Margaret Cuninggim Women's Center September 2020 Newsletter

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Women's Center 2 E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

September 2020 Newsletter

Now We Can Begin

From the Director:

Welcome to the new academic year! If you are like me, you are seeing our campus—and our world—with new eyes as we begin a school year that has been shaped by COVID-19. There is a different kind of energy at Vanderbilt this fall, a combination of anxiety and excitement. After leaving campus rather abruptly in March, we have returned for a new semester, and we are learning new ways of doing things. Familiar places look different, and various activities—things as routine as getting materials from the library and buying food at Rand—all require more advanced planning. In spite of these changes to our everyday lives, we are adapting and finding new ways to make connections with others. It is a new beginning.

Even as the staff of the Women’s Center were away from Franklin House for many months, our work continued: we led salary negotiation workshops, hosted support group meetings for parents, revamped our website, and planned for the new academic year. Now that classes are in session again, our student internships are up and running; students will be doing programming about body positivity, sexuality education, and gender equity. In addition, Women’s Center staff will be offering a full slate of programs in our Women in the Academy, Work–Life Workshop, and Parenting Group series. The main difference this semester is that all of our events will be virtual. In our listings below, you will see links to sign-up forms; we will share Zoom log-in information with those who sign up. On social media, we are using a linktree, which you can access here. If you have any questions about signing up for events, you can contact us by email ( And if you’d like to be added to the listserv for any of our programs, you can sign up here.

In addition to our regular programs, we have planned a set of events connected to the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. For Women’s Equality Day on August 26, we hosted a screening of A Woman’s Right to Vote, a short film that is accessible here. We will continue our discussion of the suffrage centennial on Constitution Day (September 17), when author Elaine Weiss will join us for a conversation about her book, The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote. The Women’s Center has a limited number of copies of this book, which describes the final period leading up to the amendment’s ratification. If you would like a copy, please fill out this form and we will send it to your campus mailing address.

Soon after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, Crystal Eastman, who went on to co-author the Equal Rights Amendment with Alice Paul, delivered “Now We Can Begin,” a speech that describes the work that still needed to be done to achieve gender equity. In the spirit of Eastman’s speech, our fall series on Women and Politics will offer a way to think about both women’s political involvement and the shortcomings in our democratic systems. The series will include panels on voter suppression and the importance of local elections. We will also have a book group discussion about Stacey Abrams’s book Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change. I look forward to seeing you at some of these events!

Sending my best wishes for good health and safety,


Single Parent Group 

Thursday, September 3, 12:00 p.m. CT

Please sign up here.


Mrs. America Watch Party

Wednesday, September 9, 3:00 p.m. CT

Please sign up here.

Talking to Kids about COVID-19

Thursday, September 10, 12:00 p.m. CT

Please sign up here.



A Toolkit for Starting Your Job Search During the Pandemic

Wednesday, September 16, 2:00 p.m. CT

Email to RSVP.


Women and Politics

September and October

Register for events here.

Book Group Discussion: The Woman’s Hour

Wednesday, September 16, 5:30 p.m. CT

Special Guest: Elaine Weiss, author

Please RSVP here.


A Constitution Day Conversation with Elaine Weiss

Thursday, September 17, 5:30 p.m. CT

Elaine Weiss, author of The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote

Please sign up here.


Reducing Zoom Fatigue During COVID-19

Tuesday, September 22, 12:00 p.m. CT

Elizabeth Meadows, Associate Director, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

Please sign up here.

Why Local Elections Matter

Tuesday, September 22, 4:00 p.m. CT

Please sign up here.

Cancel Culture

Thursday, September 24, 5:00 p.m. CT

Please sign up here.



Trust and Boundaries in the Classroom

Tuesday, September 29,12:00 p.m. CT

Audrey Bowden, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Brenda McKenzie, Associate Professor of the Practice, Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations

Claudine Taaffe, Senior Lecturer, African American and Diaspora Studies

Moderated by Cynthia Brame, Associate Director, Center for Teaching

Please sign up here.

A Novel Approach to Building Your Anti-Racism Toolkit and Self-Care in a Time of Reckoning

Alice Randall, Writer in Residence, Vanderbilt University

Thursday, September 10, 12:00 p.m., CT

To register, click here.

White Supremacy and The Legacy of Faith

Reverend Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean, Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary

Thursday, September 10, 6:00 p.m. CT

Reserve your ticket here.

Girls on the Run: Virtual 5k

September 11, 12, 13

To sign up, click here.

Navigating Relationship Dynamics Series

This fall, the Women’s Center will be partnering with the Office of LGBTQI Life, the Project Safe Center, and the Black Cultural Center on a social media campaign showcasing presentations by each office on topics such as safer sex, addictive relationships, supporting survivors and more. Be sure and follow @vuwomenscenter, @vulgbtqilife, @1vanderbiltbcc, and @vuprojectsafe to catch all the amazing presentations!

Participants Sought for Mother and Child Cardiovascular Health Study 

For information, please contact Dr. James Muchira (



Stop by and say hello!

Rory Dicker, Director

Brianna Nesbitt, Assistant Director

Bailey Via, Program Coordinator

Zoraida Hu, Graduate Assistant

Libby Crew, Administrative Assistant

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