Author: Chidester, Autumn

WGSS 2020 Newsletter: Wild Tongue Journal

Good Morning Huskies!

One of our staff members, Mick Powell, has posted our 2020 Newsletter to Wild Tongue Journal! The journal, as quoted from their “About Us” page, “is a biannual publication curated by faculty and students in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Connecticut. In the spring, WT will publish the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program’s annual newsletter. In the fall, we will publish an arts journal of contemporary feminist poetry, prose, translations, visual art, and multimedia pieces that focus on, respond to, and/or engage with intersectional feminist themes. Accepting work created by artists across the world, Wild Tongue will be completely digitally published, making the journal widely accessible and affordable.”

Please find the journal here, at

Justice in June

For those who want to become active anti-racist allies, this list is full of dynamic readings (longer and shorter), podcasts, and various conversations particularly geared toward this goal at this moment. 

This resource was compiled by Autumn Gupta with Bryanna Wallace’s oversight for the purpose of providing a starting place for individuals trying to become better allies.

Choose how much time you have each day to become more informed as step one to becoming an active ally to the black community. On this document are links to the learning resources and a schedule of what to do each day. Click on the following to jump directly to that info:

  1. 10 minutes/day
  2. 25 minutes/day
  3. 45 minutes/day

Additional Resources:

Important Note: This should just be the beginning. Please do not stop learning after you complete this month. Each section (10/25/45 minutes) has somewhat different material and the links under “Additional Resources” also include new content, so go above and beyond to educate yourself.

Want to increase your impact? Find a friend, create a group, and share this content with others.

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**If you have additional resource recommendations or see any errors in the links listed, please send them to

Find this useful? Check out our Go Fund Me page to learn more on how we want to make this more accessible, more permanent and more of a lifestyle.

10 Minutes/Day

Over the course of the month, you will have spent 5 hours intentionally learning how to be an active ally of the black community. (That’s less than the amount of time it takes to watch all of Tiger King ~ 5.5 hours.) Remember, the black community lives the reality of the information you will learn- they have a lifetime of fearing for their well being versus 5 hours of you being uncomfortable. All the action items listed in the calendar have linked information below the weekly schedule (see sections Watch, Read, Listen, and Act).

Academics for Black Survival and Wellness

Hello UConn Community,

We are now in a moment to recognize the limitations of the diversity and inclusion paradigm, which has permitted the continuation of anti-black racism. We need to collectively strive to enhance the safety and wellness of Black students, staff, faculty, and community members. We ask that this college-wide call for colleagues to attend this training may serve as a reminder that Black lives matter here.

This is an opportunity to do more than express concern. This is a chance to act in solidarity for structural change through education.

Attached is an invitation by Academics for Black Survival and Wellness to join a week-long training geared towards college campuses beginning on June 19th, 2020.

Full Week Training Registration: 6/19-6/25


Individual Days

Day 1 Registration: 6/19

Day 2 Registration: 6/20

Day 3 Registration: 6/21

Day 4 Registration: 6/22

Day 5 Registration: 6/23

Day 6 Registration: 6/24

Day 7 Registration: 6/25

Statement from Centers, Institutes, and Programs on Racial Injustice and Ending White Supremacy

We, the faculty and staff of the interdisciplinary Centers, Institutes, and Programs, stand together to express our shock, our heartbreak, and our outrage at the horrific and senseless killing of George Floyd and the ongoing violence against Black people.

George Floyd, David McAtee, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Kathryn Johnston, Ayiana Stanley-Jones, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland. Too many to list and too many to forget.

Each of these names represents a human being, dehumanized, rendered invisible, a Black life cut short by brutality and wanton violence.

We cannot look away. We cannot remain indifferent. We cannot be silent.

