learned into your new lives and continue working in whatever ways you can to make the world a more just and equitable place for all living beings.

A special congratulations to Emoonah McClerklin, who has worked as a student assistant at WLRC for the 2019-2020 academic year. Emoonah is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology with a minor in Gender & Women’s Studies.

I first learned about Emoonah through her leadership role in SISTERS, an organization dedicated to providing a supportive community for Black women in campus housing and beyond. It has been a delight to work with her and to see her commitment to connecting more students with WLRC take so many creative forms. Emoonah is one to watch out for!

We hope that new graduates will stay in touch with us. WLRC will celebrate its 30th anniversary in the 2020-2021 academic year. If our programs have helped to broaden your understanding of feminism and social justice, provided support for you as a survivor, given you concrete tools and new concepts to help make sense of your academic experience as well as what is possible for you after UIC, we want to hear from you and include your ideas and perspectives as we try to imagine the next 30 years!

Before you say ‘bye to UIC, though…

As a result of COVID-19, you just went through quite an experiment in online learning that may be continued into Fall 2020. Tell us something:

  1. What should faculty, departments, or cultural centers like ours absolutely continue doing?
  2. What should faculty or any campus unit definitely not do again?
  3. In hindsight, what do you wish you had known before beginning online learning, and what would you like to tell incoming students?

Share your thoughts at

More spaces to connect before the semester ends:

The final meeting of the Black Hair Quilt Project is on Thursday, May 14, 3-5pm. We will be talking about the short film The Big Chop and sharing hair stories and plans for the summer months.

Colleague, sisterfriend, and comrade Nadine Naber will be the featured guest on this week’s edition of The Breathing Room. Prof. Naber will lead a conversation about what a feminist foreign policy ought to look like in the context of a pandemic and beyond. You don’t want to miss this!

I know our readers are waiting to hear what we have to say about the changes to the Title IX federal guidelines about how educational institutions should respond to gender-based violence.

Don’t worry--we are preparing a special issue of the newsletter. If you are a survivor and want to share your thoughts on how the campus needs to move forward in enacting the new rules, or want to add to the conversation, email us:

In love and solidarity,

Natalie Bennett


Join us in The Breathing Room, a place to unwind, heal, and find community. We'll be sharing reflections, creative and scholarly endeavors, and activity ideas in this newsletter, on our website, on our social media, and in a weekly Zoom session.

A woman with brown hair tied back, wearing a teal sleeveless dress, smiles at the camera. 

Calling for a Feminist Foreign Policy to Confront the Pandemic

Friday, May 15, 2020
Registration required for Zoom info

Dr. Nadine Naber, professor in Gender and Women's Studies and Global Asian Studies at UIC, will facilitate a conversation about ending militarism in the U.S. and globally while taking seriously the impact of U.S. war abroad on indigenous, immigrant, and people of color in the U.S., especially women and gender non-conforming people. CART live captioning will be provided.

A person wearing a green vest over a long-sleeved white shirt leans up to a wood counter and looks at an open book in their hands. A coffee cup sits on the counter next to them. 

Academic Readings

Duke University Press is offering a “Care in Uncertain Times” syllabus geared toward understanding healing and care through a feminist lens. Check out the full syllabus for free through June 30!

Illustration of a woman chef in a white chef coat and white chef's hat stands holding a tray of baked goods. 

Women-Owned Restaurants

With the stay-at-home order extended to May 30, our communities need our help more than ever. Here are some Chicago-based women-owned restaurants you can support while you stay at home!

Five black women cutting and sewing quilt fabric 

Black Hair Quilt Project

Thursday, May 14
Registration required for Zoom info:

Over the Spring 2020 semester, Black women students have worked with a fiber artist to design and stitch an individual quilt square while learning about Black women’s quilting traditions and engaging in conversation about what love, joy, family, politics, trauma, fashion, and resistance have to do with Black hair. Join us for the final session of the semester! We'll talk about the short film The Big Chop and share hair stories and plans for the summer months.

Aerial view of pencils, notebooks, papers, and a cell phone on a desk. 

Write @ WLRC

Friday, May 15, 2020
10am - 12pm
Registration required for Zoom info

Need to finish your semester grading? Can’t find the time or motivation to write? Working on your dissertation/conference paper/creative project? Need some structure, support, and accountability? Join our last weekly virtual write onsite space of the semestser!

Aerial photo of UIC's campus 

WLRC will be physically closed for at least the first part of summer. Staff are working remotely and can be reached at We will continue to stay connected with you through social media and email.

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 or 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

For those living with violence, having to isolate or self-quarantine oneself can make a situation more unsafe. We are here to answer questions and provide support if you or a loved one is in a situation like this. If you are looking for shelter, food, or safety planning, please reach out to CAN to learn the options available on and off campus. We also encourage you to check in with friends and family who may be vulnerable and share our contact information with them.

