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College of Arts & Sciences
Women’s & Gender Studies


Women's Well-Being Initiative

UNLAYERED: GIRLS TAKING BACK  
Jan. 14 - May 8 / McKissick Museum
The exhibit will feature two video projects, an animation project, T-shirts with printed logos and poetry.

WWBI article on University's homepage

In 2001, the University of South Carolina's Women's and Gender Studies Program developed the Women's Well-being Initiative (WWBI) to improve the overall well-being of South Carolina's women and girls by promoting an interdisciplinary, community-focused program of research, education, and action.

Well-being is conceived of broadly to include mental and physical health, social, economic, and spiritual well-being. The primary aims of the WWBI are to enhance and facilitate: university-community partnerships; collaborations across disciplines (sciences, social sciences, humanities); and critical perspectives and approaches to the promotion of well-being that incorporate the full diversity of women's experiences across race, class, age, ethnicity and other dimensions of difference.

Mission: The mission of the WWBI is to improve the well-being of women and girls in South Carolina, particularly in communities surrounding the University area.

Objectives Projects and research supported by the Women's Well-Being Initiative will: (1) Critique public and institutional policies to ensure support for women and girls as they pursue full potential and equality. (2) Challenge disparities relating to the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and other dimensions of inequality that threaten the well-being of women and girls. (3) Create changes through research and activism projects that empower and enrich women and girls, communities, and the Women's and Gender Studies teaching mission.

Long Range Goals (1) Establish the Women's Well-being Initiative as a focus for a statewide cadre of individuals doing interdisciplinary, collaborative research and activism in the focus areas of health, social activism, and culture. (2) Garner support for the Women's Well-being Initiative by building technological capacity and developing extramural funding including endowment monies, foundation support, and grant funding. (3) Secure resources and training for Women's Well-being affiliates and partners to produce and promote excellent scholarship and effective activism projects. (4) Create a strong, thriving student organization on campus to help fulfill the goals of the WWBI.

Current Community Projects: Community Juvenile Arbitration Workshops 
Currently, the Women's Well-being Initiative plans and facilitates a series of four workshops a year for young women participating in Lexington County's Community Juvenile Arbitration. Previously, Julie Jacobson, a former Women's Studies graduate assistant, worked with Juvenile Arbitration to create two rather stunning murals in West Columbia and Columbia. Now, however, WWBI graduate students and Women's and Gender Studies interns and volunteers develop and facilitate workshops structured to give adolescents the tools needed to recognize oppressive situations in their lives, or situations and events that generate low self-esteem, cause depression, or create negative feelings toward others. The goal here is to try to help these adolescents find liberation from oppression. While we cannot provide resolute answers to the individual problems facing these youth, it is our goal to propose techniques to help these youth find their own answers and be confident with their selves. Some of these techniques include creating abstract artworks, writing poetry, making collages, and having discussions with peers.

WWBI Student League : A student-organized branch of the WWBI, the Student League supports current programs and helps develop new initiatives. USC students can get involved with the WWBI by serving as a student representative on the WWBI Community Advisory Board, or having your group or organization collaborate with us on a community project

Volunteers: The Women’s Well-Being Initiative is looking for volunteers to help with current projects and research initiatives. For more information on Volunteering or becoming a member of the Student League, please call 803-777-5012 or email WWBI@gmail.com

USC Women's and Gender Studies Program

Women's Well-Being Initiative 

Jones Physical Science Center, Suite 109

712 Main Street

Columbia, SC 29208