Inspiration for Women's History Month: Brené Brown

From Saddleback College website.

From Saddleback College website.


Brené Brown

Born: November 1965 in San Antonio, Texas

Occupation: Licensed Social Worker, Scholar, Author, and Professor

Awesome Quote: “You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”

Why should you know about her? Brené Brown is an academic who gained popularity through her research about vulnerability, courage, and shame. She explores these topics by interviewing individuals and facilitating focus groups about making connections based on our sense of empathy, belonging, and loving. She shares her research by appearing on TED talks and being a guest on different television shows to discuss her personal journey to understand herself and human life.  This research has changed her perception of her work life, love life, and parental life.  Contrary to Brown’s research expectations, Brown’s six years of research lead to a simple conclusion: individuals who have a strong sense of worth believe they are worthy of love and belonging, which influences their parenting style.  Having a sense of their own worthiness, parents take a step back from trying to control their children’s lives to avoid failure.  In mainstream society, parents’ goal is to raise the perfect child in order for that child to have a successful life.  In order to be successful, mainstream society dictates that the perfect child needs to be in a sport by five years old, be part of five different extracurricular activities in middle school, and accepted into an ivy league before they graduate high school.  Brown cautions against this ideology and states that the responsibilities of parents are to accept that their children are imperfect but to show them they are worthy of love and belonging.

Brief Biography: Brown studied social work all of her adult life. She received her bachelor’s in 1995, her master’s in 1996, and her Ph.D. in 2002.  She started her career as a research professor at the University of Houston School of Social Work.  She presented her research at Ted Talks with her first talk focusing on vulnerability and presented at another TED Talk discussing shame. The defining moment that led her to the TED Talk stage was in Minneapolis in 2007, when she was speaking to a crowd of 500 women about shame. Brown had a panic attack, closed her laptop, and started talking about shame.  She embraced the method of oral storytelling rather than formally presenting her research.  Additionally, she has never turned down a chance to present her work for 12 years.  Brown has published many articles and books, including the best seller Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, and Parent.  In 2013, she appeared on Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” to discuss the book about the 10 qualities wholehearted people have in common.  Brown is currently the CEO for the Daring Way, a certificate program for professionals to become facilitators of conversations on topics such as vulnerability, courage, and worthiness.  The Daring Way curriculum is designed to help individuals identify new decisions and practices that will help them to become a wholehearted person. The goal of the certificate program is to build resiliency skills and create daily habits that transforms the ways a person lives, loves, and parent.

Brown’s parenting style has definitely changed due to her research.  In today’s society, there are books that teach individuals how to parent their children and answer questions that are unanswerable by their loved ones.  According to these manuals, if you stick to certain rules and/or methods, then you can become a parenting expert, and your children will be perfect. They will be able to sleep through the night, make friends, have high self-esteem, and be safe.  Uncertainty can be a parent’s worst nightmare, and these parental handbooks can be a way for parents to ease that fear.  Shame is produced when uncertainty about their parenting lingers in their minds. These books can help take away that shame by getting rid of uncertainty.   These books promise to create parenting experts, masters of the one true childrearing practice.   Then, these rules and methods in the book become the only way to raise children through sheer popularity.

Brown challenges this notion by embracing being an imperfect parent.  Toni Morrison was her inspiration for challenging this.  Morrison brought awareness to the daily habit of parents.  When a child walks into a room, a parent is more likely to criticize them such as “pull your hair back” or “tie your shoes.”  Morrison changed her daily habits by making sure her children see her “I’m happy to see you” face rather than the critical face in response to her children changing their appearance.

In 2012, Brown created the Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto. Brown wrote the parenting manifesto to stop her from comparing her children to other children and to stop measuring their ability to be successful based on their accomplishments.  Brown uses the manifesto as a way to be vulnerable and to show that who you are and how you interact with the world are stronger predictors of children’s well-being than “knowing” how to parent.

Inspiration for Women's History Month: Melissa Harris Perry

From @MHarrisPerry, Via The Root.

From @MHarrisPerry, via The Root.

