Dedicated since its founding in 1989 to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center educates U.Va. students in how to create change in self, community and the world by providing programs and services that advocate gender equity.
The Women’s Center Program in Women, Girls and Global Justice (WGGJ) is a collaborative and creative expression of that mission. WGGJ engages students committed to advancing gender justice locally and globally. We do this by engaging in academic community-based courses, research and service, in Charlottesville and around the world.
In concert with diverse partners from Charlottesville to Cameroon, from Kenya to El Salvador, WGGJ strives to focus and develop its work in four key areas: academics, community engagement, public service and social-action research.
These students are: organized, well-spoken, outgoing, independent thinkers and workers. They should be great at time management, public speaking and working with influential people.
Typical activities for Women, Girls and Global Justice interns include: learning about global, national and local issues affecting women and girls; event planning and presentations; and research.
Women, Girls and Global Justice Course and Internship
WGGJ offers academic courses that incorporate rigorous study with community-based service to help students consider the notion of social justice in relation to individual responsibility and in the context of gender on a local and global scale.
Front Lines of Social Change Part I is offered annually in the Fall Semester. In this course, open to Women’s Center interns, undergrad students will get hands-on experience in implementing spring semester programs at the Center and will learn how those program situate with the intersectionality of Gender, Race and Class. This course will cover global issues and projects in which the WC is currently involved, including countries such as Cameroon, Nicaragua and Uganda.
Students also have the opportunity to continue where the Fall course ends in its discussion around Women and Global Issues with the course Front Lines of Social Change Part II in the Spring Semester. Those enrolled in this course will participate in several projects, including International Women’s Month in March.
Women, Girls and Global Justice Study Abroad
In our study abroad courses, academic course objectives are fundamentally integrated with direct student engagement in gender-related issues from the perspective of women in the host country. In El Salvador, Spain and South Korea for example, students spend time with community-based women’s organizations that serve marginalized populations. Academic seminars at night are intertwined with daytime visits to women’s grassroots organizations and women policy-makers who are proactively engaged in improving the lives of women and girls in their communities.
WGGJ advances collaborative learning through workshops, distinguished lecture series and other educational events and programs that shed light on issues ranging from gender-centered peace building to women’s empowerment initiatives in the developing world.
- The Beverly Cobble Rodriguez Lectureship Fund: Women’s Center supporter Joe V. Rodriguez, Jr. established the Beverly Cobble Rodriguez Lectureship Fund, supporting women’s education and global leadership. This endowment, which honors his wife Beverly Cobble Rodriguez, will fund an annual lecture supporting women’s education and global leadership, with a special emphasis on healthcare, multi-national business and the liberal arts.
- The YWLP Global Internship: The internship will take place during January term under the mentorship of the founder of YWLP in Cameroon, Caroline Berinyuy. Applications will be accepted from U.Va. students who participate or have participated in YWLP as Big Sisters, Facilitators or Interns. Jefferson Public Citizens (JPC) grants have allowed YWLP undergraduates to travel to Cameroon and Nicaragua several times. While there, they helped to train Big Sisters and learned about the importance of the cultural contexts that shape YWLP in both countries. In Cameroon, YWLP has a presence in the city of Kumbo and surrounding villages, reaching more than 1,000 girls.
- Distinguished lecture series: Janet Mumo, founder of AMAR and baroness from England Emma Nicholson, Jacqueline Novogratz, Women’s Center Distinguished Alumna Alexandra Arriaga
- Global Teaching Partners: Touchstones Discussion Project, Jesuit Partnership Group, CRISPAZ
- U.Va. partners for Study Abroad courses: Women, Gender and Sexuality; College of Arts & Sciences – Spanish Department, Department of Sociology; Ed. Foundations in Curry; Center for Global Health – for visiting lecturers and seminars; partners from Guatemala and El Salvador
Community Engagement and Public Service:
The WGGS program incorporates and builds on the fertile and relevant history of vibrant student service-learning and social action emerging from the U.Va. Women’s Center. From mentoring to organizing, the U.Va. Women’s Center has long been known for the dedicated service and social action of its students, as well as for its commitment to seeking mutual transformation in the context of “accompaniment” through the service relationship.
- The Young Women Leaders Program: Supporting Women’s and Girls’ Leadership at Home and Abroad
- Making Great Strides in Cameroon
- “We Have to Dream While Awake”: Traveling Art Exhibit Sponsored by the VA Foundation for the Humanities
- 2013 Initiatives: The Women’s Center Philosophers Club – A Partnership in Critical Democratic Education with The Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) and a partnership with The CCS Adult learning Center’s ESL Program and Touchstones Discussion Project for Refugees.
WGGJ supports research opportunities for students to work in partnership with our local and global neighbors, in order to collaboratively develop programs that change social, educational, and other structures for the benefit of women and girls in the global community.
- Women’s Center faculty and students engaged in Research as Art and Transformation: Touchstones
- Student Research Advised by Women’s Center Faculty:
- Jefferson Public Citizen Grants Links (Cameroon, Panama and Peru)
- WC JPC Team Wins JPC Research presentation contest 2013
- CBURG project
“The Women’s Center has been formative in my personal and professional journey. Asante Sana!”
~ Betsy Graves, former Women, Girls and Global Justice intern