Welcome back! Open House, Write@WLRC, Calls for submission, and more...
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In this issue:
  • A Note from WLRC's Director
  • WLRC News & Upcoming Events
  • CAN Resources
  • Staying Connected: Updates about COVID-19 and WLRC/CAN
  • CCUSC Events & Resources
  • Campus Opportunities
  • Community Opportunities
  • Connect with us!
A Note from WLRC's Director

We Have Been Saying This, But You Have Not Been Listening

We are only halfway through the second week of the semester, but I suspect many of us already feel battle-weary.   No, thankfully we don’t have to face the cold Chicago winter to get to class or meetings or events.  But we are facing another kind of winter, one that has slowly crept in and dwelled with us even before the temperatures dropped.  One that produces silence and unwillingness to confront the problem among universities, and demands even more from equity centers like WLRC.

In the past two weeks, we have experienced a lot – too much, perhaps - and at the same time.  On the same day that we witnessed the outcome of the tremendous organizing power of Black women and multiracial coalitions working to ensure democratic elections in Georgia, we also endured an insurrection by White supremacists armed with weapons and anger brewing since the Civil War in the U.S.  They were ready to do damage to the people and to institutions they felt had robbed them of an election and imposed the 1619 project, critical race theory, transgender rights, access to abortion, Black Lives Matter, the prison abolition movement, and any number of efforts to produce some social justice for those most denied of such.  Closer to home, White political actors were refusing to accept that an African American woman politician here in the Chicago area,  Representative Lauren Underwood, had won her re-election bid for office.  Same politics, different location.

We have been saying this, but you have not been listening.

Black people on social media were sharing pictures of lynching ‘parties’ attended by White men, women and children in the early 20th centuries.  The January 6 event was reminiscent of one.  A gallows with a freshly knotted noose had been erected on the lawn outside the Capitol so this wasn’t a stretch.

We have been saying this, but you have not been listening.

The mainstream media and university officials have something in common:  slow to name the problem as what it is – racism.  Slow to accept what researchers who study anti-Black racism, white supremacy, toxic masculinity and fundamentalist religion – separately and together - have been saying for decades.  What African American writers/thinkers/activists/students at this very university have been saying as recently as a few months ago: do not take White racial animus for granted.  It is everywhere.  It certainly will not disappear – not from national politics, not from the state, not from police, and certainly not from within our university - with the inauguration of a new president. 

We have been saying this, but you have not been listening.

As a women’s center based at a public university, and dedicated to providing a broad range of co-curricular learning opportunities, educational programs, advocacy and support informed by – as well as informs – critical intersectional feminist scholarship and activism, we believe a few things are worth repeating:

  1. Commitment to racial equity on campus requires that we – from campus leadership to unit administrators – name, speak up and denounce racist violence anywhere, as well as fortify our efforts on campus to support those who are most likely to be targets of such. UIC’s students of color have had to see, take in, and make sense of the attack. That trauma is an extension of what they deal with everyday. Instructors, faculty and staff need to be aware of how these ongoing assaults on the collective sense of stability will affect those who are already feeling unsafe.
  2. Recognize that white supremacy - and the racial terror it unleashes from time to time - does not materialize in only one form, one body or one moment.   Nor does it disappear just so.  To develop the ability to recognize and thus respond, our university community needs to engage in study, conversation, engagement and action.  For example, discussions about the death of the white woman insurrectionist might give us an opportunity to delve into the well-documented histories of White women participating in white supremacy, and the role of gender in white racial terrorism.  We might ask why is anger treated as an acceptable response to any social injury when White men display such, but denounced when others display similar responses.   We might start to wonder why not all anger is seen as a challenge to power and authority of the state or a threat to police.
  3. Speaking of police: what we should have learned from the daily reports of police participation in the insurrection (including Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police enthusiastically supporting those storming the capital) is that there is a long and complicated history of the ways in which white supremacist ideas and practices are bound up in policing and carceral institutions.  As a university which has outstanding scholars who study, teach and do community engagement that focuses on envisioning alternative ways of realizing our needs for safety and security, we should be looking to them to guide us about what we need to know, do, practice and engender regarding safety in our units and in our relationships with each other.
  4. A difficult proposition for many to accept is that Immigrants to the U.S. are expected to embrace white supremacy as part of becoming “American”.  In this university context that we name as ‘diverse’, it is time to move beyond the surface and the silence about the meaning of the attempted coup and its aftermath and engage students who could have a lot to share.  What are the various ways that immigrant students at UIC have come to the question of the coup and what it means for the body politic?  Some may have been traumatized or displaced by coups or other political insurrection, others who may have benefited from such; how did they understand and respond to the spectacle of a coup unfolding in the United States?  What can we learn from the stories that they tell?  Certainly more than we do now.
  5. This year is WLRC’s 30th anniversary of being a campus women’s center.   Organized under the theme of “Centering Care and Community: 30 Years of Resistance at the WLRC” we will be addressing several of the issues named above in our special programs as well as in our renewed commitment to being a space that challenges social inequities, promotes social justice and champions community engagement.