We must expose and confront the deep, pervasive, systemic issues that continue to fuel one tragedy after another. We must work together to bring real change. As academic units and programs of the university founded on principles of social justice and human rights we reaffirm our commitment to educating the next generation of healers and freedom fighters. The vision of change, which this crisis on top of a catastrophic pandemic calls for, is a broad, systemic, and intergenerational strategy. We recognize that broad societal change cannot be legislated alone, but must be cultivated community by community, day by day. To that end, we reaffirm our commitment to creating communities of accountability; implementing actions that dismantle the status quo of white supremacy; and amplifying the voices and experiences of people of color.

As a first step, we encourage you to join us in programs that will bring communities into conversation including tonight’s AACC Town Hall Meeting, presented by The H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center:

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Racism in the African-American Community, Thursday, June 4, at 6 PM, (This event has already passed)

We also encourage you to read the public statement on anti-black violence from the Africana Studies Institute:

We stand together with communities of color across the country as they yet again are subject to pain and suffering at the hands of a racist and unjust system. We support our students, from the African American, Asian American, Puerto Rican and Latin American, Women’s and Rainbow Centers, and Native American Cultural Programs, and all who are struggling to demand recognition of their rights and transformation of the conditions in which they live. We are not silent. We are not indifferent. We are implicated and, therefore, responsible. We will not stand idly by while the blood of our community members cries from the ground.

“Justice is not a natural part of the lifecycle of the United States, nor is it a product of evolution; it is always the outcome of struggle.”

― Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation

You are not alone. We are with you.

In solidarity,

African American Cultural Center

Africana Studies Institute

American Studies Program

Asian American Cultural Center

Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

El Instituto (Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies)

Human Rights Institute

Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center

Rainbow Center

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Women’s Center

Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

WGSS 1105 Warscapes Corona Notebook

Hello UConn!

Director Sherry Zane got her WGSS 1105 class featured on the Warscapes website, as a part of their Corona Notebook series. The article features a description of the class, as well as an extra credit assignment that her students did in a video compilation. Embedded below is the video mentioned, and the link to the article will be here:

2020 SLA Outstanding Graduate/Teaching Award

Hello UCONN Community!


We in WGSS would like to congratulate Ruth Yuste-Alonso, one of our Graduate Assistants, in receiving the 2020 SLA Outstanding Graduate/Teaching Award! As written on the SLA Website:

“Ruth studies Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, and teaches in the Women’s, Gender and Sexualities program (WGSS). She strives to implement the best teaching practices to generate student success and maximize learning outcomes for her students. Ruth goes out of her way to find diverse and representative teaching materials. She makes it a priority to learn about her students and takes the initiative to find activities and opportunities related to their passions. Ruth demonstrates a complete dedication to excellence in her teaching and a total commitment to the needs of her students.”


Again, we congratulate Ruth in her excellent work, and you can read about the other rewards here:

100 Years of Women Scholarship Award

Hello UCONN!Portrait of Shamayeta Bhattacharya

We in the WGSS Program would love to congratulate Shamayeta Bhattacharya, a graduate student assistant in our program, as well as the Department of Geography, in her achievements of receiving the 100 Years of Women Scholarship Award! The 100 Years of Women Scholarship fund was established in 1992 to honor a current UConn student or high school senior planning to enroll at UConn who, as a role model and advocate, has advanced the status and contributions of women in society. Among the applications received this year, Shamayeta was selected for this award in recognition of her outstanding academic achievements, dedicated service, and significant contributions to the advancement of women in society. Below you will see an excerpt of her work and research:

“In India Hijra, Kothi and Transgenders (HKT) individuals are historically deprived of their basic rights, self-dignity, bodily autonomy, and healthcare, leading to an enormous proportion of unmet healthcare needs. My research focus on healthcare accessibility, mental and physical health, and the impact of the transgender community’s activity space on their health. My research broadly focuses on the health condition of the HKT community of the global south. I use participatory mapping, GIS and statistical analysis as my primary research tools.” She wrote to us, “My research is a form of scholarly activism voicing the unmet healthcare need of the HKT community. In the future, I want to incorporate my research to advocate for policy change to improve trans-health globally.”

