The UMass Lowell Center for Women and Work (CWW) is a vibrant community of scholars who are dedicated to the Center’s mission to advance knowledge about the relationship between gender and work through research, enhance understanding of this relationship through education and training, and challenge inequalities, particularly through institutional change.
All of us at the Center for Women & Work hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy. First, we wanted to reach out to our campus community to offer our thoughts of care and concern to all members of UMass Lowell. During these unprecedented times, we have all had to make adjustments in our work and personal lives. We are on an uncharted journey together: we know that the next chapter will look different from what we have seen before, but our research and outreach continues.
CWW's Making WAVES initiative continues to move forward with equity initiatives, but with modifications necessitated by our current environment. We offered our first virtual bystander training workshop on April 17, 2020. We are continuing our work with departments around equity action planning, meeting virtually with action teams, and launching electronic data collection for those involved. If your department is interested in partnering with WAVES in 2020-21, please let us know. We also continue to be mindful of the ways in which we are able to communicate you with, our larger community. For an overview of our current work, please refer to our Splash newsletter.
As a research center, CWW's core mission is to examine issues of inequity - and challenge them. While these issues may sometimes seem quite abstract, they have become increasingly concrete and visible during this crisis. Daily, we see reports of how the coronavirus has exacerbated the existing inequalities in our society: professional care workers lack support and resources ; the balance between work and parenting responsibilities has become increasingly difficult to manage; resource allocation often reflects broader social disparities; and people who have proven to be essential workers (grocery workers and custodians) often lack adequate protection. We also see how these inequities affect our own students - some of them are struggling with food and housing, as well as with access to technology, and the lack of a paycheck.
We are dedicated, as a Center, to deepen our commitment to our research as the crisis continues. Social-identity inequities are likely to be underscored as we make the many adjustments required as we move forward with our teaching, research, and personal life.