If you are interested in being in conversation and community with us, come to this semester’s Virtual Open House on January 28, 11:30 AM – 1 PM. 

Let’s start listening.

Take care yourselves and each other,

Natalie Bennett

WLRC News & Upcoming Events

CART live captioning is provided for all events hosted by WLRC and CAN. Please send any questions or additional accommodation requests to wlrc@uic.edu.

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WLRC Virtual Spring Open House

Thursday, January 28, 2020
11:30am - 1pm CST

Join us at our Spring 2021 Open House to connect with powerful feminists around our campus! We'll reflect on how we can care for ourselves this semester and what the center can do to support you.

All students, staff, and faculty of all gender identities are invited. We look forward to getting to know you and enriching your time at UIC!

Desk with open notebook and stationary 

Write @ WLRC 

Fridays, 10am - 12pm CST
January 22 - April 30, 2021

Can’t find the time or motivation to write? Working on your dissertation/conference paper/creative project? Need some structure, support, and accountability? Join our drop-in virtual write onsite space for graduate students, faculty, and staff! Every Friday through April 30, 2021.



A collage of photos of students at various UIC events 

Winter Involvement Fair

Monday, January 25 - Friday, January 29, 2021
10am - 4pm CST

WLRC and CAN will be hosting a booth at UIC's Virtual Winter Involvement Fair! Stop by and chat with our staff to learn more about how you can get involved. Also connect with over 200 student organizations, colleges, and campus departments. Enjoy virtual attractions, game shows, and giveaways!


Call for Submissions: This is Me! This is Us!

CAN is calling for video submissions to showcase the personal side of UIC's campus. Anyone at UIC can participate! Your video will be posted on the CAN Facebook page immediately as well as on the WLRC website in the future. We would like to use this to maintain connections with campus partners as well as to show the human side of staff, students, and faculty at UIC.

Please record yourself responding to one of the following prompts and briefly introduce yourself (ex: My name is... One mistake I made in college is...)

  • One thing I have learned in life
  • One mistake I made when I was a freshman
  • Something I overcame in college
  • What one or two things have helped me navigate adversity? 
Please send your submission to Ada Cheng at adacheng@uic.edu.


Beige flyer with red half circles 

Call for Submissions: "Let Our Rejoicing Rise"

In celebration of Black History Month at UIC and in recognition of how Black women's voice and performance have been important to Black struggle and resistance, we lift up the now-familiar song "Lift Every Voice and Sing" written by James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson in 1990. 

We invite UIC students to submit a video recording responding to the following prompts:

  1. What are your earliest memories of "Lift Every Voice and Sing"?
  2. Given this current historical moment, tell us what the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing" means to you.
  3. Sing as many verses of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" as you can. 

Performances and stories will be featured on WLRC's website and as part of the "Singing The Nation" digital humanities project led by Dr. Sonya Donaldson, New Jersey City University. 

Please send your submissions by March 30 to Emoonah McClerklin at emccle5@uic.edu.