Born: October 1973 in Seattle, Washington

Occupation: Writer, Professor, Television Host, and Political Commentator

Awesome Quote: “Sisters are more than the sum of their relative disadvantages: they are active agents who craft meaning out of their circumstances and do so in complicated and diverse ways.”

Why should you know about her? Melissa Harris Perry is a Black woman occupying a political space traditionally held by white men. Using her professional venues, she raises awareness about issues around the Black community, specifically Black womanhood and motherhood. She educates individuals about Black women’s political and emotional responses to negative representations of race and gender as she faces them herself. In February 2012, Perry received her own program on MSNBC, “MHP,” after being a frequent contributor to the network.  This was a major milestone for her and the Black community because she primarily discussed issues impacting Black women, which isn’t a major theme for discussion at MSNBC (or anywhere else). She continued to host her own show until February 2016.  In fact, she recently left MSNBC because MSNBC wanted her to read news that they deemed important and not what the “MHP” show normally discusses.  Refusing to be the token Black woman on a predominantly white network, she maintained her professionalism and authenticity as she did not conform to what the network thought she should be, such as being a mammy, a token, or a tool.  She knows her worth and is a meaningful person who shows compassion towards her staff, her students, and American society by the topics she discusses and her friendly encounter with others.  You can read her letter about her departure from MSNBC here.

Brief Biography: Melissa Harris Perry was born in Seattle, WA but grew up in Virginia.  She graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor’s degree in English and received a PhD in political science from Duke University.  She began her career as a faculty member, working at universities such as University of Chicago, Princeton University, and Tulane University.  Perry transitioned from faculty to public intellectual and has written award-winning academic books such as Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America and Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought.  In these books, she discusses the emotional and political context of the Black community and the consequences of negative stereotypes of Black women.

In addition to her many accomplishments as a Black woman in political and educational spheres, she is also a mother who had a nontraditional journey to motherhood.  Perry gave birth to her first daughter, but her second child was born via surrogacy. In 2008, she had her uterus removed after suffering from uterine fibroids (which disproportionately affects Black women).  She was devastated and wept for the children she would never have.  After marrying in 2010, Perry struggled with the loss of her ability to become pregnant as a way to extend her family.  She first learned of surrogacy via a friend and talked with a lawyer about her ethical concerns with surrogacy.  After researching and consulting with others, Perry and her husband begin the journey to surrogacy, which includes the creation of an embryo outside of the body in laboratory (IVF) as part of the process.

Perry retained her ovaries so they were able to use her eggs to create the embryos. Perry, the intended parent, created an embryo using Perry’s egg and her husband’s sperm to be inserted into the surrogate mother.  Any form of assisted reproduction is emotionally, physically, and financially demanding, but it helped grow Perry’s family.  On Valentine’s Day, her second child was born.  She took some time off to raise her children, but she created a monthly column in Essence magazine discussing her parenting lifestyle in addition to hosting a special on MSNBC about motherhood and politics.  She found a way to balance her work life and parental life. Even though it hasn’t been easy, she was able to reflect on her roles through the monthly columns as a Black mom and a Black professional.  She addresses many of her challenges, ranging from activist mothers to motherhood being a political act.  Perry used her platform to create exposure for the different kinds of mothers around the country, showing society that the personal is the political.

This biography relies on two key sources: MPH’s website and her essay “How We Made Our Miracle.”

Inspiration for Women's History Month: Wangari Maathai

PHOTO Wangari_Maathai (c) Patrick Wallet

(c) Patrick Wallet

Born: April 1960 in Kenya

Occupation: Environmental and Political Activist, known for the Green Belt Movement

Awesome Quote: “In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now.”

Why should you know about her? Maathai’s Green Belt Movement planted more than 30 million trees in Africa and helped about 900,000 women. She overcame obstacles, politically and personally, to be an agent of change for her children, her peers, and all women.  Her activism started from a dream when she lived in rural Kenya as a child.  She would dream about running next to a stream that no longer existed, and that dream inspired her to create an environmental grassroots organization that transformed the lives on many women and children. Some people, including the Kenyan government, viewed her candidness and criticism as detrimental and unnecessary to Kenyan citizens, yet she pursued her passion and made a long-lasting impact on the world to her loved ones and her family.

