07/29/15 7:41 AM

Centers of Distinction

Women's Research & Resource Center

In 1981, Spelman was awarded a grant from
the Charles Stuart Mott Foundation to establish the Women’s Research and Resource Center (WRRC). The goal was to provide an academic unit of the College that focused on curriculum development in Women’s Studies, research by and about women of African descent, and community outreach.

The Women's Research Center Makes History

The WRRC is the first women’s research center at a historically Black college and the first one to offer a women ’s studies major. Over the course of its 25 year history, with sustained support from the Ford Foundation, the Center has facilitated faculty and student leadership development; collaborated with other departments/programs on and off campus to establish new courses (most recently in the sciences) that address issues of gender and race; established international linkages with universities outside the U.S. to increase their capacity to promote faculty and student development; and hosted a number of conferences that explore the lives of African and African descended women in a variety of cultural contexts.

The Anna Julia Cooper Professorship

Drs. Bill and Camille Cosby, through the Clara Elizabeth Jackson Carter Foundation, provided funds (as a match for Mott Foundation funding) to endow the Anna Julia Cooper Professorship in Women’s Studies which is attached to the Center. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, director, is the first recipient of the Chair.

WRRC Programming

The Center coordinates the Toni Cade Bambara Scholars/Writers/Activists Program and Collective which produces an annual scholar-activism conference celebrating the vision and work of Bambara. It also manages the Spelman College Archives and houses the Digital Moving Image Salon (DMIS). It publishes Sisters of the Word, a bi-annual newsletter, and hosted SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, which was founded in 1984 and ceased publication in 1995 (back issues are available).