30th Anniversary + WHM Events Today!
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In this issue:

  • A Note from WLRC's Director
  • WLRC News & Upcoming Events
  • CAN News & Upcoming Events
  • WLRC Spotlight: Sounds of Feminism
  • Staying Connected: Updates about COVID-19 and WLRC/CAN
  • CCUSC Events & Resources
  • Campus Opportunities
  • Community Opportunities
  • Connect with us!

A Note from WLRC's Director


WLRC at 30

This week, WLRC launches its 30th anniversary celebration with the event Sustaining Centers of Care, Community, and Resistance,” a roundtable conversation among feminist leaders of women’s and gender equity centers around the state of Illinois.  This event is the first of several taking place in spring 2021 and fall 2021.   Each event will expand on an aspect of the anniversary theme “Centering Care and Community: 30 Years of Resistance at UIC.”

The theme emerged from multiple discussions among the 30th anniversary planning committee.  The committee includes WLRC and CAN’s program staff including graduate students (Jazmin Vega, Seth Quam); faculty member Em Rabelais (College of Nursing); UIC alumni (Meghna Bhat, Emoonah McClerklin); staff (Rachel Caidor, Anna Sandoval), and current students (Rashida Thompson, Julianna Willson).   We asked several questions, including what stories did we need to tell about the center: beyond saying it emerged from student activism, how did it come to be; what has it been for faculty, staff, and various groups of students who have interacted with its programs and services; how has the center changed or shifted over time; what still needs to change; how we would tell those stories; what are our own relationships to women’s centers and feminisms.  The concepts of care, community, and resistance emerged emphatically.  It’s not hard to see why these terms resonated with us.  One of the main ways that WLRC has been known on campus is through the advocacy and education work of its largest program, the Campus Advocacy Network (CAN).  CAN embodies these concepts in particular ways, though; the goal of the year-long celebration will be to show the myriad ways that these terms take form and are given life in WLRC’s programs, partnerships, and strategies of public engagement. 

These terms are also understood and practiced by minoritized groups on college campuses in the U.S. as theories and methods for asserting belonging.  They go to the heart of exposing the role of educational institutions in perpetuating systems of inequality and exclusion that exist in the larger society. They also evoke survival, agency, talking back, collective identity, and intentional action to change the institutional context in which they exist.  Cultural centers, including those at UIC, know this well. They have to respond to the larger political climate in the society, the distinct needs of the groups that they center in their unit’s identity, and the recurring questions on the campus about why they exist in the first place. 

Similarly, campus-based women’s centers (now called women’s and gender equity centers to reflect the actual work that they do)--whether they operate from closet-sized offices in the basement or free-standing buildings of their own--exist to push back against the notion that 1) universities are inherently safe spaces for everyone who attends; 2) knowledge created and shared within the university fairly represents the perspectives of its members who belong to marginalized groups; and 3) the university always changes for the better and to the benefit of all.  

For as long as they have existed – some say since the 1940s, other accounts mark 1960 at the University of Minnesota - women’s and gender equity centers (WGEC) in the U.S. have remained a critical site for feminist and social justice education, intellectual work, and making visible social inequities (based on gender, race, economic status, disability, family status) that limit and exclude many women from getting a college education.  As the institutional diversity of the roundtable suggests, WGECs are as varied as where they are located.  They exist at community colleges around the country and historically Black universities in southern states, and urban universities serving majority people of color, not just at the historically white universities in the northeast and midwest. Some come through faculty demands and student-driven initiatives, others negotiated over time, still others declared by administrative fiat. Some reproduce exclusionary forms of feminism that center white, middle-class, Christian, and cisgender identities; others see inclusion and solidarity as essential to the feminist praxis and align themselves and their programming closely with a variety of social justice movements inside and outside the U.S.  And depending on who is telling the story, women of color, transgender women, gender nonconforming persons, and women who parent and work to send themselves to school, move between the foreground and background.  

