At the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), Wellesley College, we believe that disciplined, relevant research and theory paired with innovative training and action programs are key building blocks for social progress.
Since 1974, WCW has conducted interdisciplinary studies on issues such as: gender equity in education, sexual harassment in schools, child care, adolescent development, gender violence, and women’s leadership—studies that have influenced private practices and public policy.
WCW staff members provide professional development for educators, child caregivers, and youth workers that encourage children’s social-emotional development and enhance learning environments and safety.
Other WCW scholars have dedicated themselves to the prevention of psychological problems, the enhancement of psychological well-being, and the search for a more comprehensive understanding of human deve
Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have conducted research studies and evaluations on issues related to child and adolescent development, including issues around race, ethnicity, immigrant status, and identity; the effects of early child care; the value of physical activity; preventing depression; examining unique family dynamics; and exploring sexuality and evaluating sex-education programming.
Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have studied the ability of public schools to prepare young children for lifelong learning and have shaped local, state, and federal policies. Our groundbreaking research, policy development, and training programs set the standards for out-of-school time, and continue to inform the field in new areas, including physical activity programming.
Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) have conducted research on a range of educational issues, including quality early education; equitable opportunities in STEM fields and literacy; and bullying prevention and sex-education programming. Scholars and trainers from WCW have also developed curricula and facilitated programs that promote equity and diversity and social-emotional learning in educational settings. Our research has raised public consciousness about serious education issues and has informed public policy.
Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have conducted numerous research studies on issues related to gender violence, including bullying- and sexual harassment-prevention programs in schools, and patterns of and interventions for intimate partner violence, including family violence and teen dating violence.
Work by scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women led to Relational-Cultural Theory, an understanding that has dramatically changed counseling and psychotherapy practices. Through training institutes, this work continues to be developed and implemented. Researchers committed to the prevention of depression in at-risk youth have undertaken studies to identify effective intervention programming for adolescents and families. Trainers and educators at the Centers develop curricula and facilitate training to promote social-emotional learning in elementary schools.
Scholars are the Wellesley Centers for Women have conducted research on economic implications of public policy; undertaken studies and audits; facilitated network building; and produced valuable resources for advocates, policy makers, and legal professionals in the U.S. and abroad. This work covers a broad range of issues related to the social and economic development of women, children, and persons with disabilities.
Scholars at the Wellesley Centers undertake research initiatives that explore issues affecting work/life balance, including child care, work-leave policies, and gender roles. Research and action programs that address women’s leadership inform business practice and policy in the U.S. and within our global-network-partner communities. The Women’s Review of Books, a special publication of the Centers, puts women’s perspectives and voices at the center of literary contributions.
Mary Ellen S. Capek is a Principal in Capek & Associates, a philanthropic and nonprofit research and consulting group based in Corrales, New Mexico, and a Visiting Scholar at the Anderson Schools of Management at the University of New Mexico.
Organizational Success Through Deep Diversity & Gender Equality (by Mary Ellen Capek, Former Executive Director)
As the granddaughter of a woman engineer (and also someone who struggles to assemble her Ikea furniture but loves her new toolkit anyway), it was an honor to be surrounded by tradeswomen at the Institute for Women and Work’s panel last Thursday night up at Cornell. We were gathered to discuss how the economic crisis and recovery efforts in New York impact women, particularly tradeswomen. For me, though, it was an education in a history I didn’t even know existed: the history of tradeswomen in the U.S. and their fight for recognition and rights. After 30 years of activism, women still only comprise 3% of the construction labor force. As one panelist said, “do we really believe that men have 97% of the answers?” I think not. Although frustration with this slow-moving progress was evident in the room, the Cornell event was more celebratory than anything else. Susan Eisenberg shared slides from her multi-media installation, On Equal Terms. The theme of the installation: Women in construction—30 years and still organizing. The most provocative exhibit was the bathroom shack, literally a 6 foot by 6 foot plywood replica of a typical bathroom tradeswoman encounter on the job, complete with documented misogynistic and explicitly sexual graffiti.
