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Vintage WCC-related artwork. Credit: Simone Hudson

WCC History

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The history of our center can be traced back to the 1970s! Here you can learn more about the Women's Community Center history as well as access the WCC archive. 

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The history of the Women's Community Center can be traced to the 1970s when a group of Stanford women started holding regular meetings to discuss common challenges of being women students in a male-dominated academic setting. As this group grew, they named themselves the Women's Collective and advocated for meeting space at the Toyon eating clubs. As was happening on many college campuses across the nation, these women worked together to advocate for a more equitable educational experience for women students. Issues they addressed include sexual harassment, pay equity and discrimination in the classroom. 

In the 1980s, they appealed to the university for a half-time graduate student coordinator position to assist the group with providing programs and services to the greater campus community. They were successful in this appeal and, in 1991, the group was allocated space in the Old Fire Truck House, where it was re-named the Women’s Center. From that time the Women’s Center was run by undergraduate and graduate student volunteers who put on events and programs for the campus community. Through effective lobbying efforts, supported by students and constituents from the ethnic based cultural centers on campus, in 1999 the center received additional funding which allowed for the creation of a full-time director position as well as the addition of seven paid student staff members.

The Women’s Community Center (affectionately known as the WCC) has provided programs, services, and resources for students over the years and has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of students. The WCC now employs three full-time professional staff members in addition to three graduate student coordinators and anywhere from 10-15 undergraduate student program coordinators. The Women's Community Center is a university department within the Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership in the Division of Student Affairs. The original student organization, the Women’s Collective, has evolved over the years in its function and mission, and is now known as the Womxn’s Coalition. They are one of many women’s voluntary student organizations that the WCC supports.

White Checkered Crumpled Paper Background. Credit: tomograf / iStock + WCC logo in black

WCC Logo

The WCC’s logo reflects the inclusive and ever-evolving nature of our work, where community, growth, and impact are paramount. The use of the fern and fiddlehead is inspired by the concept of fractals in adrienne maree brown's Emergent Strategies (brown’s framework builds upon the important work of Octavia Butler, Angela Davis, Maya Angelou, Grace Lee Boggs and many more): that which happens at a small scale will also manifest in the large scale. It is an symbol that demonstrates how patterns of growth, change, and connection to our roots can be found in the natural world, and the nature of our work. The intentional work that happens at the WCC unfurls out and impacts the campus, and the world, around us.

Gradient background. Credit: angeluisma / iStock + WCC Logo and the word "Archives" overlaid

WCC Archives

The WCC Archives Project is dedicated to the narratives and chronologies of the ​Stanford Women's Community Center and all those who have contributed to the space and offerings over the years. The WCC Library/Literary Archive exists, both physically in the WCC and virtually on our site, to serve as a space that facilitates the intellectual growth and engagement and nurtures the literary journey of radical and transformative self-discovery, mindfulness, and social consciousness. The WCC believes in the power of honoring and uplifting the shared knowledge, lived experiences, and narratives of gender marginalized folks by facilitating communal sharing of knowledge and promoting literary and artistic expression.

Vintage WCC photo from the WCC Archives.