As the March 30 roundtable will share the stories of other centers in the state, we are also thinking of how do we tell WLRC’s story? Perhaps we need to tell multiple stories.  

Since summer 2020, and through the painstaking efforts of Meghan Daniel, doctoral student in Sociology at UIC and longtime participant in WLRC’s programs, we have been moving in the right direction of delineating the organization’s history, identifying the individuals who have been key players, mapping key moments, and putting the center into conversation with the larger political events and debates over the past 30 years.  We hope to finish this project in the fall of 2021, but we will need your help to do so. If you have flyers, documents, communication, names of students, staff, etc. who participated in its signature programs (e.g., Women’s Leadership Symposium) or were involved with WLRC in a collaborative fashion, please share them with us.

Join us for the next 30th anniversary event on Friday, April 9Come hear UIC graduate students, both past and present, reflect on working in and learning from WLRC.  The panel will be moderated by UIC alumna Meghna Bhat, who is also a member of the planning committee.  We hope to see you there!

Take care of yourselves and your communities,

Natalie Bennett
Director, WLRC and CAN


WLRC News & Upcoming Events


CART live captioning is provided for all events hosted by WLRC and CAN. Please send any questions or additional accommodation requests to wlrc@uic.edu.

Headshots of the 6 guest speakers 

Sustaining Centers of Care, Community, and Resistance
Celebrating WLRC's 30th Anniversary
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 I
11:30am - 1pm CDT - TODAY!

Women's and Gender Equity Centers serve as critical sites for feminist/social justice education, safety, and community building on U.S. college campuses and beyond. In celebration of WLRC's 30th anniversary and Women's History Month, join our virtual roundtable to hear center leaders across Illinois reflect on their centers' histories, what emboldens/challenges/inspires them, and their visions for the future.

Jennicet Gutiérrez smiling toward the camera 

Zona Abierta: Latinx Womxn Leaders Across Movements
Jennicet Gutiérrez, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 I 3-4pm CDT - TODAY!

Our Women's History Month series with the Latino Cultural Center wraps up with Jennicet Gutiérrez, Community Organizer and Advocate with Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, which works at local and national levels to achieve the collective liberation of trans, queer, and gender nonconforming Latinxs through building community, organizing, advocacy, and education.

Andrea Yarbrough and Alkebuluan Merriweather smiling. The text includes the titles of their research projects and the date, time, and RSVP link for the event. 

Feminisms Lunch Lecture: in ℅: Black women
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 | 11am - 12pm CDT

The Spring 2021 Feminisms Lunch Lectures series, hosted in partnership with Gender and Women's Studies, continues with a presentation by UIC Museum and Exhibition Studies graduate student Andrea Yarbrough, followed by a response from Dr. Kishonna Gray, Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Communication. (Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Alkebuluan Merriweather will be unable to join us. We hope to reschedule her presentation in the fall.)

Bridges of Solidarity: Black and Latinx Student Leaders event flyer 

Building Bridges of Solidarity: Centering Black and Latinx Women Student Leaders
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | 12-1:30pm CDT

Black and Latinx women students are invited to join us for a conversation with Black and Latinx women student leaders about their academic, leadership, and personal experiences at UIC; what they wish they had known when they first got here; and advice for thriving in school and their chosen fields.

Learn about their journeys, connect with each other, and explore how we can build bridges of solidarity across campus.

Centering Students in WLRC’s History of Care, Community, and Resistance 

Centering Students in WLRC’s History of Care, Community, and Resistance
Celebrating WLRC's 30th Anniversary
Friday, April 9th, 2021 | 1-2:30pm CDT

Since its founding, UIC students have played critical roles in making the Women's Leadership and Resource Center a home for students and survivors, and in advocating for gender equity at UIC and beyond.

We invite you to a virtual panel to hear from graduate students who have worked at the center. They will share their experiences of working, learning, and building community at UIC while advancing the center’s mission.


