female students walking into 41 park row

Program Requirements and Benefits (2022-2023)

There are two required first-year courses:

  • COM 200 Public Speaking (Fall 2022)
  • WS 297X Gender and Human Rights (Spring 2023)

Students accepted into WLI will also be invited to enroll in an optional summer course prior to the start of their first year:

  • WS 180: Nonprofit Skills for Social Justice (Late Summer II 2022)

Course Descriptions

  • This course explores the practices, strategies, and tactics in which nonprofit organizations and social movements engage to create and sustain social justice efforts in varied, diverse communities. Students will study the function of nonprofit governance, philanthropy and fundraising, marketing and the role of social media messaging, strategic planning and volunteer recruitment in the practice and professionalization of social justice efforts. Based on critical feminist studies of nonprofits, students will consider how socio-cultural, economic, and political structures of power intersect with notions of ‘doing good’ in public life. Topics will include: nonprofit industrial complex; institutional racism and nonprofits; the white savior complex in fundraising and philanthropy; BIPOC organizations and leadership; feminist politics in the nonprofit world; decolonizing wealth; gender and global development; representational politics and voice; forms of organized resistance; and building transformative visions of justice, among others. This class counts for the Nonprofit Studies undergraduate minor and will prepare students for advanced courses in PJS, WGS, and other disciplines including graduate work in the Public Administration program. All references to pre-professional skills are approached from feminist, anti-racist, and decolonial perspectives, and will not include nonprofit management.

  • The course is devoted to instruction in the mechanics of writing and presenting one's own material. This will include such things as the following: outlining, addressing varied audiences, styles, and appropriate techniques of delivery, as well as the use of technology to enhance one's presentation. It is a pragmatic, skills-oriented course designed to provide a context for practicing the construction and presentation of well-reasoned public messages.

    Note: This special section of COM 200, a foundation course usually completed in students’ second year, will equip students with critical leadership skills while focusing on women’s voices and highlighting speeches of famous women leaders throughout history.

  • This course requires students to attend meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in NYC for two-full weeks in March. It provides an introduction to the evolution of women's rights and gender equality in the international human rights system, coupled with a 10-day intensive learning experience at the UN CSW. Students gain a foundational understanding of human rights and gender equality mechanisms designed to address systemic inequalities across gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, nationality, age, religion, and disability status. Throughout the semester, we investigate the shifting terrain of human rights thinking and practice, giving particular attention to how critical gender analyses and transnational feminist activism has shaped and continues to influence human rights. Students will receive UN delegate passes and be required to participate fully in the CSW session.

Beyond the skills gained through the WLI curriculum, accepted students will also have access to the following:

  • Academic Mentorship: Opportunities for intellectual growth, leadership training and experiences, and support from faculty invested in your success.
  • Leadership Opportunities: Access to events that will help hone important skills that will assist in building confidence and communicating effectively.
  • Community Service and Community Building: Opportunities to connect with other students with similar interests and passions and to help and serve others.
  • Wellness: Special events designed to support emotional well-being, reduce stress levels, and encourage an enjoyable college experience.