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Facts: Women's Center

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The University of Washington Women’s Center serves women and men through educational programs, individualized services, skills training, research, and community outreach. We strive to inspire 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 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 UW 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 was the first building built for the women of Washington State in 1909. During its inception, the Women’s Center served for many years as a meeting place for the suffragists who fought for Women’s right to vote in our state. Today, the Women’s Center continues to serve thousands of campus and community members through our programs and services.


Gender Equity & Violence Prevention

The Women’s Center promotes a safe environment by offering campus and community members educational programs, workshops, and events that address gender-bias culture. The activities encourage individuals to become knowledgeable and active in efforts to reduce violence against women and all forms of discrimination, including sexism in everyday life. We encourage positive masculinity. To ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community, we regularly collaborate with various campus and community organizations to provide a broad scope of services and programs.


Human Trafficking Research and Policy Development

Since the mid-1990s, the Women’s Center has been at the forefront of the anti-human trafficking movement. The Women’s Center is a founding mother of critical advancements including the first anti-human trafficking conference in the state and the first state-wide law criminalizing human trafficking.

The Women’s Center continues to advise state and local policy development, research the contexts and consequences of forced labor and host conferences and forums to increase public awareness.


Information, Referral Services, and Support Groups

Since the 1970s, the 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 University’s campus and community services. The Women’s 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, gender equity, culture and diversity, and more.


Lifelong Learning

We believe every student, regardless of their financial background, deserves an equal opportunity when entering  undergraduate and/or graduate programs. For this reason, the Women’s Center offers year round, low-cost SAT and GRE prep courses to help ensure optimal performance. These courses are aimed at increasing accessibility to post-secondary education for low-income populations.


Making Connections

The mission of Making Connections (MC) is to help high school girls from low-income, first generation families in the greater Seattle area attend college and pursue a career in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.  Comprehensive services — from tutoring and mentoring to college tours and assistance with college and financial aid applications — enrich and support students throughout their four years of high school. 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 the 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 Women’s Center helps all MC participants, no matter their background or unique circumstances, graduate from high school and pursue higher education.

In addition to its academic year programming, Making Connections also provides a Summer Bridge Program in July for incoming high school students. The program introduces 8th grade students to MC and gives them the opportunity to explore future career and college possibilities.

Making Connections Participants*

  • 100% Graduated high school on time
  • 98% Students of color
  • 83% Qualify for free/reduced-price lunch
  • 74% 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 Institute, a partner of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, offers college students skills to participate effectively in politics and public policy and the network and training to become leaders within the public and private sectors. An intensive six-day program, the Alene Moris NEW Leadership Institute offers training and opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to connect with prominent women leaders in Washington State to develop a strong and supportive network.

NEW Leadership participants receive training in the following core areas:

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

In addition to training in core areas, the women in NEW Leadership meet representatives from state and local government as well as local leaders engaged in public service through non-profit organizations and foundations.


Re-Entry Program for Returning Students

The Re-Entry program is a free service available to individuals considering returning to school 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 educational training in a new field. The program provides support and counseling during the application process and offers assistance for students in their academic pursuits after their acceptance. Additional programming includes an annual day-long orientation helping returning students acclimate to university life. Guest speakers include former Re-Entry students and representatives from many UW programs.



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


Fact sheet last updated: April 2019