4w Programs: Taking Research to Practice and Practice to Scale

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Through grants and awards, 4W Initiative supports the development of scholarship and leadership in gender and wellbeing at all career stages.

4W Awards More
Women cheering

This 4W project aims to create change and change agents from within communities to improve health outcomes and the general wellbeing of women and girls.

Health By All Means More

Engaging with 4W prepares UW-Madison students to lead efforts related to gender and wellbeing

Student Engagement More

UW-Madison students travel to Rabat, Morocco with STREETS Co-Director Araceli Alonso for a course on human trafficking, 2017.


Change HERstory: Menstrual Hygiene Management in Ghana

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Join us for the 2020 International Day of the Girl celebration

2020 International Day of the Girl: Our Daughters, Our World

2020 International Day of the Girl Flyer



Check out this interactive conversation with Lori DiPrete Brown and Olivia Dahlquist covered the topic of transformative feminist leadership and its relationship to the 4W Initiative, including time for writing and sharing. Next, Amy Bintliff transitioned to a conversation about teacher wellbeing, bringing a necessary focus to the need for equitable structures for teachers and administrators as well as students.





4W Director, Lori DiPrete Brown, highlights the work of 4W at Madison Civics Club.

What have you learned about yourself and your community during the COVID-19 pandemic? What was hidden in your life that has been uncovered? What are your worries, fears, hopes and dreams? What matters now?

“From the Inside Out” invites you to bear witness to the many ways that COVID-19 has impacted us, and to gather a collective vision for the future.

CLICK HERE to share your experiences via narrative, poetry, photos, and/or drawings. Submissions will be published together in a collage or online tapestry on the Meninas Cartoneras website.

Our Leadership

4W Conveners: Engaging Our Campus


Lori DiPrete Brown, MSPH, M.T.S 

Director, 4W Initiative

“The opportunities for women in our world today are as great as the challenges. We who are involved with 4W—faculty, staff, students, supporters, and community partners—find hope, joy, and purpose in this shared work. We proceed with the awareness that we ourselves are a work in progress. We aim to grow in our ability to place the lived experiences of women and historically marginalized people at the center of our concerns. It is by directing the assets of UW-Madison toward these concerns that we make life better for women, make the world better for all, and provide an example of the ways in which higher education can engage in transformative societal change.”

Rebecca Blank, PhD

Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The School of Human Ecology, the Global Health Institute and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies have created 4W with a strong partnership that brings together top researchers from many fields to focus on one central question: How do we harness the power of scientific knowledge to improve the lives of women around the world?  This program can have a deep and lasting impact on women, their families and their communities. And by creating international leadership and service learning opportunities for our students, 4W will inspire a new generation of scholars dedicated to women’s health and well-being.”

Soyeon Shim, PhD

Dean, School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison

“When women suffer, everyone suffers – men, children, communities and families. The challenges facing women in Wisconsin and around the globe are multifaceted, thorny, and stubborn. Big problems need big thinkers. The 4W Initiative brings together alumni, students, innovators, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and communities to find answers where none exist, and to do so with empathy. That’s why I am proud to be part of this initiative, and excited about the future.”

Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH

Director, Global Health Institute, UW-Madison

“Women hold the key to health at home, in their communities, across their nations, and around the globe.”


Aili Tripp

Chair, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies, UW-Madison

“Gender and Women’s studies scholars are engaged in gender analysis to better understand how women the world over are striving to improve their livelihoods, health, education, role in politics, and other concerns. The 4W Initiative allows for collaborative synergies across campus and beyond around these issues.”