Women’s Resource Center (WRC) proudly serves as the first point of contact for women’s issues and information at Michigan State University. Each year, we work with approximately 33,000 women on campus, acting as a catalyst for collaboration on women’s issues. In addition, we provide vital information and resources to numerous MSU departments, offices, and academic disciplines.
WRC operates from a women-led agenda. Not only do we provide support to the Women’s Commission, but we focus on issues that matter most to women in the areas of leadership, social justice, and personal development.
See a video clip from former director and MSU WRC consultant, Patricia Lowrie.
“Advancing gender equity through education and access to resources”
The mission of the MSU Women’s Resource Center is to empower women to achieve personal, professional and academic success, create a climate that advocates for gender equity, values inclusion and provides resources that enable all students, faculty and staff to become active members of the MSU community. The WRC works toward leadership development, social justice and addressing gender related issues/concerns for people of all genders through educational programs, conferences, newsletters and other resources.
Women's Resource Center Men's Advisory Council
From the Director’s Desk:
Periodically, units review and evaluate programs for effectiveness of content, viability and currency. The WRC is no different and over the last several years you were aware of the Status of Women survey collaboratively conducted with the Women’s Commission – the Women’s Advisory Committee to the Provost, the Women’s Advisory committee to the VP for Finance, Personnel, and Operations and the Women’s Advisory committee to the Vice president for Student Affairs and Services. The full study, Voices of Women*, was completed with the assistance of three notable emeriti MSU women – Denise Anderton, Nancy Pogel and Joy Tubaugh. Concurrent with the study were the many conversations about the potential impact of Prop 2 and the mission of the Center. These converging events prompted innovation – as often these things do. As we considered expansion of program offerings, the WRC staff entertained an innovation that gave rise to a re-affirmation that we should continue our thematic approach, for it sustains our underlying principles embedded in social justice, and continues to build on the themes of leadership, personal/professional development and relationships.
While we’ve maintained that the center’s programs were about what impacted women but not for women only, our planning process has always included attention to the multiple identities of women – their characteristics and backgrounds; we’ve learned over time that issues that impact women often may not be about women. The easy example of this is when programs have been offered that deal with men’s health issues. Because women may be the primary caregiver, it is important to understand more about an occurrence that may be unfamiliar to them. Clearly, there must be similar things, but we also realized that there are probably many issues that are worthy of programming that would not be easily identified. In addition, just as there are men’s issues which women should know more about, there are program offerings about traditional “women’s issues” that would benefit from including perspectives of men and would actually enhance program quality and broaden audience participation.
To explore the range of possibilities, we invited a group of men from around the MSU community to partner with us as a member of a WRC advisory group. Among the things we asked of them were that they be willing to be self-reflective, that they be willing to share what they wanted women to know about men’s issues, and that they be willing to discuss what and how men talk to other men about women’s issues. The focus is and will continue to be about women; however, with this expansion, the programming would be broadened.
WRCMAC (WRC Men’s Advisory Council) was launched late in the fall of 2008 and accepting the challenge were: Brent Bilodeau (external consultant), Terence Brown, Jerry Caldwell, Dennis Martell, Leo Savala, Rick Shafer, Vennie Gore, Keith Groty (professor emeritus), David Gift and John Beck.
These men represent over 200+ years at MSU and span all segments of the institution. We’re delighted with the progress thus far – particularly with the quality of the dialogue and hope that you too will agree that this bold step will benefit all.
*Special appreciation is also extended to Jan Urban Lorraine for project counsel and Ann Marie Ryan for her diligent data analysis.
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