Leadership in Violence Prevention Course – Fall 2014

Applications are now open for Leadership in Violence Prevention, a course co-taught by Christi Hurt, Director of the Carolina Women’s Center, and Bob Pleasants, Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies. The course will meet this fall on T/Th from 3:30 to 4:45PM. APPLICATIONS are due APRIL 4th, 2014.

This APPLES service-learning course is an examination of interpersonal violence and violence prevention. We will examine sexual assault, abusive relationships, and stalking from individual to structural levels, considering both perpetrators and victims. We will address questions such as: What kind of societal conditions enable violence? How are forms of oppression and violence related to each other? How are campuses and communities reacting to and working to prevent violence?  Particular focus will be paid to root causes and prevention strategies. Students will begin training as peer educators by facilitating parts of the class and opting to become One Act peer educators. At the end of this course, students will have developed a broad knowledge base about violence, practiced facilitation skills, identified skill areas of strength and improvement, and identified opportunities for peer education, both formally and informally.

As part of the service-learning component of the course, students will train to facilitate One Act and/or have placements in the community and on campus. One Act is a peer education program that deals with issues of interpersonal violence, particularly relationship violence, sexual assault, stalking, and the role of bystanders in working against violence. For more information and information on resources, please visit safe.unc.edu.



CWC 2013-2014 Faculty Scholars



Chapel Hill, N.C. – The Carolina Women’s Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announces its Faculty Scholars for the 2013–2014 academic year.  Dr. Karen Booth from the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Dr. Lauren Leve from the Department of Religious Studies, and Dr. Jan Bardsley from the Department of Asian Studies have been awarded funding under the CWC Faculty Scholars Program.  They will all present the findings from their research in the spring of 2014.

Dr. Booth will be finishing her book manuscript entitled Risky Conceptions? A Queer Feminist History of the Reproductive Politics of HIV/AIDS.  This work is a multi-disciplinary cultural history of biomedical, policy, and popular and activist discourses about pregnancy, abortion, and childbirth among women with or at “high risk” of getting HIV/AIDS in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa.  This project also makes significant contributions to research and teaching about the body, knowledge production, and the politics of science, sexuality and reproduction.

Dr. Leve will be working on her ethnography entitled “What Can I Do With This Much Suffering?” Violence, Development, and Gendered Practices of Freedom in Nepal.  This book-length ethnography examines the relationships between the rise of women’s empowerment as a mainstream international development goal, the participation of many newly “empowered” women in an armed struggle against the Nepal state, and how many of these same women converted from Hinduism to Christianity.  Her project takes firsthand experiences of women’s struggles that can be used to understand and combat gender-based violence.

Dr. Jan Bardsley will complete research and interviews in Japan for her book Millennial Beauty: Pageants, Protest, and Precarity in Japan.  The book examines the revival of major beauty pageants for women, the rise of contests for men and transsexual beauties, and criticism of pageants in fiction, comics, and online.  Exploring constructions of gender, race, and sexuality on the pageant runway, Millennial Japan asks what it means to be a citizen in Japan today.

The Faculty Scholars program is funded through the Office of the Provost.  The Faculty Scholars Selection Committee is comprised of Dr.  Joanne Hershfield (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Rachel Seidman (Southern Oral History Program), Dr. Mimi Chapman (School of Social Work), and Christi Hurt (Carolina Women’s Center).

The Carolina Women’s Center pursues gender equity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Working Group in Feminism and History Upcoming Events!

