The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization developed its UNESCO Chairs Programme to “promote international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities.” UNESCO Chairs around the world act as both a creative incubator for new ideas and a platform for cutting-edge research and engagement. The UNESCO Chair on Gender, Wellbeing and a Culture of Peace at UW-Madison is one of 21 Chairs in the United States, and one of the few to address gender and wellbeing, specifically. Awarded to UW in 2016, this campus-wide Chair is supported and administered by the 4W Initiative in partnership with the Department of Gender & Women Studies. It is directed by Dr. Araceli Alonso of the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies and Dr. Teresa Langle de Paz of Women’s Knowledge International Network.
Under the auspices of the UNESCO Chair, 4W influences research, education, policy, and practice:
- The UNESCO Chair cosponsors many 4W conferences, seminars, and fora to connect scholars and practitioners from around the world.
- 4W administers the UNESCO Chair Prize on Gender, Wellbeing and a Culture of Peace to recognize emerging leaders who are making life better for women in Wisconsin and around the world. The first prize was awarded in fall of 2019 to UW-Madison alumna and Native American rights activist Ada Deer for her lifelong commitment to social justice.
- The UNESCO Chair on Gender, Wellbeing and a Culture of Peace also produces a Working Papers Series to publish and disseminate research and scholarly articles around gender, wellbeing, and promoting a culture of peace for all through education and feminist leadership.