Brief Biography: Wangari Maathai was born on April 1, 1940 in Nyeri, Kenya.  She won a scholarship to study biology at Mount St. Scholastica College in Kansas.  In 1971, after receiving her master’s degree in science, she earned her doctorate degree—becoming the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn it. It is important to note that this was a great accomplishment for a woman to pursue higher education.  In the 1970s, elite white women were the main women earning degrees.  Maathai was an African woman from a poor background and despite the odds, she was able to earn her degrees and set a precedent for African women. Maathai was part of the National Council of Women and was the chairman from 1981 to 1987.  It was in this position where she introduced the idea of planting trees to serve people.  This idea developed into a grassroots organization, the green belt movement, dedicated to planting trees in order to conserve the environment and improve quality of life.  This movement responds to the needs of Kenyan women who stated their streams were dried up, their food supply decreased, and they walked great distances to find firewood for food and supplies.  Maathai would pay poor women to plant trees to reforest Kenya.  The mission of the movement is to empower the community through environmental management (find more information here: This form of community empowerment is a different form of feminist activism to serve the needs of women and children. It was so effective and successful that in 2004, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to environmental sustainability, democracy, and peace, which fueled her passion to continue to vocalize her dissent about the close connection between environmental degradation and poverty.  Her outspokenness was not well-received by everyone, including the then-president of Kenya.  He did not believe in her movement, calling it “subversive” and ordering the police to beat her unconscious during a protest where she was wrongfully arrested.  While her work life was in turmoil, her home life was in turmoil as well.  Her husband, Mwangi, whom she married in 1969, told her on a number of occasions that she was too strong-minded for a woman, and he stated that he was unable to control her.  She did not agree with her husband and divorced him in 1977.  The divorce was costly and with the lawyer fees and loss of her husband’s income, she found it difficult to support herself and her children on a low wage income.  Despite this, she was able to find an opportunity to work for the United Nations.  Unfortunately, she could not bring her children with her because it required a lot of traveling.  She made a tough decision about sending her children to her ex-husband so that she could get the job. She visited them frequently throughout the duration of the job.  She moved forward in home life and political life despite the challenges and continued to make an impact in her country.  In 2002, she was elected to parliament with 98% of the vote and was appointed Assistant Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, and Wildlife in Kenya by the president.  In 2011, Maathai died of cancer.  She is survived by three children and a granddaughter.

This biography relies on two key sources: Jeffrey Gettleman, “Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Laureate, Dies at 71.New York Times 26 Sept 2011 and “Wangari Maathai– Biographical.”

Inspiration for Women's History Month: J.K. Rowling

This month is Women’s History Month! For this month, I want to highlight some awesome women. Some were/are moms themselves, and you and your kids should know about them. These posts will be brief introductions into these women’s lives and are meant to be a source of inspiration: courageous women, through the face of adversity, stick with their passion and talents and are successful on their own terms. The purpose of these posts is to encourage you to think about your own abilities and talents and to inspire you to attain future career and family goals.  You define your own success, and it doesn’t always have to include riches and fame. Our first woman:

J.K. Rowling. Courtesy of Debra Hurford Brown and the Guardian

J.K. Rowling. Courtesy of Debra Hurford Brown and the Guardian.

