From the Director

 Dona Yarbrough

By Dona Yarbrough

This year the Center for Women celebrates its 20th anniversary, fittingly on the heels of Emory’s 175th anniversary celebration in 2011. In fact, Emory’s “175 Makers of History” list includes some of the women who were instrumental to the center’s early life and many who are involved in the center today. 

This issue of Women’s News and Narratives appropriately looks back at women’s history, forward toward our future, and around the world. CWE graduate fellow Brandy Simula writes about the center’s recent panel discussion with women who were involved in the civil rights movement, particularly the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Kate Powell writes about her own and others’ experiences in global social enterprise, a hybrid business model that combines profit making with social welfare, and examines ways these new modes of capitalism may benefit women and their communities. 

Paige Parvin’s story discusses the CWE’s exciting new partnership with the OpEd Project, a national organization working to increase the number of women’s voices in key opinion forums. In January, twenty Emory women faculty, graduate students, and senior administrators attended a two-day OpEd Project workshop to explore their areas of expertise and learn how to craft and pitch an op-ed to major media outlets. The group’s first measure of success came within 48 hours of the workshop’s end when Tressie McMillan Cottom—workshop participant and PhD student in Emory’s sociology department—published her first op-ed in the Huffington Post; it was titled  “Insider’s View of For-Profit Colleges, Race, Class, and Education Justice.”

We trust that Cottom’s success is just the start of what we’ll be hearing from this extraordinary group of women, who as part of their participation in the workshop also get a full year’s access to the OpEd Project’s mentor-editors, many of whom are Pulitzer Prize winners. The workshop is part of the CWE’s public scholarship initiative, which we conceive broadly as work that enables Emory faculty, staff, students, and alumni to cross boundaries between the academy and the broader public sphere. Emory’s vision is to work “for positive transformation in the world through courageous leadership in teaching, research, scholarship, health care, and social action.” The CWE implements that vision though projects that help members of the Emory community participate in public debates about critical issues, contribute to public policy, work with communities to solve problems, make research available to the general public, and engage in public service. 

One faculty member who embodies Emory’s vision is Christine Moe, associate professor in the School of Public Health, who is featured in a story by Mary Loftus. Moe’s work as director of Emory’s Center for Global Safe Water is part of what inspired us to focus this year’s Women’s History Month on women and water. Our events in March include a talk by college alumnae April Rinne, director of WaterCredit, a microfinance initiative of; and Laura Turner Seydel, chair of the Captain Planet Foundation and a national environmental advocate. The month also includes a number of performances centered on the women and water theme, spearheaded by Emory’s Departments of Theater and Dance and supported by the Center for Creativity & Arts Year of Water series.  The entire Women's History Month 2012 Calendar is available here

I hope you enjoy the issue. Women’s News and Narratives is blessed with a fantastic Editorial Advisory Board and wonderful writers, all of whom volunteer to bring these stories to you. If you read something that inspires you or makes you think, please let us know.