The Women’s Center strives to create an educational and professional environment that supports women and promotes gender equity.
Toward that end, we foster spaces to reflect on individual and collective experiences and identities; develop co-curricular programming around women’s and gender issues; support professional and leadership development; and identify and advocate for policies to improve gender climate and inclusive practices at the institution.
As part of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion within the Office of the Provost, the Women’s Center works with and advocates for students, faculty, and staff, and is open to all members of our community.
The Women’s Center opened in January 2013 as part of Wake Forest’s strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. The Women’s Center is part of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, where it joined partner ODI offices Diversity Education, the LGBTQ Center, and the Intercultural Center (formerly the Office of Multicultural Affairs). We found warm welcome among formal and informal networks of colleagues who had long been committed to supporting women and thinking critically about gender, such as the Women’s Forum and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.
Since our opening, the Women’s Center has worked to create strategic alignment across these networks and partner offices to generate collaborative projects, in addition to developing our signature initiatives. Moving out of our start-up phase, the Women’s Center is focused on creating sustainable, measurable programs and services that support the mission of the Women’s Center and Wake Forest University.
Dr. Paige Meltzer
Paige Meltzer is the founding director of the Women’s Center. Dr. Meltzer holds a Ph.D. in US history from Brown University, an M.A. from Binghamton University, and a B.A. from Hamilton College. She joined Wake Forest from Harvard University’s Program in History & Literature, where her teaching focused on gender, politics, and social movements in the twentieth-century United States. Her forthcoming book, Maternal Citizens: Gender and the Making of Postwar Political Culture, 1945-1960 (UMass Press), provides a gender analysis of the so-called postwar political consensus. Prior to academia, Dr. Meltzer was Policy Director and Interim Executive Director for the Women’s Statewide Legislative Network, a nonprofit dedicated to women’s economic justice issues in Massachusetts; while there, she led the state’s Paid Family Leave Coalition and did advocacy work with a range of groups from grassroots activists to the New England Commissions on the Status of Women. Paige and her family live in Winston-Salem with their cocker spaniel mix, Penny Lane.
Colleen Lofton received her M.A. from the University of Mississippi in Higher Education/Student Personnel. During her time at the University of Mississippi, she was a Graduate Community Director and served on the Department of Student Housing Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion Committee. A portion of Ms. Lofton’s time at the University of Mississippi also included serving as a practicum student at the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. As a practicum student there, she focused her work on privilege, specifically white privilege. Ms. Lofton is also an alumna of the University of North Dakota, where she graduated as a Scholar in the Honors Program and received her B.A. in Political Science. Ms. Lofton grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota and enjoys reading and watching baseball in her free time.
Speaker Shares Research on Gender in Brazil, Old Gold & Black, September 29, 2016
Chelsea Clinton hosts Women in Leadership panel at WFU, Wake Forest News, September 13, 2016
NC Women’s Summit Hits Winston-Salem, Time Warner Cable News, September 24, 2015
Women’s Center Will Focus on Gender Gaps, 88.5 WFDD, March 14, 2013
WFU Celebrates Grand Opening of Women’s Center, News 14 Carolina, February 19, 2013
Women’s Center Highlights Gender Issues, Old Gold & Black, February 7, 2013
Director Named for Women’s Center at Wake Forest, January 24, 2013
WFU Launches New Women’s Center, Wake Forest News Center, January 18, 2013