MORE: Money + Relationships + Equality
The MORE (Money + Relationships + Equality) Initiative was created to establish equality for women and men in relationships, family life, and financial decision making, while embracing the central questions of self-worth, purpose and meaning-making throughout the life course.
MORE educates women and men of all ages, in classroom settings and beyond, with the understanding that full equality for women cannot be accomplished without education and behavior change of the men with whom they partner. MORE is founded on the Wisconsin Idea principles of outreach, research and education.
With publicly accessible workbooks via an informational website on financial equality and philanthropy at various stages of the relationship, MORE has made headlines already: Since the official initiative launch in late 2015, MORE Director, Christine Whelan, has been mentioned in USNews & World Report, TODAY.com, The Washington Post, Wisconsin Public Radio, The Houston Chronicle and the Huffington Post, among others.
MORE promotes research to underscore the importance of premarital counseling, explore the importance of communication and support within marriage, ask challenging questions about the role of community in long-lasting partnerships, and embrace research on the special challenges of women in non-traditional work and financial situations. Questions of interest include the study of dual-career marriages, women’s earnings and divorce, financial and relationship self-help guides, and diagnostic tools to help couples learn their money “types” prior to entering a marriage, among other opportunities. Research on generative living, and purpose-based youth development will add to the life fulfillment piece of this Initiative.
With specialized courses on the intersection of relationships and finances, consumption and thriving, MORE offers students a valuable education in financial equality. MORE has taken the lead on a new Consumer Science course, CNSR SCI 174: Consuming Happiness, to explore the intersection of money and wellbeing, and is leading the design of CNSR SCI 271: Finances & Families. In addition, MORE has played a pivotal role in creating and teaching InterHE 201: Belonging, Purpose and the Ecology of Human Happiness (EcoYou) As part of the 4W Initiative, MORE will give voice to issues of financial equality in upcoming global summits and conferences.
Year 1: Begin to forge partnerships with larger outside groups, taking action to discuss relationships, finance, and fulfillment issues through the life course.
Year 2: Launch the website, publications, and research. Continue teaching and outreach.
Year 3: Launch the Families & Finance course, publications, and research.
Year 4: Go big with outreach efforts to touch more couples with the MORE message.
Year 5: Embark on large-scale publications and further outreach to disseminate MORE research.
In November 2015, MORE launched a new website, and in February 2016, after the untimely death of MORE sponsor, Lorna Jorgenson Wendt, MORE sent out many press releases to alert people of our work carrying on her legacy. MORE will continue to provide outreach education in media outlets nationwide. In April 2016, Christine Whelan’s fourth book, “The Big Picture: A Guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life” (Templeton Press), will be published, and will dovetail with MORE’s mission to explore and educate publicly on central questions of self-worth, purpose, and meaning-making throughout the life course. In the 2016-2017 academic year, the MORE team will also develop a Committed to Success workbook, continue work on the APLUS applied research, pursue the launch of the Finance & Families course, and share the latest news on the intersection of money, relationships and equality on the MORE website.
Additional information and MORE resources can be found on their website. You can also follow them on Twitter @UWmore.