J.K. Rowling

Born: July 1965, England

Occupation: Writer, known for the creation of the Harry Potter series

Brief Biography: J.K. Rowling was born in England, where she grew up with her two parents and younger sister. When she was younger, she wrote fantasy stories that she shared with her sister, laying the foundation for her career. In 1982, Rowling took the entrance exams for Oxford University but was not accepted. Instead of giving up, she graduated from the University of Exeter in 1986 and moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International (Fraser, 34).  On a delayed train in 1990, she thought of a story of a young boy attending a school for wizards—the birth of Harry Potter.  In 1992, she married and had her first child in 1993.  Shortly after, she separated from her husband and moved in with her sister, bringing her daughter along with her. She felt as if she was a failure because she was jobless and had a “failed” marriage while having a little girl depend on her. She used writing as a way to escape reality.  Rowling received welfare benefits, and she felt as if this was as poor as she could get, without being homeless.  In 1995, she finished the first manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  She submitted the book to 12 publishers, and all of them rejected her. Tenaciously, Rowling submitted the manuscript a year later to Bloomsbury publishing house, and they decided to publish it. Her hard work paid off: received so many awards, including “British Book Award” and “Children’s Book of the Year, that in 1998 a US publishing company bought the rights to publish the novel.  Her career took off, and she published six books in the series. Harry Potter is now worth about $15 billion dollars and is translated into 65 languages. She now uses her resources and talents to help different organizations.  She is the president of a charity, Gingerbread, and helps write children’s stories to help one parent households.

 Why should you know about her?  Rowling’s “rags to riches” story is one of the most notable of our time.  Her resilience during some of her darkest and poorest times allowed her to create one of the best, if not the best, book series during our time. Harry Potter has transformed her life and the lives of children around the world.  She was able to use her passion and talent to liberate herself from poverty.  Rowling had to balance single motherhood and her career. For instance, she took her infant child on walks to local cafes because that was the best way for her baby to sleep, and she carved out time to write her book while her baby slept peacefully. She understood the stigma surrounding single parenthood even as she became famous. Journalists often referred to her as the “Single Parent [who] Writes Amazing Children’s Book.”  On one of her first interviews, a journalist asked her why hadn’t she felt the need to find a job instead of staying at home, writing a book.  Instead of dealing with her frustrations in a hostile manner, she decided to become a patron of the Gingerbread organization.

Rowling remarried in December 2001, and the couple had their first child in March 2003 when she was writing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. She stopped writing the book to take care of him, understanding that balancing career goals and taking care of her family is hard work.  The scale of parenthood and career goals will not always be balanced; it is a complex process to balance and negotiate these roles.  One may take priority over another temporarily and that is not a bad thing. Rowling was able to find success in embracing parental life and career goals, and she became successful the way she saw fit.

Awesome Quote: “It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”


Fraser, Lindsey. Conversations with J.K. Rowling. London: Scholastic, 2001.

A Brief Parent’s Guide to Positive Body Image

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week, created by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which raises awareness about eating disorders. NEDA has great resources for you to educate yourself about eating disorders and body image. This year, the theme is “3 minutes can save a life”—and they’ve created a three-minute confidential online screening you can use to determine if you or a loved one needs to seek professional help. Early intervention—recognizing the signs of an eating disorder before it reaches a medical crisis—can increase the likelihood for full recovery and can save a life. But how does this affect parents?

Critical consumptionAs parents, you create impressions about food and eating for your kids starting when they’re infants, based on the attitudes you’ve picked up since you were an infant. These attitudes can set the stage for how children feel later about food and eating. Children mimic their parent’s behavior. For instance, if parents have poor body image—if they comment that they are “too fat” or “not thin enough” or that their “nose is too big”—their children are more likely to imitate that behavior. These attitudes and behaviors are so pervasive that, according to NEDA, about 40 to 60% of elementary school girls, ages 6 to 12, are concerned about becoming too fat or gaining weight. Children can pick up harmful ideas about fatness and body image from home, school, and social media. They hear it from their classmates, family, and watching television. One way to counter these harmful messages is to model positive body talk.

In order to promote healthy body image for your children, you have to model positive body image. Positive body image is being content with the way you look and feeling good about your body. Feeling good about your body can be challenging– it  takes a lot of self-awareness to counter the messages you’ve received from infancy. You may not match what’s on social media, or your family members may criticize you (lovingly, of course), but you are proud of and accept your body. Instead of critiquing the parts of your body that you do not like, look at yourself as a whole and tell yourself, “I am beautiful” and “happiness isn’t size specific.”

To help you on that path, NEDA identifies 10 steps to positive body image. Try it for yourself and your kids! Here are a couple of the everyday recommendations that you can add to your parent toolkit.

