About Us

The Women+s Resource Center fosters a vibrant and supportive community at CSUDH. Click on the topics below to learn more about our history, our purpose, and our staff.


History

A Partial History of the CSUDH Women+s Resource Center

Since 1972, a center for women students on the campus of CSUDH has had a history of starts and stops. In addition, records about any women’s center on campus are few and far between. Information can be found in the Department of Special Collections at the campus library.

The first time a center for women was established on campus was the Women’s Educational Center in the 1972-73 academic year, though there is very limited information on this center.

After the Women’s Educational Center folded, a new Women’s Center was established on campus in late April of 1974. It was housed in NSM B224 and hosted a variety of programs, ranging from consciousness-raising groups, talks on women in politics, and an anti-rape group. As of October 1974, the center was still operating, hosting two groups, one for single mothers and one on women’s problems in society. The Womens’ Center’s first newsletter was also published on April 1, 1974, called The Centerfold. The newsletter provided a calendar of activities such as a writer’s workshop, an anti-rape squad, resources for volunteering at a rape crisis center, and a series of interviews called “Has the Women’s Movement Affected Your Life?” According to the campus newspaper, the center was funded by EPIC, a program that allowed students to work in the center and earn university credit.

But after 1973-74 academic year, the Women’s Center seems to have gone out of operation, and no records have been located to explain what happened. A perusal of the campus newspaper and presidential records yielded no information.

In 1978, the reestablishment of the Women’s Center caused controversy due to space issues. According to Dominguez News, the proposed Women’s Center would “use the only available office space in the Student Union.” It appears that the controversy was over the utilization of space for a specific segment of the campus population, namely women. Suzanne Gemmel, Dean of University College at the time, attempted to quell the controversy by asserting that the center would also be “open to men.”

Between late 1978 and mid-1979, the Women’s Center remained a contentious topic. The center faced the same issues regarding space, coupled with criticism that calling the center “The Women’s Center” was sexist. The Temporary Interim Women’s Center Steering Committee, made up of faculty and staff, responded to the concerns by stating that that they would not agree to changing the name because, “A change in name would dilute the central purpose of the Center, which is to deal with concerns related to women’s issues. Obviously, the Center would be open to men, and we would encourage the participation of men and women faculty, staff, and students in the activities.”

In July 1979, the Women’s Center opened with Carmen B. Towler as coordinator. It was staffed by volunteers and students who earned work-study experience. Touted as a “multi-cultural” center, the Women’s Center’s specific aim was to serve women who were returning to school. Towler was herself a re-entry student who had earned a B.A. in Music and a Master’s degree in humanities and Afro-American Studies at CSUDH. At the same time she was serving as director of the Women’s Center, she was completing her doctoral studies in higher education at UCLA. Towler also served as chair of the Women’s Caucus of California Personnel and Guidance Association.

In the Fall of 1979, Yvonne Burke inaugurated the first lecture series hosted by the Women’s Center, thus beginning a tradition of wide-ranging events both for the campus and the surrounding communities. For example, the Women’s Center established a male consciousness raising group in January 1980, a symposium on the “Plight of the Battered Woman” in February, and a host of events in March for Women’s Week. These included Third World Women, Latin Women at the Threshold of Power, Women’s Credit Rights, and Sex Discrimination in Employment and Sexual Harassment on the Job.” That same year, the Women’s Center’s first newsletter was published.

The Women’s Center continued to host numerous events in the 1980-81 academic year. In October 1980, in collaboration with the Women’s Center, CSUDH hosted “The Women’s Congress: A California Translation of the United Nations Decade for Women Copenhagen Conference,” and in collaboration with the Asian/Pacific Women’s Network L.A., “Power: How to Get It, How to Use It, and How to Keep It.”

January 1981 saw a brief change in leadership of the Women’s Center with Madge Weinstein, a graduate student at CSUDH, becoming director. During Weinstein’s tenure, the Women’s Center published a new volume of its newsletter and a Handbook that included resources for women students.

In 1983, the Women’s Center was relocated to Dominguez Room A in the University Commons. Between 1981 and 1984, there seems to have been a lull in the activities of the center.

In 1984 and 1985, the Women’s Center sponsored a number of events, beginning with a conference in March 1984, “Focus on Black Women,” coordinated by Joan Crear, a Women’s Center student intern.

Sometime in 1984 and 1985, Carmen Buford resumed leadership of the Women’s Center and in 1985, the Women’s Center hosted a large “Women’s Week” in March. The theme was “The Educated Woman: Her Present, Her Past, Her Future”, which ended with a Women’s Leadership Conference on Saturday, March 9, 1985.

The Women's Resource Center continued to have its ups and downs over the next few decades, largely due to fluctuations in funding. The Center was actually closed down in 2009 after a particularly rough round of statewide education budget cuts. The Center reopened on March 3, 2014, in new offices in the Small College Complex. The CSUDH Campus News Center features a more detailed look at the reopening of the WRC.

Mission & Vision

Our Mission

The Women+s Resource Center advances gender equity, social justice, and an inclusive campus climate through co-curricular programming, support services, and opportunities designed to empower women of all backgrounds.

We serve the entire campus community, and we welcome people of all gender identities and expressions.

Our Vision

The Women+s Resource Center fosters an environment of inclusion and equity with programs aimed at ending all forms of oppression.

Meet the WRC Staff
csudh-wrc-mtadams-headshotMegan Tagle Adams (she/her/hers)
Director
(310) 243-2544
madams@csudh.edu
Raquel Serrano headshotRaquel Serrano (she/her/hers)
Student Programmer
Rihab Shuaib headshotRihab Shuaib (she/her/hers)
Student Programmer
Sandra Jaime headshotSandra Jaime (she/her/hers)
Student Programmer
Tamara Mitchell headshotTamara Mitchell (she/her/hers)
Student Programmer

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