Global Youth Ambassadors logo 

Call for Applications: Global Youth Ambassadors Leadership Program

WLRC is proud to partner again with Chicago Sister Cities International for the annual Global Youth Ambassadors Leadership Summit. This week-long leadership program is open to teenage girls, ages 14-16, from Chicago and its 29 international sister cities. Applications are due February 28!

CAN Resources
A cup of coffee, a notepad with pencils on top, a notecard with paper clips, a WLRC promo card, and WLRC buttons all form the border of a poster with text about Don't Cancel Your Class! 

Don't Cancel Your Class! 

Are you thinking about cancelling class or assigning “busy work” because you can’t teach due to personal, family, or work obligations? Don't Cancel Your Class!

Arrange for a CAN presentation instead and keep your students learning and engaged even in your absence. DCYC! Is for any instructor--tenure-track, adjunct/contingent, graduate teaching assistants--who wants to make alternative arrangements for a class. We offer a variety of topics, including consent, dating violence, harassment/stalking (online and in person), healthy relationships, and toxic masculinity.

Aerial photo of UIC's campus 

WLRC will be working remotely for the Spring 2021 semester. We can be reached at wlrc@uic.edu and will continue to stay connected with you through email and social media.

The Campus Advocacy Network will continue to serve UIC students, faculty, and staff. Our confidential advocate is available for virtual appointments. To schedule a meeting or request more information, please email can-appointment@uic.edu. You can also call (312) 413-8206 and leave a voicemail.

We are open to connecting with you in multiple ways:

  • Phone: (312) 413-8206 or (312) 488-9784
  • Video conference (Webex or Google Hangouts)
  • Online chat (Google Chats)
  • Email

More info & resources

CCUSC Events & Resources
CCUSC logo: "Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change" in red text on a white background, with the UIC red circle to the left. 

UIC's Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change will all be open and available virtually this semester! Click each center's name below for this week's events, services, and resources:

African-American Cultural Center

Arab American Cultural Center

Asian American Resource and Cultural Center

Disability Cultural Center

Gender and Sexuality Center

Latino Cultural Center

White text on a green background listing the Open House event dates 

CCUSC Open Houses

Tuesday, January 19 - Thursday, January 28, 2021

Visit the CCUSC Open Houses this week and next week! Meet our staff and learn about our histories, resources, and upcoming programs.

  • Thu, Jan. 21, 1-2pm: Gender and Sexuality Center
  • Mon, Jan. 25, 12-1pm: Arab American Cultural Center
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 12-1pm: Latino Cultural Center
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 11:30am - 1pm: Women's Leadership and Resource Center
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Meet and Greet at the Kitchen Table: Penny for Your Thoughts

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Join the UIC Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change (CCUSC) for a series of Meet and Greets! Every few weeks, two of our centers pair up and host a relaxed conversation about a topic that's important to our communities.

Coming up next:

Join the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center and the Disability Cultural Center to play a game and share stories! We'll have a jar of loose change and we'll pick a coin and read the date out. Come share stories about each of these dates, whether they are from your experience, your family's history, or the history of communities you care about.

A navy banner has bold white lettering at the top of the flyer, smaller navy text on a white background in the middle, and a navy banner at the bottom with a yellow link to the guide and white logos for the UIC Disability Cultural Center and UIC Disability Resource Center. 

UIC Online Events Accessibility Guide

The Disability Resource Center and the Disability Cultural Center have partnered to create this guide, which offers a consolidated resource for event planners as they facilitate accommodations. It details ways to build accessibility into events from the start and covers

  • Planning
  • Publicity
  • Responding to Access Requests
  • Setting Up ASL/CART in Online Platforms
  • Facilitating Events for Accessibility
  • Access Practices for Events of All Sizes
Campus Opportunities


A Critical Conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Wednesday, January 20, 2020
4pm CST

Join UIC for a talk by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi,UIC's 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration speaker. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. Kendi is the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. 

Society of Women Engineers Meeting

Thursday, January 21, 2020
5pm CST

Join SWE in their first GBM of the spring 21 semester! This Thursday at 5pm they will be talking about who they are, plans for this semester, and how to become involved! They will be joined by a very special guest: Ramona Gupta Associate Director of the Women's Leadership and Resource Center here at UIC.