The Working Group in Feminism and History is pleased to invite you to:
Ms. Public Intellectual: Engaged Feminist Scholarship in Theory and Practice 
Thursday, March 20, 4:30-6:30 pm
, Hyde Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Magazine
  • Molly McDonough, undergrad, NCSU
  • Mary Parry, Director of Advocacy, Women AdvaNCe
  • Rachel Seidman, Associate Director, Southern Oral History Program, UNC
Scan the op-ed page of any newspaper, and you’ll see that men account for 80 to 90% of the bylines.  This example, among others, has provoked lively debate in the past decade, often focused on the question of who—or what—is to blame for the dearth of female public intellectuals.  Members of this panel will move beyond the question of blame to take up these issues in a local context, with the goal of offering both a theoretical and practical framework for feminists to add our voices and scholarly expertise to vibrant public discussions at both state and national levels.  Panelists will address the following questions:
  • What responsibility do scholars (at both public and private universities) have to share their expertise with the public?  Do feminist theories and practices offer particular imperatives, lessons, or tools for scholars?
  • What forms can engaged scholarship take in the humanities?  Are particular forms of engagement naturally suited to feminist goals?
  • What challenges do feminist scholars in particular face in joining public discourses?  How have feminist scholars and scholarship been perceived in both the academy and the broader public? How do we make feminist scholarship relevant  to a broad spectrum of people and their concerns, including civil rights and human equality?
  • In the classroom, how can (or should) we demonstrate our commitment to public engagement?  How can we encourage our students’ activism and empower them to put their feminism to work in the public realm?
Op-Ed Workshop, co-sponsored by Women AdvaNCe
Saturday, March 22, 9 am – 12 noon (registration and light breakfast at 9 am, workshop begins at 9:30 am)
Hamilton 569, UNC-Chapel Hill
Workshop leader: Karen Kemp, Assistant Dean for Communications and Marketing at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy
Click here to register
Do you want to share your research with a broader audience?  Have you ever wanted to write an op-ed, but didn’t know how to start?   In this hands-on and interactive workshop, participants learn how to write and circulate short opinion pieces intended for a broad public audience.  You will learn about the conventions of writing op-eds, analyze what makes a good piece, get tips on placing op-eds, and start putting words on paper!  You will have a chance to discuss and refine your ideas and to learn from experienced writers.
The Saturday morning workshop will be led by Karen Kemp, Assistant Dean for Communications and Marketing at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, a top-ten school of public policy analysis. Her responsibilities include strategic communications, media relations, website content management, publications, social media, program marketing, guest lectures, and special events. She regularly works with the school’s faculty to edit and place op-eds.  Before joining Duke in 2004, she was the communications director at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, the Southeast’s largest natural history museum. Previously Karen was a newspaper reporter and editor in Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina. In these positions she wrote about topics as wide-ranging as crime, courts, public schools, public health, and zoning. She also was a reporter and editor in Washington, D.C., covering regulatory agencies such as FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission for corporate clients. Karen has lived in Durham since 1993, when she moved to the area to attend graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her master’s thesis research focused on media influence on public perceptions of environmental risks. She also holds a BA in mass communications and journalism from the University of South Florida. She is a native of Miami, Fla.
Women AdvaNCe is an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of North Carolina’s women and families by providing education and encouraging constructive public dialogue about progressive ideas and public policy initiatives.
Special thanks to Carolina Seminars for helping to fund these events (in addition to funding our regular monthly meetings).

Spring 2014 Pit-Sitting Dates

Find us in the Pit on the days listed below between 10 am and 2 pm!  We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 22
Thursday, February 6
Wednesday, February 19
Tuesday, March 18
Wednesday, April 2
Tuesday, April 15

From an Alternative Fall Break Participant:



Even as I threw my duffle bag into the car early Thursday morning, I had no idea what the next few days were going to look like. I was excited, and maybe a little nervous, to be headed to Asheville with eight other UNC students on an Alternative Fall Break trip with the Carolina Women’s Center. While I hardly knew my team members, I had a feeling we would quickly become good friends, especially because we were all united under a common cause.

Our team partnered with Our Voice, a rape crisis center in Asheville, to participate in their bar outreach program. After a brief training at Our Voice, we split into small groups and began going to bars, restaurants, and clubs throughout Asheville. Our goal during these visits was to inform bar staff and patrons about drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), create dialogue around alcohol impairment, and promote bystander intervention from bar staff. We accomplished these goals by posting fliers in each establishment’s bathrooms (the fliers also had tear-offs on the bottom with the number for the Our Voice rape crisis hotline). We were able to provide bar owners with information on recognizing DFSA and how they could best handle situations in which they suspected someone was trying to commit DFSA. Lastly, we informed owners and other staff members about upcoming trainings that Our Voice would be conducting. At this training, they could explore issues surrounding drug and alcohol facilitated sexual assault more in-depth.

I had never participated in bar outreach before the trip, and I thought it was an incredible experience. In one of the bars we visited, I noticed that some of the bathroom stalls still had old “Our Voice” fliers on the doors. However, all the rape crisis hotline tear-offs had been taken. It was sad to think that men and women had experienced sexual assault, but at the same time, I was thankful that Our Voice could be a resource for these people and that the fliers were helping survivors. Seeing how the fliers were directly helping members of the Asheville community had a huge impact on me, and I knew when I saw them that our work was making a difference.

Another experience I will never forget was meeting “Anita.” Anita helped manage three local clubs, and she was locking up the building for the afternoon when we arrived. She told us that she was about to leave to meet some friends at a concert. But when we told her that we were with Our Voice, Anita quickly reopened the building and offered to help us in any way possible. Anita not only allowed us to post our fliers in the building, but she thanked us numerous times for volunteering with Our Voice. She was extremely grateful for our help, and Anita even shared some of her own experiences with drug facilitated sexual assault. Seeing how Anita made us a top priority really reinforced how important our work was, and it made me especially thankful for the opportunities we had throughout the trip.

