2019-2020 Year in Review

UCLA Center for the Study of Women

 2019-2020 Year in Review

 In an unprecedented academic year that concluded with a global pandemic and major protests against anti-Black racism and police violence around the world, CSW has proceeded with its mission to use education and scholarship as tools for social justice feminism and improving the lives of people of all genders. We are proud to note the timeliness and relevance of CSW’s research streams and publications to the current moment in history, and we look forward to continuing on that path, as we meet the challenges and successes that lie ahead for all of us.

Fall Reception

In October 2019, CSW co-hosted its annual Fall Reception with the Department of Gender Studies. We had a photo booth set up in the Rolfe Courtyard where attendees had their photos taken with various feminist-related props!

CSW Director Rachel Lee and Gender Studies Chair Beth Marchant.

CSW Staff Melissa Jamero, Arielle Bagood, and Alexandra Apolloni.

Black Feminism Initiative

The 2019-2020 academic year marked the inaugural year of the Black Feminism Initiative (BFI), led by Director Sarah Haley (Professor, Gender Studies and African American Studies). BFI’s first event was Black Feminism, Care, and Reproductive Justice in Urgent Times, featuring childbirth educator and doula Kimberly Durdin in conversation with graduate student Ariel Hart.

Black Feminism Initiative Fellowships

BFI is proud to offer two fellowships in support of intellectual work that centers Black feminist frameworks of analysis: the Alisa Bierria Graduate Fellowship in Black Feminist Research and the Mariame Kaba Graduate Fellowship in Black Feminist Research.

Congratulations to the inaugural recipients:

Bianca Beauchemin, Jaimie Crumley, Zama Dube, Ariel Hart, and Brittnee Meitzenheimer.

Gender and Water Working Papers

 As 2019 came to a close, we published the Gender and Everyday Water Use in Los Angeles Working Paper Series. Supervised by CSW Senior Faculty Research Associate Jessica Cattelino (Professor, Anthropology), the Gender and Water project investigates the important yet understudied role of gender—as it intersects with race and class—in residential water use in Los Angeles. All five papers are available to download on eScholarship.

Cover for Working Paper #1 by Megan Baker.

 Thinking Gender 2020

We were thrilled to host the 30th Annual Thinking Gender Graduate Student Research Conference on March 6, 2020—just one week before the city of Los Angeles issued Safer-At-Home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s conference, Sexual Violence as Structural Violence: Feminist Visions of Transformative Justice, built upon recent #MeToo mobilizations and asked for alternative forms of repair and justice that extend beyond current carceral regimes that rely on policing and perpetuating gender violence.

TG20 Keynote Panel featuring Mariame Kaba, Mimi Kim, and Emily Thuma.

Poster Presenter Joelle Rosenberg.



 Watch the entire Keynote Session on the CSW YouTube Channel:

Keynote Opening – Toypurina: Bloodlines of Resistance

Keynote Address – Ending Violence Without Violence

Keynote Panel – Transformational Justice: Refusing Criminalization and Sexual Violence

 Watch the entire Thinking Gender 2020 Collection!

View the Photo Gallery on our Facebook page!

 Blog Posts

Thinking Gender: Sexual Violence as Structural Violence: Feminist Visions of Transformative Justice, with reflection and gratitude

By Bri-Ann Hernandez, Thinking Gender 2020 Conference Coordinator

A Personal Reflection on Doing Participatory Action Research in Transformative Justice

By Melanie Brazzell, Thinking Gender 2020 Presenter

  Catalyst: Chemical Entanglements Special Issue

Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 6.1 (May 2020) with a special section on Chemical Entanglements, edited by CSW Director Rachel C. Lee (Professor, English, Gender Studies, and Institute for Society and Genetics), was published on May 17. This issue features multi-disciplinary research from an array of fields, such as anthropology, public health, legal history, environmental health sciences, poetry, bio-art, waste studies, queer theory, disabilities studies, and decolonial science and technologies studies.

UCLA Undergraduate Research Week 2020

From May 18-May 20, the Undergraduate Research Week website hosted over 600 student presentations. Panel 3 – Anthropology, Gender, and Ethnic Studies Prerecorded Session featured “Environmental Illness and Social Isolation: A Comparative Analysis of Lifestyles Restricted by Illness,” a presentation by CSW Chemical Entanglements Undergraduate Student Group members Miranda Le and Cheyenne Walker. Their project investigates the correlations between living with environmental illnesses and living under stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

L to R: Miranda Le and Cheyenne Walker.

CSW in Solidarity

 In 2020, CSW continued to champion the needs of UCLA students and the broader community. CSW Faculty penned several letters in support of graduate students and the Black community, calling for UCLA to take action and devote more resources to equity and inclusion.

CSW Associate Director Grace Hong, CSW Advisory Committee (CSWAC) Chair Sarah Haley, and CSWAC member Mishuana Goeman speaking at the UCLA 4 COLA rally on March 5.

CSW Supports UC 4 COLA

Statement for Justice

 Open Letter from the Black Feminism Initiative

 Faculty Achievements

While COVID-19 has affected the community greatly, we are happy to share these developments and achievements from CSW and CSW-affiliated Faculty!

Sean Metzger, CSW Executive Board

Q&A Feature with the UCLA Newsroom

Grace Hong, CSW Associate Director

Awarded 2020 Undergraduate Research Week – Faculty Mentor Award

Tracy L. Johnson, CSW Advisory Committee

Appointed as Dean of the Division of Life Sciences

Susan L. Ettner, CSW Executive Board

Appointed Interim Dean of Graduate Education

2019-2020 CSW Student and Faculty Awards

CSW is proud to honor the achievements of UCLA students and faculty who conduct groundbreaking research and activism around issues related to women and gender. This year’s recipients will be honored during a virtual awards ceremony in October 2020. Join our Mailing List to receive updates!

Student Award Recipients

 Travel Grant Recipients

 Faculty Award Recipients

 Tillie Olsen Recipients

 Thank You, Rachel Lee!

After five successful years, Rachel Lee has completed her tenure as CSW Director. As part of the center’s research, Professor Lee launched two large-scale, innovative projects that bridged the humanities and social sciences with the physical sciences: Feminism + the Senses and Chemical Entanglements. The CSW family, including Staff and the Advisory Committee, came together over Zoom to celebrate her achievements and wish her farewell. CSW looks forward to her future endeavors and wishes her the very best!

Rachel Lee at the Awards and Benefit Reception 2019.

Rachel Lee with the farewell gifts from CSW – literary artwork by Lise Melhorn-Boe, an artist and activist whose work relates to Rachel’s Chemical Entanglements research initiative.

Give to CSW


Since 1984, we have been at the forefront of world-changing research that breaks barriers and challenges the status quo. Our goal is ambitious but critical, especially in today’s climate: we aim to create a world where education and scholarship are tools for social justice feminism.

At a time when gender equality is under attack, your generosity can help sustain and advance the transformative changes that our research has brought about over the past 35 years. Even more importantly, it will enable our faculty and students to instigate future change, so that 35 years from now, gender equity will be a reality.

All contributions, large or small, make a difference. We accept funds in various forms, including donations, grants, and estate gifts. To give, visit our online donation form, or contact the CSW Management Services Officer.