Building an Antiracist Research Group with Dr. Bala Chaudhary

Friday, January 23, 2020
10-12pm CST

RSVP to join  the Office of Vice Provost for Diversity for "Ten Simple Rules for Building an Antiracist Research Group" with Dr. Bala Chaudhary.

WIEP Welcome to UIC! Virtual Coffee and Tea Hour

Saturday, January 23, 2020
10am CST

Join Women in Engineering Program in getting to know UIC and the opportunities that are available for students to get involved in during the Welcome to UIC Virtual Coffee + Tea Hour for incoming freshmen and transfer students on January 23rd at 10:00am via Zoom.

CALLING ALL ARTISTS! Radical Creativity: A Virtual Exhibition of Student Artwork

Are you Creative? A Writer? Photographer? Graphic Artist? Sculptor? Filmmaker? Musician? Dancer?
Join the African American Cultural Center as we explore the meaning of Radical Creativity by creating an exhibition of Student Artwork that imaginatively addresses the themes of social justice, individual freedom, community, and the power of joy.  Submit your work at aacc@uic.edu for consideration to be included in our April exhibition, Radical Creativity.  Submissions Due March 26, 2021.

United Support Network: Support Group

USN is a campus organization of students that fundamentally works to de-stigmatize mental health through confidential weekly, peer-facilitated groups, while holistically working to create an inclusive community dedicated to empathy, trust, and relationship building through network-wide stress-busting events. We offer peer-facilitated support groups that are cost-free and confidential for all University of Illinois at Chicago students. Support group times may be found here.

Community Opportunities

Friday, January 22, 2020
2pm CST

As the new administration takes the reins of US war-machine, we are convening a panel discussion on the possibilities of anti-imperialist resistance. What is the current state of empire and how can we build anti-war resistance for years to come? For questions, email: antiimperialistresistance@protonmail.com

Public Newsroom 136: Reporting the Stories of Essential Caregivers

Thursday, January 28, 2020
4-5:30pm CST

Join City Bureau for their next Public Newsroom discussion on what issues caregivers are facing, and how journalists can help bring them to light. Since COVID-19, a wave of appreciation has swept through the country for healthcare workers. But while we’re publicly celebrating their efforts, many face a variety of challenges in caring for their clients and when dealing with their employers.Together, we’ll examine the strengths and weaknesses of current media coverage of care workers and discuss best practices when reporting their stories.

American Muslim: Film Screening and Panel

Sunday, January 31, 2020
2:30-4pm CST

Join the Interreligious Institute at the Chicago Theological Seminary and Bayan Islamic College for a film screening and panel discussion with Dr. Debbie Almontaser (peacemaker, award-winning educator, speaker), Munir Shaikh (Bayan Islamic College), and Adam Zucker (filmmaker) on what it means to be Muslim in the age of Trump. The film follows the trajectory of the Muslim ban that Donald Trump signed on January 27, 2017, less than a week after taking office and the protests that followed.


Michael Ratner Justice Fellow

Palestine Legal seeks a 2-year legal fellow to join Palestine Legal’s team in providing direct legal assistance to and advocating on behalf of people who face suppression for expressing views in favor of Palestinian rights.

The ideal candidate for this fellowship is a recent law graduate (0-3 years) who thrives in a small, dynamic, collaborative and professional environment, is passionate about social justice issues and movement lawyering approaches, and has exceptional public speaking, writing and relational skills. The Fellow will report to a senior staff attorney.

WMC Progressive Women's Voices: Media and Leadership Training Program

Women's Media Center Progressive Women's Voices is the premier media and leadership training program serving women in our country and will help you master effective interview presentation techniques and improve your skills to serve as a thought leader in the media. The application deadline is  Sunday, March 14 at 12am PST. 

Connect with us!
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Have you checked out our websites (WLRC and CAN)? We add lots of useful content throughout the year, so be sure to bookmark both!

Get social with us!

We post regularly on WLRC's Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and on CAN's Facebook.



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