In addition to having incredible bar outreach experiences, our team got to stay in a farmhouse that was built in 1806. We had so much fun cooking meals, sharing life stories, and taking crazy pictures during our time together. We also got to spend one morning hiking through the beautiful Asheville mountains! Our team had a lot of time to explore the city, eat at the local restaurants, and just enjoy a break from school! Even though our team was only together for a short period of time, I grew very close to the girls on the trip. Overall, it was an experience that I will never forget, and I would do the trip all over again if I had the opportunity.

Our next step is to bring the bar outreach program to Chapel Hill. All the girls on the trip agreed that UNC’s campus could definitely benefit from bar outreach. There are several bars throughout the town that directly impact students. Therefore, we want to work with the Raise the Bar Chapel Hill bar outreach program that is run by the Orange County Rape Crisis Center  and Student Wellness. The program seeks to best help Chapel Hill bar owners recognize and handle DFSA. While establishing an effective program will certainly take time, we want to use Our Voice as a model for our efforts, and we look forward to seeing how we can use our experiences in Asheville to benefit our Chapel Hill community.

- Marissa Bane, Class of 2016

Find us in the PIT!

Throughout the semester, look for us in the Pit!  We’ll be tabling on the following days, from 10am-2pm.  Come say hi and learn what we have going on at the CWC!

Wednesday, October 9th

Thursday, October 24th

Wednesday, November 6th

Thursday, November 21st

Wednesday, December 4th

See you there!





Re-writing the Policy on Sexual Misconduct

For a couple of weeks this summer, I have been able to sit in on meetings of UNC’s Title IX task force as part of my job at the Women’s Center. The task force is charged with reviewing the current policy and process for handling student complaints of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, and I have been taking notes at the meetings.
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at schools and universities. Title IX is usually associated with the concept of gender equity in athletics, it is much broader, addressing all forms of sexual harassment. More information about Title IX at UNC is available at the Campus Conversation About Sexual Assault website. In light of recent instances of sexual misconduct on campus, the Equal Opportunity/ ADA office appointed the task force of twenty-two representatives from the University to make recommendations for any necessary changes to the sexual misconduct policy.
From the perspective of an intern at the Carolina Women’s Center, sitting in on the Title IX meetings has been interesting not only to see the attention being given to sexual misconduct, but also to see the importance of intersectionality in the policy. One of the reasons the CWC collaborates so often with other centers and departments around campus is that gender is one aspect of an individual’s identity, and it interacts with other aspects of identity, like race, sexual orientation, and class. Because the Title IX policy will not exist in a vacuum, it must be designed to help individuals manage unique situations related to intersectionality.
The challenges of writing recommendations for the Title IX policy do not stop with issues of intersectionality. As an MPA student, it has been interesting to see challenges in the process I hadn’t thought about before such as giving careful attention to the language of the policy and managing group dynamics, not to mention communicating with constituents each step of the way about the process. I don’t know how one even begins to take on such a complicated and significant policy, but I am excited to see the recommendations from the Title IX committee!

Feminism and Focus Groups


Our wall of submissions from the “Who Needs Feminism?” campaign

First, a shameless plug for the “Who Needs Feminism” campaign! The PR campaign was created a little over a year ago by sixteen Duke University students in Rachel Seidman’s “Women in the Public Sphere” class. The purpose of the campaign is to challenge stereotypes about feminists and change the perception that society no longer needs feminism by taking photos of individuals holding a sign listing why they need feminism. The campaign quickly spread around the world with individuals sending in submissions to the Duke students’ tumblr and groups holding their own campaigns and photo shoots. The Carolina Women’s Center continued its campaign on June 20 in the Pit, and we received so much support from students and employees at UNC! If you missed seeing us in the Pit, you can also submit photos of why you need feminism to the Carolina Women’s Center by our email, cwc@unc.edu.

Second, I’ve realized that in most of my blogs, I’ve talked about specific programs or events, but not what I’ve been doing on a day-to-day basis, so I wanted to give an update on what’s going on with my focus group projects. For the past couple of weeks, I have been spending a lot of time planning and recruiting for focus groups. Although I have done interviews and surveys before, I am totally new to focus groups, and it seems that you can never plan enough for them. So I am sharing the list (for beginners!) that I made of tips for planning and recruiting for focus groups:

1. Call everyone in HR. Immediately. Don’t email. Call.

2. Do not go through the organization’s mass email system. No one reads those, and sometimes people can opt out of receiving them. Instead, get a list of all eligible participants, and send them personalized invitations.

3. Ask everyone you meet at the organization if they want to participate/ help/ or know who might be interested in participating/ helping with a focus group. People respond better when you say their friend/ supervisor/ colleague recommended them.

