From the Director

 Dona Yarbrough

By Dona Yarbrough

Happy birthday to us! As the Center for Women at Emory (CWE) celebrates its 20th anniversary, we continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the Emory community. 

In the coming years, the CWE will focus its efforts strategically on the following:

  • support for students in the form of individual and organizational advising, training, internships, and fellowships;

  • support for public scholarship and engaged learning, including the Public Voices Faculty Fellowship, the Men Stopping Violence course for undergraduates, and community service opportunities; and

  • support for women’s leadership in the form of educational programs, award programs, and diversity training and consulting.

At the same time, we will become much more involved in the work of the Office of Community and Diversity under the leadership of Senior Vice Provost Ozzie Harris. During the past year, the Office of Community and Diversity has restructured itself to address more effectively the most urgent and chronic diversity issues facing Emory in the 21st century. Most Community and Diversity staff will spend a significant portion of their time working in one of several interoffice Portfolio Working Groups. These groups are designed to coalesce around function rather than identity, allowing us to take a much more intersectional approach to our work. 

As part of this reorganization, I have taken on a new role as the associate vice provost for community and diversity while also remaining the director of the Center for Women. In my new role, I will supervise the Portfolio Working Groups and take on a leadership role in the new Advisory Council on Community and Diversity, which replaces the president’s commissions focused on race and ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. The Advisory Council provides a structure for reporting and assessing work in community and diversity in each unit of Emory—from Campus Services to Healthcare and throughout each of Emory’s schools. In addition, I will focus on new efforts to increase faculty and senior administrative diversity at Emory, as well as assessing diversity-related policies and procedures, beginning with a university-wide assessment of our policies related to sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. 

Assistant Director Sasha Smith is a key member of the new Public and Educational Programs Working Group, which will help produce programs such as the CNN Dialogues and the Latino Youth Leadership Conference. Sasha’s extensive experience in feminist programming will ensure that Community and Diversity programs include a strong focus on gender. Similarly, Program Coordinator Shannan Palma will put her Emory graduate training in women’s studies to work in the Data and Communication Working Group, where she is currently working on a unit-wide communications plan.

I am truly energized and excited by the next chapter in the CWE story. I hope you will join me in celebrating our past, present, and future work to provide greater access, equity, and inclusion for women.