Black and white coffee mugs and takeout coffee cups on a beige and black striped background 

Coffee Connect with artOut
Saturday, April 10, 2021 | 12-2pm CDT

Are you interested in coffee art-making or poetry workshops? Why not both?

Come join Coffee Connect, a space where you can create erasure poetry and/or workshop your poem, create coffee watercolors, and connect with other students. Come and chill with your peers while exploring poetry and art through a feminist lens.

Hosted by artOut in partnership with WLRC, the Red Shoes Review, and AsianInk.

On the left side of the poster from top to bottom, there is a vertical undulating orange line with yellow letters that reads "heritagegarden.uic.edu" and "Spring 2021". The text with the event details is in black letters on a white background. There are two drawings in the poster. One overlaps with the orange line and is a drawing of an ear of corn. The second drawing is on the top right and is a marigold. Both have an orange drop shadow. The bottom of the poster contains the logos of the UIC Latino Cultural Center, the UIC Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change, and the UIC Heritage Garden. 

Building Self-Determination: Growing Gardens of Resistance
Saturday, April 10, 2021 | 12-1:30pm CDT

Self determination is an evolving subject matter that involves every community and is grounded in our built and natural environments. Join the UIC Heritage Garden in a conversation around fostering multiple paths to learning, creating, and defining our own narratives of resistance through horticulture, creativity, and activism.

Desk with open notebook and stationary 

Write @ WLRC 
Fridays, 10am - 12pm CST
Through April 30, 2021

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 drop-in virtual write onsite space for graduate students, faculty, and staff! Every Friday through April 30, 2021.


Black music notes and red circles on a beige background 

Call for Submissions: "Let Our Rejoicing Rise"
Submissions due Tuesday, March 30, 2021

In recognition of how Black women's voice and performance have been important to Black struggle and resistance, we lift up the Black National Anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing." We invite UIC students to submit a video of themselves performing the song or sharing their earliest memories of it and what it means to them. Videos will be featured on WLRC's website and as part of the "Singing the Nation" digital humanities project led by our Black History Month featured speaker, Dr. Sonya Donaldson of New Jersey City University. 


CAN News & Upcoming Events

The color for the flyer is green. At the top, Meet & Greet in white, at the Kitchen Table in yellow. In the middle is True Solidarity vs. Performative Allyship in white. 

Meet & Greet at the Kitchen Table: True Solidarity vs. Performative Allyship
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 I 1-2pm CST

Have you witnessed individuals and institutions verbally express solidarity and support while not taking action? Join the Women's Leadership and Resource Center and the Latino Cultural Center for an important conversation on performative allyship and its distinction from solidarity.

Picture a Scientist film poster 

Picture A Scientist: Screening & Discussion
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 I 5-6pm CST

Picture a Scientist is a powerful documentary that sheds light on the institutional gender discrimination experienced by women in STEM. Join us for this critical dialogue on gender-based harassment and gender inequity in the sciences.

Please watch the documentary in advance via the UIC library.


Call for Submissions: This is Me! This is Us!

CAN is calling for video submissions to showcase the personal side of UIC's campus. Anyone at UIC can participate! Your video will be posted on the CAN Facebook page and WLRC website and be used to maintain connections with campus partners as well as to show the human side of staff, students, and faculty at UIC. Please record yourself responding to one of the following prompts and briefly introduce yourself (ex: My name is... One mistake I made in college is...)

  • One thing I have learned in life
  • One mistake I made when I was a freshman
  • Something I overcame in college
  • What one or two things have helped me navigate adversity?
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!

Request a presentation from us instead! 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 rape culture, consent, dating violence, harassment/stalking, and toxic masculinity. Visit our page for full details and to contact our team.


WLRC Spotlight: Sounds of Feminism

Sounds of Feminism text in gradient purple font 

Want to learn more about the kinds of feminist ideas that inspire WLRC's programs?  Every week on WLRC's Instagram and Facebook, we'll be sharing critical feminist conversations and insights on key concepts, ideas, and debates that shape our everyday lives.

