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Abby Palko

June 24, 2022

a word from the women's center

At the Women's Center, we work for justice that honors the dignity of all, especially women and girls, while we are profoundly aware that this is not a monolithic group. We recognize that today's SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade inspires a range of responses. We also know that reproductive justice demands a much more robust social support system for pregnant people than our country currently offers. It calls for the right to have children, the right not to have children, and the right to parent the children we have in a safe and healthy environment.

May 09, 2022

hand holding baby's foot

Image credit: Fabio Trifoni

Like many, my child wished me a happy Mother’s Day this weekend. 

But what about the mothers for whom the day's well-wishes land very differently given the frayed state of our social safety net, inequal access to quality health care, and the other ways our country fails to truly value mothers?

May 03, 2022

a word from the women's center

The news of the leaked draft of the SCOTUS ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization might have you looking for a crash course on some of the important elements of contemporary debates about abortion. If so, here’s a brief round-up:
Who gets abortions in the US?

February 25, 2022

a word from the women's center

Our hearts are heavy. We are angry. The world is hurting.
The Women’s Center condemns the horrific killings of Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee. Michelle Go, a 40-year-old Chinese American, was pushed into the path of an oncoming subway train on January 15, 2022. Weeks later, Christina Yuna Lee, a 35-year-old Korean American, was followed home and killed in her apartment on February 13, 2022. We mourn for their family and friends.

February 05, 2022

Black Lives Matter graphic

Photo by Caltech Center for Diversity

The Women’s Center stands in solidarity with the Black community and honors the life of Amir Locke, the 22-year old man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Minneapolis on February 2. We also hold concern for the well-being of those in our community experiencing the trauma that racism inflicts.

We stand with our students and colleagues engaged in anti-racist work, echoing their calls for justice and equity. We affirm that Black lives, Black dreams, Black perspectives, Black experiences, Black futures matter.

December 01, 2021

Elizabeth Johnson and Kimberley Bassett with students

Elizabeth Johnson (left photo) prioritized recruitment and retention of Black students during her service as UVA's first full-time Black admissions officer. Students who served as senior peer advisors with OAAA credit Kimberley Bassett (right photo) with advancing the next generation of leaders.

At a recent pop-up that we hosted to engage students with our (re)present exhibit, one of the students who stopped by our table told me, “You're lying!” Her incredulity was in response to my assertation that there were women studying at UVA before 1970. This was definitely not the story that she had heard.

November 19, 2021

a word from the women's center

As the first of three verdicts in trials involving racial/racialized violence has just come out (Kyle Rittenhouse's trial today, with the Charlottesville trial of the Unite the Right organizers and the trial of the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery anticipated within the next few days), this is a moment to be especially attentive to community and self-care.

October 21, 2021

lawn with reflection in water

History is not merely a set of facts. A robust slate of Women's History Month programming will meet participants' desire to consider not just the bare facts of the past but also the stories that link them, the multiple pictures that they form. Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications

Join us as we celebrate women’s history and (borrowing from the 2021 Presidential Proclamation), “pay tribute to the trailblazers from the recent and distant past for daring to envision a future for which no past precedent existed, and for building a [world] of endless possibilities for all of its women and girls.” Building on our work last year to commemorate milestone anniversaries of UVA’s journey to full

September 13, 2021

reproductive justice graphic

As Texas’ SB8 went into effect on September 1, 2021, Hurricane Ida continued to tear through the country, impacting both the Gulf region and the Northeast, and Western states and communities remained on high alert as they face record-setting wildfires. This temporal overlap must serve as a powerful reminder that barriers to well-being are intersectional – and they are intensifying. The need for access to comprehensive healthcare, crucially including reproductive care, grows exponentially when the disparate impact of natural disasters and environmental crises is considered.

August 16, 2021

a word from the women's center

Crises of all kinds disproportionately impact the most vulnerable. And the well-being of women and children is tenuous at best in many places, especially where poverty is deepest. We at the Women’s Center are gravely concerned for those whose lives are threatened by the earthquake in Haiti and the political turmoil in Afghanistan. Closer to home, we know there are students who are worried about loved ones in Haiti and Afghanistan. We’re here to support you.