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Facts: Alene Moris Women's Center

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The University of Washington Alene Moris Women’s Center serves women and men through educational programs, individualized services, skills training, research, and community outreach. We strive to inspire individuals, especially women and girls, to become lifelong learners and leaders, and to realize their own personal and educational goals.

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The vision of the Alene Moris Women’s Center is to be a vital place where women and men collaborate to build a culture of gender equity campus-wide, locally, and globally.


The Moris Women’s Center is a catalyst for change. We disrupt cycles of oppression and break down gender-based barriers through transformational education programs, leadership development, and advocacy for girls and womxn. We believe womxn's rights are human rights.

About Cunningham Hall

Cunningham Hall, circa 1909, was the first building built for the women of Washington state, and served as a suffragists meeting place. Today, the building is home to the Moris Women’s Center, which serves campus and community members through our educational programs and services.


Gender Equity & Violence Prevention

The Moris Women’s Center is committed to providing campus and community members all forms of violence prevention educational programs, workshops, and events. The activities encourage individuals to become knowledgeable and active in efforts to address gender bias culture and reduce violence against women. We encourage positive masculinity. The Center regularly collaborates with various campus units and community organizations to provide a broad scope of services, referrals, and programs. Cunningham Hall serves as a safe space for all.


Human Trafficking Research and Policy Development

Since the mid-1990s, the Moris Women’s Center has been at the forefront of the anti-human trafficking movement. The Center critically advanced the cause by hosting the state’s first anti-human trafficking conference in 2001, also convening the first state anti-human trafficking task force. The Center partnered with Representative Velma Veloria in establishing a Washington state law criminalizing human trafficking, the first state to do so in the United States.

Center executive director Sutapa Basu and her colleagues continue to examine the causes of the human trafficking industry and to analyze possible strategies to prevent the trade in human beings. The Center actively advises on state and local policy, conducts research on the consequences of forced labor, develops corporate and civic responsibility guidelines, and hosts conferences and forums to increase public awareness.


Information, Referral Services, and Support Groups

Since the 1970s, the Moris Women’s Center has served as a resource for students and community members from all walks of life. As a result, we have built strong relationships with the campus and community services. The Center provides information, resources, and referrals for women and men on a number of issues including health and human services, violence prevention, counseling, financial aid, scholarships, diversity issues, gender equity, culture and diversity, and more.


Making Connections

While serving all high school students, the mission of Making Connections (MC) is to especially help girls from limited-income and first generation families in the greater Seattle area attend college and pursue a career in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. We provide four years of life-changing academic and enrichment services to students and their families. Our comprehensive college readiness program combines career exploration, academic tutoring, professional mentorship, and leadership development, with a lifelong network of MC alumni and supporters. Through activities such as site visits to local companies and participation in STEM conferences, MC allows students to explore career options and gain hands-on experience in multiple fields.

Making Connections also fosters students’ personal development through programs including an annual Leadership Retreat. The retreat encourages students to grow their leadership skills and build interpersonal connections with one another. By providing individualized academic and enrichment services, the Center helps all MC participants graduate from high school and pursue higher education.

In addition to its academic year programming, Making Connections also hosts a pipeline Summer Bridge Program for incoming high school students. The program introduces students to STEM careers and encourages them to plan their high school studies with college in mind.

Making Connections Participants*

  • 100% graduated high school on time
  • 98% students of color
  • 79% qualify for free/reduced-price lunch
  • 79% first generation to attend college

*Five-year average


Alene Moris National Education for Women's Leadership

The Alene Moris National Education for Women (NEW) Leadership program offers college students the skill set to participate effectively in politics and public policy as well as training to become successful leaders. Each year, a cohort of undergraduate and graduate students gather for an intensive six-day institute that offers training and opportunities to connect with prominent leaders in Washington state to develop a supportive network. NEW Leadership participants receive training in the following core areas:

  • Public speaking
  • Identifying Communication Styles
  • Diversity and Cultural Inclusion
  • Community Organizing, Politics, & Policymaking
  • Building a network


Returning Student Program

The Returning Student program is a free service available to individuals considering returning to college after a significant time away. Many participants have been through life-changing experiences and are in search of a career change that requires them to seek additional educational training. The program provides advising, support, and referral services during the application process. Once accepted, the Center offers college transition support to help returning students acclimate to university life. Students also receive access to study skills workshops, support groups, and other UW resources such as child care referrals.



Alene Moris Women's Center
Box 353070
Cunningham Hall
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 685-1090


Fact sheet last updated: February 2021