Mass media is the heart of many current debates; however, the nature of the media remains double-edged. On a positive side, blogging and other forms of on-line communication have become key aspects of today’s feminist outreach. On line gender related activism and strive for change challenge and supplement the mainstream media. For example, check out this post from Racialicious (fyi, the editor of this fantastic blog is one of our panelists):
With the legalization of same-sex marriage spreading like wildfire in the Northeast and exciting progress on hate crime protections (legislation passed the House AND Angie Zapata got justice), what better time to discuss the past, present, and future of LGBT activism?
March 30, 2009 posted by admin Last week, the Insight Center for Community Development convened 75 assets-building experts of color from around the nation for the Color of Wealth 2009 Policy Summit . During the Summit, experts met with members of Congress and policy staff to discuss the gap between people of color and whites in economic security and mobility. While most people are familiar with the stat that people of color are three times more likely to receive a sub-prime mortgage loan than white borrowers, even when qualified for a prime loan, the picture is actually much more stark. As Meizhu Lui, director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at Insight, discusses in her recent Washington Post op-ed, white families are five times more likely to have bank account than families of color. Furthermore, the racial wealth gap is actually widening. Says Lui,
“The gap between the wealth of white Americans and African Americans has grown. According to the Fed, for every dollar of wealth held by the typical white family, the African American family has only one dime. In 2004, it had 12 cents. This is not just a gap. It’s a deepening canyon. The overhyped political term ‘post-racial society’ becomes patently absurd when looking at these economic numbers.”
March 11, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters* The disproportionate effects of the seized-up economy on citizens of color whether in housing, employment or educational opportunity soundly refutes the idea that “we can put to rest the myth of racism as a barrier to achievement in this splendid country” as the Wall Street Journal claimed one day after Obama’s election. Others take a more moderate stance: “For all our huge progress, we are not “post-racial,” whatever that means. The world doesn’t change in a day, and the racial frictions that emerged in both the Democratic primary campaign and the general election didn’t end on Nov. 4. As Obama himself said in his great speech on race, liberals couldn’t “purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap” simply by voting for him. Perhaps wealth accumulation is the most convincing indicator of racial disparity in America. As Dalton Conley points out, the net worth of African American families is only one-eighth that of White families which is not due to differences in education, earnings or savings rates, but due to the legacy of racial discrimination. Other groups, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, for example, exhibit wealth accumulation rates that mirror the statistics for Blacks, while Cubans mirror those for Whites.
February 28, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network reported the experiences of 2,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) middle and high school students of color who were African American or Black, Latino/a, Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American, and multiracial as part of their National School Climate Survey. The report found that
February 10, 2009 posted by admin My first memory in life is of my mom holding me up as a human shield to try get my dad to stop beating her—possibly to stop from killing her. I was 2-years-old at the time. My book for young women, RESPECT: A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GETTING RESPECT AND DEALING WHEN YOUR LINE IS CROSSED (Free Spirit Publishing, 2005), was born out of a life riddled with disrespect. Like many girls and women I’ve met, I grew up in this home where domestic violence, addictions, incarceration, near poverty and "-isms" from racism to sexism were diminishing my family. But I was one of the lucky ones who discovered the many keys to breaking this cycle. Through following my passions, discovering my mission in life and getting help--among other Steps to Respect--I learned that respect is always within reach because true respect starts on the inside. Now as I travel the country coaching girls and women, I hear a lot of stories just like mine. And as part of this work, I share with them an amazing video made by Jennifer Uribe, our 19-year-old program assistant at Respect Rx (a venture I founded last year). Jen's video includes powerful stats that some girls have heard and some haven't, like:
February 6, 2009 posted by admin Dear Barack and Michelle, I’m writing to you as the parents of beautiful girls, and as people who hold the future of this country in your hands for the next four years. I know that you both take seriously your job as parents as well as the way you can shape public policy to improve your daughters’ lives. Michelle has talked about supporting working parents and Barack has talked about fighting workplace discrimination so Sasha and Malia will not have to experience it as adults. George W.