2020 2020: Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality celebrates 50th anniversary
Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality celebrates 50th anniversary

March 18th event is postponed until further notice

Faye Wattleton

*This event is postponed until further notice. Currently registered guests will be contacted shortly.

The Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality at UMass Dartmouth will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year as the second-oldest women’s collegiate center in the country with a dinner on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:00 p.m. in Woodland Commons. Faye Wattleton, activist and former Planned Parenthood president and CEO, will deliver the keynote address on “Preserving the Legacy of Women’s Health and Liberty.” Tickets are $100 per person or $750 for a table of eight and are available at alumni2.umassd.edu/cwgs50. Special student pricing is also available.

Faye Wattleton’s distinguished career spans more than four decades, amassing an extraordinary track record of national and international leadership and advocacy for women's sexual and reproductive rights and health. She was the youngest and longest-tenured president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s oldest and largest reproductive services provider, and its first woman and first African American, after the organization's founder, Margaret Sanger. Currently, Wattleton serves on boards of directors of public and private corporations, academic institutions, and high-impact philanthropic organizations.

“Our 50th anniversary is a celebration of our roots as a radical referral center at a time when access to even birth control was limited to only married women,” said Juli Parker, Ph.D., director of the Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality and assistant dean of students. “We are excited to welcome Faye Wattleton, who has played such a critical role in advancing women’s and reproductive rights and shares our mission for social change.”

The Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality was founded in 1970 as the Women’s Referral Center, offering contraceptive and abortion rights advocacy and education before the 1973 decision of Roe vs. Wade. Inspired by its strong activist roots, the Women’s Referral Center expanded its mission and services over the next five decades to provide progressive inclusive services and resources to students. It was later renamed the Women’s Center; then in 1996, the Women’s Resource Center, and in 2011, the Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality.

Today, the Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality is a voice for women and the LGBTQIA+ community, with the purpose of eliminating barriers, diminishing prejudices, and creating a supportive climate and space for all. Its mission is to offer resources and support on LGBTQIA+ and women’s issues. In addition, the Center coordinates campus initiatives to prevent sexual assault and intimate partner violence. 

Proceeds from the event will support the Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality at UMassD and its annual high school LGBTQ Youth Symposium. Individual tickets and tables are available. To purchase, please visit alumni2.umassd.edu/cwgs50. If you have questions about the event, please contact Mitch Berube at 508.910.6567 or mberube@umassd.edu.