Womens Center Foundation for the Future
Since its start over 20 years ago, the Women’s Center has been a place to gather in the community, discuss the topics of the day and find ways to create positive change. Today is no different. Although some issues have changed (and many have stayed the same), the Women’s Center remains a hub of education, advocacy and action around issues impacting women in our communities.
With our recent move from the Carriage House to the Williamson House and the transition of leadership, we took this opportunity to focus on the most important issues impacting women today. Building off the foundation of those that came before us, we are tackling issues of diversity of identity and thought, working towards equity in policy, resources and representation as well as fostering an inclusive environment where all voices are represented and valued.
While we frame all of our work with Care, Connect, Challenge and Celebrate, two key initiatives highlight the full spectrum of those ideals. The Sage Project, which will be celebrating its 5th year this coming March, is a way to recognize female students who have demonstrated innovation, creativity, risk-taking and leadership skills in their academic and personal lives. Every year, we honor 10 -12 female identifying students who have overcome adversity and achieved academic success. The goal of the Sage Project is to highlight a variety of stories that will empower the next generation of leaders at Kent State University. Every year we have built off the success of the previous year by creating additional opportunities to celebrate the Sage Honorees, such as through sharing their inspiring stories and providing them with resources and connections to continue their growth and success.
Where Do Black Women Go? is a new initiative created this year, recognizing and responding to the fact that women embody a variety of identities. Through this new initiative, the Women’s Center seeks to explore areas where women’s voices can be uplifted and amplified. Through research and collaboration, Where Do Black Women Go? addresses Black women’s health, retention and development through a unique, supportive environment as we seek to provide affirming spaces for Black women. Where Do Black Women Go? explores issues such as mental health, self-empowerment, promoting body positivity, and more. One of the central elements of this initiative is the creation of our “village,” which includes faculty, staff and students coming together to share experiences, expertise, support and celebration. We look forward to growing this project and this village by including alumni and community voices and experiences as well.
These two initiatives provide a glimpse of the important work we are doing through the Women’s Center to support, challenge and honor women in our community. We could not do this work without the incredible effort of those that came before us. We are eager to reconnect and find ways to continue this work together. You can get involved in a number of ways by supporting individual initiatives, joining a working group or attending an event such as the Sage Project or Mothers, Mentors and Muses, both held in the spring during Women’s History Month. We look forward to working with you to co-create this next chapter of the Women’s Center.