Again, congratulations to Shamayeta Bhattacharya for her achievements!


Read about the award mentioned here:

A Letter to the UCONN Community

From: Asian American Cultural Center, African American Cultural Center, Rainbow Center, Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center, Women’s Center, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, El Instituto, Africana Studies Institute, Human Rights Institute, Dodd Center, Center for Judaic Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, American Studies Program, International Student & Scholar Services, and Office for Diversity and Inclusion

As the concerns about the COVID-19 virus rapidly increase on a daily basis, we want to acknowledge how this pandemic is impacting members of our community differently.
● There has been a rise of incidents of anti-Asian racism in our local community, our state, our nation and worldwide. Asian and Asian Americans have been subjected to verbal and physical attacks, cyberbullying, discrimination against their businesses, and xenophobic portrayals. We would like to firmly state that such acts of hate will not be tolerated in our community. Such acts only further perpetuate the cycle of violence and fuel white supremacy. We encourage those who have experienced bias of any kind to report the incidents at
● Going home is not safe for everyone. For some family, partners, and/or guardians may be abusive. For support around gender-based violence, please visit the Title IX website at
● Going home is not an option for everyone. Many of our International students are facing travel restrictions that preclude them from leaving and/or returning to the US. We encourage you to participate in the University’s Town Hall on April 14th to share your concerns and suggestions.
● We would like to acknowledge that many folx may be isolated from supportive networks during this time of physical distancing. For many LGBTQIA+ students, returning home may have required concealing one’s true identity in order to survive in a space with family members/others who are not affirming/safe. Connecting to positive resources, people, organizations, and leaders at this time can be helpful. Visit the Cultural Centers’ websites to learn about the different opportunities for support available to you.
● As the concerns about the COVID-19 virus keeps rapidly changing, more and more anti-immigrant sentiment keeps also growing. Unfortunately, a political narrative of a “foreign threat” has accompanied information about the spread of the virus. This anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic speech is wrong and dangerous. The political environment of the pandemic has given rise to hateful conspiracy theories and disinformation meant to scapegoat Asians and Jews, along with Israel and China internationally. We stand in solidarity with our international students, our Asian American students, our undocumented and DACAmented students. In particular, we acknowledge our undocumented and DACAmented students who continue to face the threat of deportation while negotiating the constraints of the pandemic. As if these conditions were not difficult enough, the Supreme Court is poised to rule on the DACA case in the upcoming months, putting additional strain on our DACAmented friends, peers, and family members. Additionally reports can be made to the following websites:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council – Stop AAPI Hate
Southern Law Poverty Center Reporting

Students have shared with us how vulnerable and targeted they are feeling. We are aware that many of our students are facing unemployment, limited access to health care, and other hardships. We also understand that these experiences, coupled with isolation, may manifest in mental health related concerns as well. We would like you all to know that you do not need to navigate these difficult times alone and that we will stand and work with you to get through this together. If you find yourself feeling disconnected or not supported in your current living arrangements,
please reach out to us. You all are citizens of UConn Nation, and in this nation, we do not discriminate, we do not use a narrative of hate, we are citizens that stand in solidarity with one another. Now is the time for us to be safe, be compassionate and empathetic towards each other, particularly those who have been affected by the COVID-19 virus and be engaged citizens. We would like to remind each and every individual that they are valued and needed in this world. The Cultural Centers staff are available to discuss any COVID-19 concerns you may have.
Asian American Cultural Center Website
African American Cultural Center Website
Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center Website
Rainbow Center Website
Women’s Center Website
On-campus resources and updated information about the COVID-19 virus, can be found

(WILL BE UPDATED) Events Cancelled March 13, 2020 Through April 6, 2020

Hello WGSS Students, Staff, and Faculty,

Due to the University of Connecticut’s precautions towards preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we have been informed that the following events on our calendar have been cancelled:

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020Roxane Gay: With One N




To see events from other programs/departments that have been cancelled, please go to the UCONN Event Calendar page.