Mission and History

The Women’s Center is a resource center and safe space for the students, staff, faculty, and administration of the College at Old Westbury.  It has three main goals:

  • To educate and empower women and men about issues of gender and sexuality, health and well-being, and achievement;
  • ​To raise awareness of and to reduce gender and sexual discrimination and violence;
  • To champion diversity, to advocate for equity, to build community, and to promote social justice.

Some History

The College at Old Westbury is the first home of the Feminist Press, and it pioneered some of the first courses in Women’s Studies in the early 1970s.  Early faculty include political commentator and author Barbara Ehrenreich, (all co-authored with Deirdre English,) Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers (1972); Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness (1973); and For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts' Advice to Women  (1978); feminist scholar Roberta Salper, author of the early feminist anthology, Female Liberation: History and Current Politics (1972); and feminist activist Rosalyn Baxandall, who authored, Words of Fire: The Life and Writing of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1987), and with Linda Gordon,   Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women’s Liberation Movement (2001).  

In 2006 directors of the Center, Amanda Frisken (acting) and Carolyn Cocca were principal investigators in a multi-year Department of Justice Violence Against Women Act grant to address campus-based violence against college students that re-invigorated the Old Westbury Women’s Center.