NEDALanguage can have an impact on young children. Repeating words such as “fat” and “diet,” especially if you are referring to yourself or others with disgust, can have a harmful impression in your children. They can internalize those negative feelings and worry about gaining too much weight and their need to diet. Try to avoid that kind of language. Another way to promote positive body image with your language is to avoid categorizing food as “good” and “bad”; rather, describe foods as “sometimes” and “always” foods. For example, you can eat vegetables, fruits, and proteins all the time, and you eat other foods—like dessert and fries—sometimes. When you do eat “sometimes” food, eat it in small quantities and not as often as “always” food. Parents can teach their children to be comfortable with their bodies as they continue to develop. Telling your children that they are beautiful just the way they are and that they are beautiful inside and out are not just clichés. They are effective phrases that promote positive body images.

You can also teach them about how their bodies feel when they are hungry (grumbling stomach) or full (comfortable). This will give them the tools to take ownership over their bodies and to trust themselves to know when they are hungry or full.

Including children in making breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner can be effective. It creates autonomy to decide which foods they like, and you can teach them about the food groups. You can even take them grocery shopping so that they can be involved in choosing what food comes home. As they choose food, you can explain the importance of variety of foods and how certain foods can provide nutrients and vitamins.

UNC has a plethora of events for this week to bring awareness and to educate students about eating disorders. You can find more information about these events by visiting this website:

(Parents) Date Night

MinionWhen is the last time you went out on a date? (Let’s define a date. A date is when you spend time with a partner, friend, and/or family member who allows for you to get some time away from the kids to take care of yourself and nurture the relationship.) Yes, Valentine’s Day can count. However, when is the last time you had a date night before V-day? Date nights are essential to getting some alone time, away from the kids, to connect with your loved one.

There are two challenges that parents often face: overcoming exhaustion and finding a babysitter. You are exhausted all the time. You have to get the children ready for school, get ready for classes yourself, pay attention to a very dry lecture, skim about 200 pages worth of readings, get potentially resistant kids to sleep, and then make time for your loved ones. By the time you want to spend with them, you may end up like this:


Sound about right?

BabysitterThe second challenge is finding a babysitter. You have to find someone reliable, be able to afford that person, and then prepare for their arrival. Most student parents depend on friends—other college students who are non-parents. Sometimes, it does not go as planned because their schedules can be chaotic as well.

However, date night is still important. It allows you to practice self-care and gives you a break to refresh and recharge for parental duties and student life. Even though date night can be tough to plan, here are some examples of dates to spend some time away from, hopefully not talking about, the kids.

  1. Read a book together: After getting the kiddos to sleep and staying away from your textbooks, find a good book you and your loved one both enjoy that can be an escape to another world. Snuggle together and eat some not-so-healthy snacks.
  2. Day Date: Find a cheap hotel during the day and book it for three to four hours. This may be a little expensive, but using discount sites can help you find cheap hotels. You can bring fruit, cheese, and chocolate from home to enjoy at the hotel, or you can kick your feet up and watch Netflix in a childless environment.
  3. Exercise together: Everyone needs to exercise so it’ll be even better if you do it together! It is a great way to stay active and de-stress. Exercising releases chemicals called endorphins that make you feel good—as good as taking morphine. Share a protein shake afterwards or a not-so-healthy snack to expand the time you spend together.
  4. Go to a dollar store: Find each other $5 gifts at the dollar. This allows you to be creative and have fun—for cheap! There are all sorts of silly things in a dollar store to entertain you and your loved one.
  5. Get some coffee and dessert: Coffee is a gift from the universe, making life a little easier. If you can find space in a coffee shop such as the Daily Grind, Starbucks, or Panera, get some coffee and talk to each other (not about your kid). If the weather is nice (and not going through all four seasons in one day), you can stay outside, enjoy the weather, and enjoy each other’s company.
  6. Invite them to a class: This may not be a preferred date night, but if you are taking a class that you find interesting, invite them to a class to share your experience as a student. They can get a glimpse of the topics that you are passionate about. Or you can invite them to a class that you need their assistance staying awake. Either way, you can enjoy time together and move on to a coffee date to discuss what you have learned and its importance to you.