4. Get other people to recruit for you. Suggest that they host a focus group with their colleagues or in their department. People are surprisingly responsive to this, and then you can get a group of people who are already comfortable with each other.

5. Make it easy for people to participate. Offer focus groups at different times of day. Let departments organize a focus group and go to them. See if the department supervisors will count attending the focus group as work time.

6. Offer food. This is the most important one.

Even though I have been learning as I go with the focus groups, It actually seems like everything is coming together. As I finish my first few focus group sessions, I’m sure I will have many more tips about writing questions and moderating!


The Women’s Movement, Title IX, and Moxie!

For the past couple of weeks, I have been learning about the CWC’s involvement in collaborative projects by meeting with representatives from organizations we work with regularly. Out of these collaborations, I have been spending the most time learning about the Moxie Project, which is a collaborative effort among the CWC, the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP), the History Department, and the Provost’s Office.

Because the CWC works most closely with the SOHP on Moxie, I spend some time meeting with the SOHP Associate Director Rachel Seidman to learn about the project’s history. Dr. Seidman developed this project in her previous position at Duke University,Some of the Moxie interns with Jacqueline Dowd Hall, the founder of the SOHP and this is the pilot year for the expansion of the Moxie Project to UNC. The project aims to place UNC undergraduate students who are interested in activism with community organizations to develop their own sense of activism and community engagement. Right now the students are taking a class on the women’s movement in the South and oral history methodology. Later this month, they will begin their internships in women’s organizations in the Triangle, including Benevolence Farm, the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, Lillian’s List, the Pauli Murray Project, and NARAL. While interning, the students will also interview women activists for the Southern Oral History Program’s archives, and they will meet once a week for summer seminars.

To learn more about the first phase of the project, I have been attending some Moxie events, including this kick-off party! The party was held at the SOHP’s headquarters, the Love House on Franklin Street. I really enjoyed meeting the impressive Moxie interns as well as several of their site supervisors and individuals associated with the Moxie project.

Along with the party, Joey Fink, who is teaching the Moxie class, graciously allowed my supervisor and me to join her students last week for a session on the history and impact of Title IX. This was a great opportunity to understand how the class portion of the Moxie Project is preparing the students for their community internships and for conducting oral histories. Joey taught this class using oral histories on Title IX collected from women associated with UNC. This was great fun for me, since it let me reminisce on my undergraduate days as a history major. Check out one of the oral histories about Title IX here.

The topic of this session was also quite timely in light of recent sexual misconduct issues at UNC and the steps the university The Love House http://csas.unc.edu/about-us/has taken to create a new Title IX coordinator position. For more on Title IX at UNC, check out the blog written by Interim Title IX Coordinator Christi Hurt, who is currently on leave from her position as the Director of the Women’s Center.

See how this rambling entry came full circle? More about Moxie and Title IX and what all that has to do with the CWC next week!

Attention all UNC university employees!

The Carolina Women’s Center (CWC) is conducting a needs assessment to gauge UNC employee perspectives on a range of staff needs and issues. The CWC’s mission is to create an inclusive education and work environment where gender is not a barrier to success, difference and diversity are celebrated, and everyone is safe to live, learn, teach, and work without threat of harm or unequal treatment.

The purpose of this evaluation is to collect feedback for the CWC to consider in creating future programming for employees.  We are interested in learning more about gaps in university services for staff, barriers in accessing services, and how the CWC might provide services to meet employee needs.

You are invited to participate in a focus group. This is an important opportunity to communicate your ideas for future programming and opinions on university services for staff to the CWC. If you know other employees would wish to participate, please contact Megan Dale at the email or phone number listed at the end of this letter.

Your participation is voluntary and the results of the focus groups will be kept confidential. If you decide to participate during work hours, you may need to request supervisory permission to participate. You may also withdraw at any time.

If you are willing to participate, please choose a focus group session from the following list and respond to this email with your availability or sign up for a focus group session here.

SASB North

Monday, July 1, 12:00pm


Dey Hall

Friday, June 21, 12:00pm

Monday, June 24, 4:30pm

Tuesday, July 2, 8:30am


Sonja Haynes Stone Center

Thursday, June 27, 12pm

 Refreshments will be provided at all sessions!

If the listed sessions are inconvenient, alternatives will be identified. Although staff would ideally participate in a focus group session, we also welcome individuals to schedule informal interviews to discuss employee needs. Please contact me if you wish to schedule a meeting instead of joining a focus group.

If you choose to participate, you will be sent a confirmation email as well as some topics to think about in advance.

Please feel free to contact Megan Dale, CWC MPA intern, at (919) 962-8605 or at medale@live.unc.edu with questions about the research study.