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 summer! Click each center's name below for details on events, services, resources, and ways to connect on social media:

African-American Cultural Center

Arab American Cultural Center

Disability Cultural Center

Latino Cultural Center

Students crouching over and painting a sign on the ground 

Additional Campus Diversity Resources

Latinx Town Hall Resources

UIC recently hosted a town hall for Latinx students in response to the pandemic. Here you can rewatch the town hall and find a packet of resources, including emergency funds, career services, mental health, student engagement, and support for undocumented students. Resources from town halls for Asian/Asian American and African American/Black/African students will be posted here soon as well.

Yellow Peril and COVID-19 Teach-In Resources

The UIC Asian and Asian American Student Collective recently hosted a teach-in about the historical narratives driving racism and xenophobia during the pandemic.

UIC Bias Reporting Tool

This form is designed to help all UIC staff, students, and faculty share your experiences with bias, harassment, and discrimination so that the university can support you and better understand the complex needs and challenges facing our campus community. If you fill out the form, it will be reviewed by staff in the UIC Office of the Dean of Students. Reports involving faculty and staff will be referred to and/or reviewed in coordination with the Office for Access and Equity and the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity.

Statement from UIC Administration Against Anti-Asian/Asian American Racism and Xenophobia

On April 27, Chancellor Amiridis, Provost Poser, and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Barish released a statement of support for Asians and Asian Americans at UIC during COVID-19.

Teaching Against Racism

UIC Global Asian Studies faculty have developed an open-ended set of resources that speak to racism and xenophobia in the age of COVID-19, with a focus on discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans at the moment--but also more broadly linking this political economic moment to issues of structural racism and violence that other communities of color are facing. To suggest additional resources, email

Stigma and COVID-19: Viruses Do Not Discriminate

WLRC teamed up with the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center, Office of International Services, and the Office of the Dean of Students to develop a resource guide for combatting anti-Asian racism tied to COVID-19. Please share with your communities.

Ways to Support Students During Ramadan

Our friends at the Arab American Cultural Center have created this helpful resource for supporting our students during Ramadan.

COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Students

The Office of Diversity wants to make sure our undocumented immigrant community is aware of the internal and external resources available to support you during this time. For any additional questions, please contact Tanya Cabrera, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Inclusion, at or (312) 355-0011.

Campus Opportunities
Grey background with black outline of hand gripping a pencil 


Imagining & Demanding Education Justice in the time of Coronavirus
Thursday, May 14, 9am

Join UIC's Social Justice Initiative and the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policyfor a conversation with writers, organizers, educators, and academics about the key challenges and opportunities to advance education justice in the current moment in Chicago. The panel will discuss the ways in which the Coronavirus pandemic is shaping our education system and what we can do to transform education to better serve the needs of students, teachers, parents, and communities as we prepare for the near and long term.


GWS 204/CRN 22545: Gender & Pop Culture

Summer course with Professor Kishonna Gray

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black-ish, From Queer Eye to Crazy Rich Asians, From #MAGA to Gaga. This interactive summer course will examine popular media through a cultural lens examining gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and a host of other identifiers.

GWS 290/CRN 22305: From Belly Dancers to Terrorists: The Middle East in Hollywood Movies

Summer course with Professor Nadine Naber
Tues-Thurs: 10:45am-1:15pm

What is the connection between U.S. interventions in the Middle East and portrayals of Arabs and Muslims in Hollywood? What do gender and sexuality have to do with these portrayals? How do media images impact the lives of Arabs and Muslims in their homelands and in the U.S.? The course will focus on the post-cold war era of U.S. interventions in the Middle East to 9/11 and to the recent rise in white supremacy. Students will also engage with media counter-cultures like independent Arab and Arab American film, stand-up comedy, and hip hop. Overall, students will develop tools for engaging in the changing landscape of U.S. race, gender, sexuality, nationalism and empire building.

GWS 455: Abolition & Decolonization

Fall course with Professor Ronak K. Kapadia
Wednesdays: 3-4:45pm

This interdisciplinary course on transformative feminist visions of abolition and decolonization addresses social and cultural consequences of the prison-industrial complex alongside histories of US warfare, settler colonialism, and racial capitalism. This seminar's ultimate focus will be a study of transformative and healing justice approaches created by primarily North American intersectional feminist, queer, trans, crip, anti-racist, and decolonial visionaries. 


Masks for MOMs Needs Your Help!

Masks for MOMS wants to get reusable cloth face masks to the moms and moms-to-be who need them for labor, delivery, and prenatal visits in the Chicagoland area. We are currently looking for volunteers to help us make as many masks as possible. By working together, we can support pregnant Illinoisans and reduce the anxiety of going to doctors’ appointments or the other necessary errands, especially if using public transportation.  Sponsored by the UIC Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health.