There are community organizations that sponsor “Parents’ Night Out” programs. For example, the Chapel Hill – Carrboro YMCA plans activities designed for kids to entertain and interact with other children while their parents have a night out. Find some awesome information here.

New Year’s Resolutions: Parenting Edition

With only 41 days into the new year, you have done one of two things with your new year’s resolutions: stuck with them or got rid of them. Parenting resolutions tend to be things that can help individuals become better parents. You want to hug more and yell less. You want to have more family time and say “don’t” a little less. You would like for your children to eat more kale. However, juggling your responsibilities of being a parent, a student, co-parent and/or a partner makes keeping resolutions—even really good ones—hard.

I’m here to tell you that if you stuck with them or did not keep up with them, “It’s ok,” and “Tell that inner type-A personality to calm down.” Sometimes, the children won’t be in bed by 8 p.m., or your partner duct taped the kids to the wall because they couldn’t find a babysitter. Life of a student parent is unpredictable and hard when you are trying to balance a full-time course load and full-time parental duties.

Typically, this is the portion of the blog where the author gives you a list of their own parenting resolutions, but this author is giving you only one resolution: Give yourself a break, and appreciate the small wins. That’s it. Parenting resolutions tends to be about doing something more or something less because you feel guilty or remorseful. Parenting is more complicated than that, and change is hard. There is more to change than making the decision to change.

In order to create change, you need to acknowledge and understand the causes of the problem or behavior. Next, you need to create an effective strategy and stick with it until it becomes a habit. This process can involve endless amounts of research and books on child development to come up with these strategies. This takes time, effort, and energy. How can you do this in addition to being overwhelmed and exhausted as a student parent? Trying to be the perfect parent by learning and applying these strategies while balancing other responsibilities is challenging and nearly impossible.

So, give yourself a break. Take one challenge at a time, and celebrate the small wins. If you get the kids to eat a bite of vegetables, give yourself a pat on the back. When you tackle one obstacle at a time, they tend to have a lasting positive impact on our kids. You can help them have higher self-esteem, gain confidence, and teach them self-control so that the yelling decreases as you figure out the best way to communicate with your children.

Change is a layered, non-linear, maybe even cyclical process, so take a moment to breathe. Start with your parental instincts, acknowledge your talents, and improve your skills one step at a time—not all at once. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to figure it all out immediately or in one go. We can ask for advice or google search “my child doesn’t burp as often as other kids” or “I accidentally ate baby poop, am I going to die?”

Parenting is a lifelong process that allows us to learn about ourselves and our children during different stages of our lives and through different life events. In the words of an awesome therapist, “be gentle with yourself.” Take it one day at a time or one moment at a time, and lean into the unexpected. It can be a beautiful thing without the pressure.


College is an exciting time for students, but it can also be a time of anxiety, planning, and late nights as you obtain your degree and take care of your family.  This blog is designed to offer awesome advice, resources for student parents, and share student parent stories. So, don’t panic: we got you covered. (Who is we?)

Have you seen this magnificent website for student parents? Oh, you have not?

Here it is: Parenting@UNC ( This newly redesigned website will give you information about navigating Carolina as a student parent. To get you started, here are the top 5 things student parents should know while at UNC.