Words and ideas matter. So does form. WLRC’s “Sounds of Feminism” is intended to educate, engage, and inspire our UIC community and beyond. How? By featuring critical feminist conversations about history, politics, media, culture and beyond. Whether you are new to feminist struggles and debates, or have weathered all the ups and downs and are still waving your flag, you will find “Sounds of Feminism” useful, provocative, and always loudly pushing for justice.


Staying Connected: Updates about COVID-19 and WLRC/CAN

Aerial photo of UIC's campus 

WLRC will be working remotely for the Spring 2021 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 via phone, video conference, online chat, or email. 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.

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 (all times CST):

Hate has no home here.  Our rich identities would not exist without diverse voices and perspectives. We condemn racism and xenophobia in all forms, including the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in recent weeks and since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  We stand in solidarity with the Asian and Asian American communities, as well as Pacific Islanders impacted by anti-Asian hate and violence, now and always.  For more resources visit StopAAPIHate.org. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate 

Hate Has No Home Here

WLRC and CAN condemn the recent racist and xenophobic attacks on Asian Americans, and the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

We know that hate-driven violence against any minoritized group affects all of us, in big and small ways. We want to also name that gender-based violence and targeting of women and LGBT folks is one way that hate crimes manifest.

We stand in solidarity with Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities now and always, and will not allow these or any similar incidents to pit any of our UIC communities against others, whether on campus or in the larger city, state or country.

For more resources, visit


Campus Opportunities



Bridge to the Faculty Scholars Showcase:

- Tuesday, March 30, 2021 | 11-12pm CST
Rodrigo Solinís-Casparius: Mapping Ancient Roads: An Approach to Identify and Understand Movement Behaviors in Past Landscapes
Maria Eugenia López-Garcia: Staging the Invisible: Migrant Domestic Work and the Aesthetics of Precarity

- Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | 11-12pm CST
Marcus Michelen: Finding Order in Randomness: Growth Models, Random Polynomials and More
Jose Villégas: Design of Peptides as Oligonucleotide Decoys for Targeting Viral RNA Packaging

Psychology Department: Black Scholar Speaker Series: Dr. Jasmine Abrams

- Main Lecture: Utilizing Intersectionality Theory to Understand and Address Sexual and Maternal Health Disparities
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 12– 1:30 PM CST

This presentation will expand on these concepts through an overview of Dr. Abrams' research on sexual and maternal health disparities experienced by women of African ancestry, domestically and globally.

- Affinity Session
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 |1-2:45 PM CST

The Affinity Session provides the opportunity for Black students, staff, and faculty to come together in community with each other and Dr. Abrams to collectively reflect on their realities of being Black and in the field of psychology.

- Special Session: A Primer on Academic Entrepreneurship: What It Is and How to Get Started
Friday, April 2, 2021 | 12–1:00 PM CST

In this session, Dr. Abrams will provide an overview of different types of academic entrepreneurship, share her experiences in navigating the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, and offer a few tips on how to get started. 

SWE Trivia Night
Thursday, April 1, 2021 | 5-6pm CT

Join the Society of Women Engineers for a game of Kahoot! and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

UIC Day of Service
Saturday, April 17, 2021

Student Leadership and Civic Engagement invites UIC students, staff, and faculty to end the semester by giving back to the community, in-person or virtually. Family and friends are welcome to join! Projects are first-come, first-serve, so sign-up now, especially if you have a preference on location.

Health Ethics Book Club Meeting
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 | 12-1:30pm CT

The final texts of this year's Health Ethics Book club include CN Lester’s Trans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us (2017), with two podcast episodes and an article. While book clubs do not make the change needed, folx attending these sessions have reported making substantive, meaningful changes in their teaching, policymaking, clinical practice, community engagement, and interpersonal relationships.