Call for Submissions: Six Feet Apart: Stories from UIC during COVID-19

The UIC Library’s Special Collections and University Archives, UIC Humanities In Medicine student group (HuMed), and the UIC College of Medicine are launching a project to document how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting life at UIC and need your stories, photos and artwork!

Call for Submissions: UIC Counseling Center COVID-10 Video Advocacy Project

In response to the violence and discrimination against Asian communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UIC Counseling Center is developing a short video featuring UIC students, faculty, and staff to highlight how our community can take action. We are hoping to elevate the voices of those who have been impacted by discrimination and xenophobia.

UIC Solidarity Network Slack

The UIC Solidarity Network is a student-led initiative to create a collective space for all of us to stay connected, build community, share and access resources, and support one another. This is an incredibly difficult and isolating time for all of us, and it's important that we use our resources and capacities to care for each other to the best of our abilities. On this platform, you will find resources for financial assistance, local & neighborhood mutual aid projects, a job board, COVID-19 resources for various communities (including multilingual), free social distancing activities, and more. This is intended to be a living and fluid space for all of us to contribute to and shape to meet our needs and interests. 

Call for Participants: Pregnancy and Birth During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Kylea Liese and Dr. Julienne Rutherford of the UIC College of Nursing seek participants for a research study on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women’s experience and choices surrounding pregnancy and birth. Adults who are currently pregnant or have given birth since January 2020 may be eligible.

Campus Recreation Online Fitness Classes

UIC Campus Recreation is offering daily group fitness classes, including Bodyweight, Core Training, BollyX, and Flow. They are also starting new eSports leagues for FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA2K, and NHL (registration required).

Fill Out the Census!

UIC's Census Team wants you to fill out the Census! Help your community receive the funding and services it needs! Respond via website, phone, or mail: Your answers are private and will not be shared with federal agencies or law enforcement entities.

Community Opportunities
Yellow background with white patterns 

Virtual Heart-y Iftars!
EAST COAST IFTAR: Wednesday, May 13, 6:30-7:30pm  

MIDWEST IFTAR: Wednesday, May 20, 6:30-7:30pm

HEART invites you to join us for our first ever virtual iftar. We know that for many who are distanced from their loved ones for reasons even beyond Coronavirus, Ramadan can be a difficult and triggering time that can also remind us of how isolated we may be, disengaged from the communities we belong or disconnected from our faith. We will use the opportunity to engage in some healing and grounding practices, aligned with our theme for the month, Sukoon (Urdu for tranquility), share some knowledge from our faith tradition to help us navigate this period of prolonged isolation, and re-establish the practice of joy and celebration by breaking fast together.

Shelter from the Storm Inside: Supporting Recovery, Safety, and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Thursday, May 14, 2-3:30pm

With all 50 states, nearly all territories, and many tribal nations reporting growing numbers of people impacted by COVID-19, we are all contending with escalating stressors, isolation, grief, and disconnection from regular sources of support and stability. The unique circumstances of this pandemic raise new kinds of challenges for mental health and substance use recovery. Additionally, those who live with an abusive person face increasing danger as they are isolated from school, work, and other sources of safety and support. As advocates, counselors, and peer support specialists, we play a crucial role in navigating these increased risks to recovery, safety, and well-being. This webinar, hosted by the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, presents information on some of the increased risks and stressors in the current pandemic; offers strategies to support safety and well-being for survivors of domestic/sexual violence, staff, and ourselves; and resources to support these strategies.

The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence: Emergency Crisis Fund

The Fund will prioritize supports for survivors where no other funding is applicable. Examples of supports include, but are not limited to rental assistance, educational and social supports for e-learning for clients in shelter or community emergency housing, diapers, food or groceries, supports for incarcerated survivors, emergency cell phones, or bill payment to remain in housing. Other requests will be considered.

Call for Participants: Sexual Violence Among Muslims in North America: A Cross-Sectional Study

HEART Women & Girls and Loyola University Chicago's Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) seek participants for a study to better understand sexual violence, sexual health, and barriers to services in Muslim communities.

HEART Women & Girls Webinar Series

HEART is hosting a series of four webinars during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This final webinar, hosted on April 29, 2020, focused on how to respond to survivors of sexual violence with RAHMA. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is available for the duration of the video. All 4 webinars are now available on the HEART Women & Girls Facebook page.

Content warning: Descriptions of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault.

Call for Volunteers: Title IX Comment Catalog Project

This is a "crowd-researched" project to catalog each of the comments filed in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in November 2018 regarding Title IX and sexual harassment ("Title IX NPRM"). To participate, please visit the website, click the "I want to adopt 20 comments" button, and follow the instructions to catalog each comment in your batch. No specialized knowledge or skills are required.

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