  1. P2P Accessibility Service: If you are in your last month of pregnancy or experiencing a high risk pregnancy, you can obtain a P2P pass from Campus Health.  This will allow you to have the P2P pick you up and drop you off from anywhere on campus.  You can call 919-962-3951 for more information or visit the parenting website to find the application.  One thing to note is that the P2P can only take you to and from campus locations. You can also receive a temporary disability parking pass under the same qualifications for the P2P Pass. You will need to have a physician fill out the form, and the pass can only be used for less than six months. For most cases, the temporary passes will be assigned to the Bowles (S11) lot on Manning Dr. For more information and to download the application, go here.
  2. Loans for Daycare: If you have any daycare fees, the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid can extend your financial aid package to include daycare fees. Please note, these funds are given in the form of loans, and you need to provide proof of daycare fees.  You can find more information on that cool new website aforementioned in the post.
  3. Students for Life Scholarship: Students for Life offers $500 scholarships from their Parenting Student Association Funds.  Applications are available from the organization or at the Carolina Women’s Center.
  4. Bring Your Children to the Library:  Student parents, you can bring your kid to the libraries.  They are family friendly and also breastfeeding friendly.
    1. The libraries have designated group study rooms— aka a quiet and semi-private study space where you can study while your kids can run in circles.  These rooms can be reserved online through the library websites or checked out at the front desk.  The Library has a “Place to Study” website to find the rooms with great furniture.
    2. The School of Library Science has a library filled with children’s books available for check-out with a OneCard in Manning Hall.  If you cannot find the School of Library Science, you can reserve the books to be delivered to other libraries through Carolina Blue delivery service. They also have reading spaces for children.
  5. Emergency Fund: If you are ever in a financial emergency, Dean of Students offers help to students who are in need due to unexpected crisis situations. Visit this cool website to find out eligibility requirements and the application.



Chapel Hill, N.C. (September 23, 2015) – The Carolina Women’s Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is proud to announce its Faculty Scholars for the 2015–2016 academic year. Dr. Jocelyn Chua (Anthropology), Dr. Tanya Shields (Women’s and Gender Studies), and Dr. Kumarini Silva (Communication) will use their funding to undertake projects that reflect the Center’s mission to further gender equity.

Dr. Jocelyn Lim Chua’s project, “When War Comes Home: Violence among U.S. Veterans and their Families,” seeks to understand violence among returning US veterans and their families. Alongside the constellation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI); an overwhelmed VA system; simultaneous treatment with multiple psychoactive drugs, Chua will “also consider how families variously draw on, complicate, and resist medical and social understandings of postcombat violence as they struggle to make sense of, and seek social and institutional support for, life after war,” and she hopes to “develop a gendered reading of homecoming after war.” Chua is an assistant professor in the Anthropology department.

Exploring archives, legal texts, and a range of fictional texts, Dr. Tanya Shields will “reconsider[] the status of women as proprietors and laborers [of slave plantations in the U.S. South and Caribbean] and how these roles have a sustained impact on current socio-sexual economies.” The project, “Gendered Labor: Place and Power on Female-Owned Plantations,” suggests that “[b]ecause earning a living wage free of harassment continues to bedevil most women, it is critical to rethink the institutions that govern labor relations and explore the ways in which women’s participation in work is an intersectional dynamic impacted by historical relations and ‘market’ forces.” Shields is an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies.

“Circulating Romance: Global Gendered Fantasies,” Dr. Kumarini Silva’s second monograph, “maps the ways in which contemporary narratives of femininity and the feminine reinforce historical socio-political and economic conditions that disadvantage women, on a global level.” It will examine the material and economic history of Harlequin Mills and Boons as it grows into a global romance novel powerhouse, and she will conduct a “local ethnography” of the buying and reading habits of networks of women readers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Silva is an assistant professor in Communication Studies.

Previous Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholars include Dr. Joanne Hershfield (Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Mary H. Palmer (School of Nursing), Susan Harbage Page (Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Nadia Yaqub (Asian Studies), Dr. Emily Burrill (Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Minrose Gwin (English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Miriam Labbok (School of Public Health), Dr. Sahar Amer (Asian Studies), Dr. Mimi Chapman (School of Social Work), Dr. Rebecca Macy (School of Social Work), Dr. Pika Ghosh (Art), Dr. Jeanne Moskal (English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Kia Caldwell (African and Afro-American Studies), Dr. Ming Lin (Computer Science), Professor Francesca Talenti (Communication Studies), Dr. Kimberly Brownley (Psychiatry), and Dr. Maxine Eichner (School of Law). Senior Faculty Scholar Diane Kjervik (School of Nursing) held the first CWC faculty scholar position.

The Faculty Scholars program is funded through the Office of the Provost. This year, the Faculty Scholars Selection Committee was comprised of Karen Booth (Women’s and Gender Studies), Nadia Yaqub (Asian Studies), and Clare Counihan (Carolina Women’s Center).