Grace Holt Memorial Award & Black Studies Departmental Award
Applications Due March 31, 2021

The $1,000 Grace Holt Memorial Award honors undergraduate and graduate students who have worked actively to improve the lives of Black people. Must have a demonstrated commitment to issues of racial justice and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

The $1,000 Black Studies Departmental Award provides both recognition and support for its majors and minors. Must have taken at least two Black Studies courses and demonstrated academic achievement and/or worked under challenging circumstances.

Chancellor’s FirstGen Flames Abroad Scholarship
Applications Due April 15, 2021

The Chancellor’s FirstGen Flames Abroad Scholarship is designed to award first-year students with high potential, whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor’s degree, with a scholarship to study abroad.

UIC's Social Justice Initiative’s Pipeline to Justice Scholarship and Mentoring Program
Applications Due April 15, 2021

Apply today for UIC's Social Justice Initiative’s Pipeline to Justice Scholarship and Mentoring Program for UIC Undergraduates and prospective undergraduates. The Pipeline to Justice (P2J) scholarship and mentoring program is designed to support community organizers and activists in completing undergraduate degrees at UIC.


Community Opportunities



Art as Transformation: Music and Drama for Incarcerated Youth
March 30, 2021 | 6–7:30pm CST

Please join White Snake Projects for this interactive Zoom forum, where we will explore art as a means of transformation for persons who have experienced or are experiencing incarceration. This is the first event in a three-part series.

HEART's Give Back the Mic
April 8, 2021 | 6:30 CST

We are dubbing 2021 “The Year of Resilience” and to commemorate it, and to kick off Sexual Assault Awareness Month, HEART is hosting an open mic! We know resilience shows up in many ways. In this event, you'll be able to hear from performers about what resilience means to them. 

Surviving the Mic: Speaking Poetry to Power
April 8, 2021 | 7pm CST

The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation and the Guild Literary Complex present Surviving the Mic: Speaking Poetry to Power. Please join us for a night of poetry and dialogue, centering the voices and lived experiences of survivors of sexual harm. The evening will feature performances by Anjana Kirti, Cherlnell Lane, Nikki Patin, Jackson Santy, Mojdeh Stoakley, Saunte Harden-Tate, and Ona Wang.

GCWS Graduate Student Conference : Radical Love across Difference
April 9-11, 2021 

Graduate students from the Boston-area Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS) present this biannual interdisciplinary conference. This conference seeks to explore the role radical love plays in health crises, climate change, racial justice, migration, economic justice and further social justice movements through community and belonging, pedagogy and literacy, creative expression and storytelling, virtual life and presence, and further fields 

Celebrating Resilience Speaker Series: Brenda Tracy
Thursday, April 15, 2021 | 12pm CT

Join Resilience for a thought-provoking conversation with survivor, activist, advocate, lobbyist, nurse, and mother Brenda Tracy. Brenda travels the country speaking to university students, athletes and various organizations to raise awareness regarding sexual violence and to share her story of courage, hope, and resilience.



National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Toolkit

The National Black Justice Coalition has created a National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day toolkit for partners looking to highlight the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS to both cisgender and transgender Black women and girls. Our toolkit includes facts, resources, sample activities for tomorrow and every day, medical information, messaging, sample social media, and more!



The Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education Scholarship
Deadline: April 2, 2021

ILACHE is pleased to offer two (2) $1,000 scholarships to Latino/a/x students in Illinois who exhibit outstanding commitment to learning, community service, and leadership. An official recognition of the winners will take place at the annual ILACHE Conference.

Jane Addams Senior Caucus Internship
Deadline: May 1, 2021

This position will be focused on our Healthcare & Economic Justice Campaigns and working with our leaders to build political power for our members, especially in communities of color; specifically working with the Care Collective campaign that is organizing with seniors to fight for a systematic shift away from institutional care towards community centered care.


Connect with us!

Icons for website, Instagram, Facebook,and Twitter 

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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