First-Years: Apply to be a Frosh Rep by Oct. 15!

In order to work towards a larger campus dialogue around women and gender issues, the Harvard College Women’s Center is bringing back an exciting program called Frosh Reps!

The Frosh Rep is an official position designed for first-years who will promote and plan HCWC events, act as liaisons between the HCWC and other first-years, and help the HCWC stay connected to dialogue in your class related to issues of gender.

For more information and to apply, go to this link: http://bit.ly/hcwcfroshrep. Applications are due October 15 at 5pm! Email hcwc@fas.harvard.edu with any questions.

This Week’s #WCW: Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham

Evelyn WCW
Photo Credit: Ralph Alswang for National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Each week HCWC will spotlight a woman within the Harvard community or beyond whose work and actions we deem to be “crush worthy.” We encourage you to participate in our #WCW  via your various social media platforms by sharing the women we honor each week to bring light to their important work.

Who she is: Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Why she’s our #WCW: Professor Higgenbotham was just awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama. The White House awarded ten distinguished recipients the 2014 National Humanities Medal. The awardees include historians, writers, a philosopher, scholar, preservationist, food activist and an education course. President Barack Obama conferred the medal in a September 10 ceremony in the East Room. The First Lady also attended. The National Humanities Medal honors an individual or organization whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience, broadened citizens’ engagement with history and literature or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to cultural resources.

As an award-winning academic and a member of our faculty, we congratulate Professor Higginbotham and thank her for being a member of the Harvard community!


To nominate another #WCW, please use our form! Happy #WCW from #HCWC!

Introducing Woman Crush Wednesday! This Week’s #WCW: Serena Williams

HCWC is pleased to announce the launch of our very own #WCW (WomanCrushWednesday). Beginning today, we will use hashtags (#WCW #HCWC) each week to showcase woman leaders who are working to challenge, motivate and inspire others in their respective fields.


Each week HCWC will spotlight a woman within the Harvard community or beyond whose work and actions we deem to be “crush worthy.” We encourage you to participate in our #WCW  via your various social media platforms by sharing the women we honor each week to bring light to their important work.


Who she is: Serena Williams, tennis star extraordinaire

Why she’s our #WCW: In addition to being an incredibly talented and humble athlete, Serena Williams knows how to resist the sexist norms that society has tried to impose upon her.

In response to body-shaming, she replied:

I literally was born with this most amazing body… And if anyone doesn’t like it, then they don’t have to. Because at the end of the day, I like it. And I know a lot of other people who like it too.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar backed her up in a piece about the racialized body-shaming that black female athletes like Serena Williams and Misty Copeland.

When a reporter asked why she wasn’t smiling, she had the best response.

She’s a great sister to Venus, of course:

And she’s at a career peak – she deserves recognition after years of under-appreciation!

Perhaps best of all, she knows how to rise above the haters. On Good Morning America, she said:

I just don’t have time to be brought down. I have too many things to do, you know. I have Grand Slams to win. I have people to inspire. And that’s what I’m here for.


To nominate another #WCW, please use our form! Happy #WCW from #HCWC!

Let’s Talk!

I often find myself saying “Let’s grab a meal!”  to individuals on campus that I haven’t seen in a while. I realized this year that simply saying that isn’t enough. Most of the time, I’m sincere in my sentiment. I want to catch up with people that I only get to wave to in passing as we’re walking through the yard to class. But how can I actually get from my meal-grabbing hopes and dreams to a more realistic point of conversation between peers on this campus?

Everyone here is incredibly busy and eager to stay on top of classes, extracurriculars, jobs, and their “futures” (whatever that means). What if we all took a breath together, then exhaled? What if we all paused for just a moment and reached out in support of one another? What would it mean to have a space for reflection, decompression, and resource-sharing as a campus community?

I want the Women’s Center’s Let’s Talk series to be a way to mitigate the isolation and stress that seem to be inherent in the culture of a campus like ours. Let’s Talk is designed to be an open space for themed discussions on life at Harvard, finding feminisms, expressing hopes and fears about the future, and connecting what we’re learning in class to experiences outside of the Harvard bubble.

Through facilitated panels, open discussions, and guest speakers, the Let’s Talk series is designed to open up dialogue and promote community for all members of the undergraduate community, regardless of gender. With a focus on the role that gender plays in our lives, the series will give us space to share and learn together. That space is rare on this campus, no matter how sincere we are in our intentions to someday get that meal with each other.

The series will address all kinds of concerns that go unaddressed for many of us. The first event in the series, scheduled for September 30, is called “How is Life at Harvard?” We’ll open our space to discussion with upper-class students to learn what life at Harvard is really like, how to make the best of your experiences in the houses and on campus, and how to create community. Light refreshments will be provided.

On a campus where everyone seems to be on the go all the time, let’s take time to talk to each other. See you at the first Let’s Talk!