The Carolina Women’s Center pursues gender equity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through education, advocacy, and interdisciplinary research, the CWC builds bridges and enhances the intellectual life and public engagement mission of the university. To learn more about the Center and its mission, please visit the website.

Applications for 2016-2017 funding are also now available and are due Monday, February 1, 2015.



Chapel Hill, N.C. (September 22, 2014) – The Carolina Women’s Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is proud to announce its Faculty Scholars for the 2014–2015 academic year.  Dr. Joanne Hershfield and Susan Harbage Page from Women’s and Gender Studies department and Dr. Mary H. Palmer from the School of Nursing will use their funding to undertake projects that reflect the mission of the Center.

During Fall 2014, Joanne Hershfield will complete “Planting the First Seed: Making a Home for Formerly Incarcerated Women,” a documentary film about Benevolence Farm in Alamance county, North Carolina. A newly established work and residential program for women leaving prison, Benevolence Farm will “provide an opportunity for women leaving prison to live and work on a farm where they grow food, nourish self, and foster community” and “to create a more equitable, just, and nurturing world for women and communities they transform.” Some of the funds from this award will be used to make “Planting the First Seed” available to people still in prison and to educational institutions in order to inspire conversations about what life after prison is and could be.  Hershfield is a professor and chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies department.

Susan Harbage Page’s project combines scholarship with creating an “Anti-Archive” of the objects—lipstick, a single sock, scraps of paper—that undocumented migrants leave in their wake as they cross the Mexico-U.S. border. “Testify[ing] to a life that has moved on, reminding
the viewer of what else may have been left behind,” these objects reveal the everyday and gendered lives of migrants. The project will culminate in “Objects from the Borderland,” a limited edition book that combines Harbage Page’s photographs with essays about the border’s political and cultural context. Funds from this award will contribute towards cataloguing and production costs. Harbage Page is an assistant professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies department.

Taking advantage of the medical field’s gradual recognition of the impact of sex difference on health-related behaviors and outcomes, Mary Happel Palmer’s project, “Enhancing Women’s Lives Through Bladder Health,” studies the long term consequences of women’s gendered social and cultural toileting behaviors (for example, “hovering” over a public toilet because of acculturated fears about dirt and disease). In addition to developing a “conceptual model” for understanding the behavioral and cultural influences on women’s bladder health, Palmer and her collaborator will revise a web-based questionnaire to better capture the behaviors of women from different age, ethnic and racial groups. Deeply collaborative, Palmer’s project also includes “providing a research training opportunity for a next generation scholar in women’s health.” Palmer is the Helen W. & Thomas L. Umphlet Distinguished Professor in Aging at the School of Nursing.

Previous Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholars include Dr. Nadia Yaqub (Department of Asian Studies), Dr. Emily Burrill (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies), Dr. Minrose Gwin (Department of English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Miriam Labbok (School of Public Health), Dr. Sahar Amer (Department of Asian Studies), Dr. Mimi Chapman (School of Social Work), Dr. Rebecca Macy (School of Social Work), Dr. Pika Ghosh (Department of Art), Dr. Jeanne Moskal (Department of English and Comparative Literature), Dr. Kia Caldwell (Department of African and Afro-American Studies), Dr. Ming Lin (Department of Computer Science), Professor Francesca Talenti (Department of Communication Studies), Dr. Kimberly Brownley (Department of Psychiatry), and Dr. Maxine Eichner (School of Law).  Senior Faculty Scholar Diane Kjervik (School of Nursing) held the first CWC faculty scholar position.

The Faculty Scholars program is funded through the Office of the Provost.  This year, the Faculty Scholars Selection Committee was comprised of Emily Burrill (Women’s and Gender Studies), Jan Bardsley (Asian Studies), and Christi Hurt (Carolina Women’s Center).

The Carolina Women’s Center pursues gender equity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Through education, advocacy, and interdisciplinary research, the CWC builds bridges and enhances the intellectual life and public engagement mission of the university.  To learn more about the Center and its mission, please visit the website. Applications for funding for 2015-2016 are also now available and are due Monday, February 2, 2015.