Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Time to Exhale

May 13, 2020

This is a time to wind down, rest, and reflect on all that we have been through together over the past 15 weeks.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

You have persevered under challenging circumstances. Whether you had a lot of support and love to get you to this moment, or you have had to scramble and scrape to make it across the finish line, this moment is yours. Savor it. Take a minute to understand who you have become over the duration of your studies at this urban public university, and to give thanks for the faculty, staff, peers, family members, co-workers, programs, and opportunities that brought you this far. Even if you don’t have clear plans for the near future, celebrate that you have come this far by faith and hard work, while working to overcome self-doubt and all sorts of obstacles to accomplish something of your own. We see you! We celebrate you!

To the students who have worked with WLRC and CAN in various capacities during your studies at UIC: We hope that you will take all that you have learned into your new lives and continue working in whatever ways you can to make the world a more just and equitable place for all living beings.

A special congratulations to Emoonah McClerklin, who has worked as a student assistant at WLRC for the 2019-2020 academic year. Emoonah is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology with a minor in Gender & Women’s Studies.

I first learned about Emoonah through her leadership role in SISTERS, an organization dedicated to providing a supportive community for Black women in campus housing and beyond. It has been a delight to work with her and to see her commitment to connecting more students with WLRC take so many creative forms. Emoonah is one to watch out for!

We hope that new graduates will stay in touch with us. WLRC will celebrate its 30th anniversary in the 2020-2021 academic year. If our programs have helped to broaden your understanding of feminism and social justice, provided support for you as a survivor, given you concrete tools and new concepts to help make sense of your academic experience as well as what is possible for you after UIC, we want to hear from you and include your ideas and perspectives as we try to imagine the next 30 years!

Before you say ‘bye to UIC, though…

As a result of COVID-19, you just went through quite an experiment in online learning that may be continued into Fall 2020. Tell us something:

  1. What should faculty, departments, or cultural centers like ours absolutely continue doing?
  2. What should faculty or any campus unit definitely not do again?
  3. In hindsight, what do you wish you had known before beginning online learning, and what would you like to tell incoming students?

Share your thoughts at

More spaces to connect before the semester ends:

The final meeting of the Black Hair Quilt Project is on Thursday, May 14, 3-5pm. We will be talking about the short film The Big Chop and sharing hair stories and plans for the summer months.

Colleague, sisterfriend, and comrade Nadine Naber will be the featured guest on this week’s edition of The Breathing Room. Prof. Naber will lead a conversation about what a feminist foreign policy ought to look like in the context of a pandemic and beyond. You don’t want to miss this!

I know our readers are waiting to hear what we have to say about the changes to the Title IX federal guidelines about how educational institutions should respond to gender-based violence.

Don’t worry–we are preparing a special issue of the newsletter. If you are a survivor and want to share your thoughts on how the campus needs to move forward in enacting the new rules, or want to add to the conversation, email us:

In love and solidarity,

Natalie Bennett