It is February in Wisconsin. For those who have studied here, lived here, or visited in winter, you know what that means. Sledding, skiing, ice fishing, and yes, shoveling. If you have taken walks lately – and as often as I have – you may have also noticed that even in the middle of winter, there is nevertheless the sound of dripping water. The inevitable thaw has already started, and as we savor winter, we can begin to look toward spring.
It has been a challenging season, but our 4W network of scholars and advocates have continued to work tirelessly for gender equity and holistic wellbeing in communities near and far. I am so grateful for the 4W staff – Assistant Director Olivia Dahlquist, Graduate Fellow Samantha Crowley, and Communications Intern Brooke Wilczewski – who have kept the program thriving despite the demands of their own scholarship and all the challenges associated with the pandemic. We have convened our circles of leaders and graduate students, welcomed new scholars into our community, catalyzed new projects, and increased our digital presence. We have also made important strides toward our goal of permanence and financial sustainability. Despite COVID19, we have accomplished so much.
And we’ve had fun! Our 4W Leadership Circle has developed innovative ways for providing emotional and community support. Together, we have hosted successful teas, meditations, and even dance parties over Zoom. Gifts of food, outdoor walks, and the occasional letter have kept us connected. We remember that our work is a privilege at this time, providing balance and meaning amidst the isolation and disruption.
This fall we were able to host a number of new virtual programs, and despite our distances, participating is easier than ever! As you scroll, please feel welcome to be with us by watching the videos and visiting the links below.
With the help of 4W scholar Amy Bintliff, we talked about the importance of wellbeing for educators at the Feminist Fireside Chat in June, hosted by PLACE (Professional Learning and Community Education) in the UW-Madison School of Education. Watch the webinar here!
With leadership from 4W Director Emilie Songolo, we held our first ever online International Day of the Girl Celebration, where we heard from girls across the globe about what equality means to them.
Dr. Sarli Mercado led the 4W Women in Translation project through more than 10 translation events featuring poets from Spain, Latin America, and the US. Additionally, in collaboration with the UW- Madison Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program (LACIS) and the Community Altar Project, we launched “A Lantern, Radical Light / Linterna, luz radical: On Sorrow, Comfort and Consolation.”This 4W-WIT Bilingual Anthology consists of a collection of poems on experiences of care and loss during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
We also initiated our 4W-YALI Circle webinar series with scholars from the Young African Leadership Initiative, led by Dr. Kalkidan Lakew and 4W Director Rahel Desalegne.
For more about our programs – old and new – please visit our 2020 Progress Report. There you can learn about the breadth and reach of 4W projects – and the amazing faculty and students who lead them! Follow us on social media to see highlights of these leaders and projects in our “4W Featured Fridays.”
The In Her Honor Chancellor’s Fund celebrates lives marked by scholarly achievement and public legacy, as well as extraordinary lives devoted to family and community. Click on the links below to read letters from the In Her Honor Fund.