The WOC Project started in 2005 as a CSWS Research Interest Group. In 2008, the center was awarded a Ford Foundation grant from the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) to promote a leadership pipeline for Women of Color at universities. “Diversifying the Leadership of Women’s Research Centers” was meant to promote the leadership of women of color from historically underrepresented groups in the United States within NCRW and within its women’s research, policy, and advocacy member centers. CSWS and the UO Office of the Vice President for Research provided matching funds to launch the initiative.
Currently, the WOC Project includes the following programs: small grants for individual projects and events across departments and schools, research workshops for assistant and associate professors to finish up their research portfolio or to jumpstart their pipeline for post-tenure research, grant-writing workshops with expert consultants to workshop grant proposals for faculty wishing to submit applications to outside grants, and a fellowship competition that provides summer support to complete research projects that will have immediately measurable impacts.
As these faculty testimonials demonstrate, COVID-19 has uncovered many aspects of our institutional practice that have historically rendered certain labor invisible and left others more vulnerable. The costs of continued expectations for service and research added to teaching demands on junior faculty and others who have to keep on doing child and elder care and schooling will be cumulative and have differential impact. This will be evident not just during the period before there is a vaccine but going forward in their academic careers. More funding for COVID-related research will not alleviate the compounding disadvantage experienced by caretakers.
This CSWS program began as a Research Interest Group in AY 2011-12, migrated into CSWS Special Project status as the Women Writers Project in AY 2012-13, and became integrated into CSWS as an internal program in spring 2014. The final symposium was held in 2018.
The NWWS and Women Writers Program sought to foster and enhance opportunities for women writers on campus, in the community, and throughout the Pacific Northwest; to bring distinct voices of published women writers to campus; and to support the work of creative writing by bringing together writers from different disciplines. This program was aimed toward exploring local, regional, and university collaborations, most notably through an evolving annual women writers conference. From 2013 to 2018, CSWS collaborated with Eugene Public Library to host a portion of the symposium in its downtown facility to increase public access to events.