History

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.

Last year, we reached 3,348 people through 109 trainings and events, and sponsored 10 student-led programs related to gender equity. Since 2015, we’ve increased our physical space and digital footprint 300%, and secured more resources to support our work.

Learn more about some of our signature offerings, including Women’s History MonthLEAVEs peer educators, and our workshop offerings.

2019-2020 Highlights

Launched Wake for Women in partnership with Athletics

The Women’s Center partnered with Student Athlete Development to promote culture change and gender equity on campus by increasing attendance at women’s sports events.  Over 200 people came out to our tailgates that were open to students, faculty, staff and their families. 

Expanded support for student-led programs

Provided grants to 10 student organizations to bring speakers focused on gender equity to campus.  Topics included violence against Native American women, women judges, and Italian feminism.

Successfully pivoted to online engagement

When the campus closed in March of 2020 there was an urgent need for virtual connection and community.  The Women’s Center pivoted to offer a weekly self-care space, Wake Up with the Women’s Center, where we practiced yoga, meditation, journaling and other self-care activities.  Over 120 people (including community members and alumni) have participated in Wake Up with the Women’s Center to date.  

Renewed focus on parents and caregivers

Created the WFU Parent and Caregiver Facebook group to increase resource sharing and peer support.  We also partnered with the Professional Development Center to provide workshops for managers and staff on equitable strategies to support parents and caregivers in the *newly* remote workplace.

Women’s Center in the Media

Abby Bermeo, “Women’s Center Shines Light on Masculinity,” Old Gold & Black, March 4, 2021

Taylor Thornton, “RBG Leaves Legacy of Empowerment,Old Gold & Black, September 24, 2021

Olivia Fields, “Me Too Founder Visits Wake Forest,” Old Gold & Black, September 27, 2018

Gracie Bond Staples, “Was Oprah Right? Is a New Day on the Horizon?”Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 11, 2018

Jenny Drabble, “MeToo Takes Social Media by Storm as Outlet for Survivors of Sexual Assault,Winston-Salem Journal, Oct. 21, 2017

Frank Stasio, “Looking Beyond Marches: The Feminist Movement in 2017,” The State of Things, WUNC Public Radio, Oct. 16, 2017

Lillian Johnson, “Title IX Forum Discusses Potential Changes,” Old Gold & Black, Oct. 6, 2017

Mella Tesfazgi, “Beyond the Waves Explored Feminism through Marriage,” Old Gold & Black, September 29, 2017

Bethany Chaffin, “On a Day Without Women: The Role of Protest in Democracy,” WFDD Public Radio, March 8, 2017

Paige Meltzer, Angela Mazaris, Jonathan McElderry, “LGBTQ Center, Women’s Center, and Intercultural Center Address Recent Islamophobia,” Old Gold & Black, Feb. 10, 2017

TGIFeminism Creates Space to Discuss Allyship,” Old Gold & Black, Feb. 10, 2017

Arika Herron, “Women Unite in Massive Protest Marches in Winston-Salem and Beyond,” Winston-Salem Journal, Jan. 22, 2017

Heather Hartel, “Students Join March on Washington, DC,” Old Gold & Black, Jan. 27, 2017

“Speaker Shares Research on Gender in Brazil“, Old Gold & Black, September 29, 2016

Chelsea Clinton Speaks on Campus,” Old Gold & Black, September 15, 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