The Carolina Women’s Center at UNC is known for being an inclusive education and work environment,but it’s also known for the events it hosts and helps publicize.
Last month the center hosted events such as forums and lectures but also screenings and the center’s regular First Friday Open House. Many of these events were in the name of Women’s History Month.
“It was an opportunity for us to bring attention to who we are and what we’re doing,” said UNC Carolina Women’s Center Director Gloria Thomas. “But in terms of program planning, I don’t think it was anything out of the norm.”
Thomas said the center kicked off the month by hosting a conference on March 4, but that there are events all year long, not just in March.
“I think we tend to do a lot of those,” she said. “But it was bringing together and presenting this whole series of events for the month of March that made it special.”
Thomas has been the director of the center since August. She said the staff has made some changes to the center, including adding two more positions. She says the center also focuses on helping to publicize events for other UNC groups.
“Even though we’ve grown as a staff from three to five, we still don’t have the capacity to do a whole lot,” she said. “We have to be careful about over-extending ourselves. And so the way to really get a lot more work done is to—and we’re certainly not taking credit for what other units and groups do—but we’re assisting.”
She said much of this job requires being in touch with what other groups are out there and what they’re doing on campus.
“You’ve got to really keep your antenna up and your finger on the pulse for what are the issues on campus,” she said. “And fortunately, with people knowing who we are and what we’re doing, when data are available they’ll send it our way.”
But the Center could always use help. Thomas said if anyone is interested they should reach out to her to learn more about partnering or volunteering.
“Some of the intersections might be race, religion, socioeconomic status, political interest, whatever your sexual identity,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. If you have an interest in any of these issues, come and be a part of it. Let us know what your interests are.”
She said it’s important to teach others about the issues the center focuses on, but it’s also important for everyone to come together and celebrate equality.
“If there was any over-arching goal… it’s not only to bring attention to the Women’s Center and what we’re doing and efforts to address gender equity, but to take a moment to celebrate,” she said. “Celebrate what’s been done, who we are, and the connections that we make.”
The center is hosting its April First Friday Open House Friday from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.