Women Invigorating Curriculum & Cultivating Diversity (WICCD) honors the diversity that exists in Maine while also educating our campus and larger community about local, national, and international issues, initiatives, and ideas related to “diversity”. Because women have been historically underrepresented in social, cultural, political, institutional, and economic spheres, WICCD centers women, gender, and sexuality while working to challenges injustices and inequalities of all kinds.
We recognize that diversity is about all of us working toward equality, justice, inclusion, and respect for all races, genders, classes, sexualities, ethnicities, and abilities. WICCD works to support these values through events—panels, performances, lectures, workshops, campaigns, trainings, and initiatives—that enhance our curriculum and create a welcoming atmosphere for all of our diverse community members.
What is WICCD?
WICCD is a committee at UMA composed of faculty and staff who work toward gender equality and social justice. In addition to providing funding for events and initiatives related to our mission, WICCD works to provide programming that raises awareness and provides opportunities for education and engagement.
We also seek to provide resources and insights related to contemporary issues related to gender, sexuality, and diversity. Members of WICCD actively engage in and support the work of Rainbows Across UMA. Learn more about Rainbows Across UMA here!
Professor of Transdisciplinary Cultural Studies
VAWLT (Virtual, Accessibility, Writing, Library, and Technology) Tutor Coordinator
Assistant Professor of History
WICCD Mini-Grants for Spring 2023
How can we help you in your “WICCD” work? We have four grants of up to $250 each to award to UMA students, staff, and faculty projects this spring. Do you need books or accessible materials for your research or to teach a class? An event or project that could use a helping hand? Please complete this one page application by March 1, 2023 to apply for funds. We need to know what you are asking for and how it relates to Women Invigorating Curriculum and Cultivating Diversity (WICCD) Goals. This work is inclusive of all women, genders, and sexualities.
Are you WICCD? WICCD (Women Invigorating Curriculum and Cultivating Diversity) honors the diversity that exists in Maine by educating our campus and larger community about local, national, and international issues, initiatives, and ideas related to diversity. Because women have been historically underrepresented in social, cultural, political, institutional, and economic spheres, WICCD centers women, gender, and sexuality while working to challenge injustices and inequalities of all kinds. Led by faculty and staff who work toward gender equality and social justice, the WICCD committee provides opportunities for education and engagement to raise awareness around these important intersectional social challenges.
Alicia Bessey Rainbows Space
The loss of Alicia Bessey in December 2020 rocked a community already struggling with the complications of a pandemic and political unrest. In the midst of a snow storm, we gathered by Zoom to grieve and to honor our memories of Alicia with a memorial service. We painted rainbows on rocks and placed them in the UMA Bangor Garden where Alicia worked hard to grow food for the community. We collected memorial notes to permanently display on the Bangor campus.
To further honor Alicia’s impact on UMA, we hope to establish a UMA scholarship in Alicia’s name; donate funds in her honor to organizations like The Bangor Humane Society, Mabel Wadsworth, and the Health Equity Alliance; commission a mural for her on the UMA-Bangor campus; and rededicate the Rainbows Space Alicia established in her name.
Here are some ways that you can honor Alicia as well:
- Paint rainbows (and other shiny things) on rocks to be placed in the UMA-Bangor Community Garden. Alicia contributed countless hours to working in the garden and we know her spirit will continue to live there with us. Feel free to visit this space and to leave a rock in her memory.
- Send memorial notes, art, etc. to be displayed on the UMA-Bangor campus. We will have a temporary memorial space on campus, which will be made more permanent. Please send contributions to this display to Alissa Gervais at Eastport Hall, Room 126, 128 Texas Avenue Bangor, ME 04401.
Transgender Day of Remembrance Flags
In honor of Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR) 2020, WICCD and Rainbows Across UMA presented the Bangor and Augusta campuses with Pride flags to be flown annually for one week. We stand against violence inflicted upon transgender people and offer support and solidarity to BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities commemorating their losses.
We chose the “Progress Pride” flag, designed by Daniel Quaser, to honor the history of the original Pride rainbow flag, and also update it to emphasize the needs and experiences of brown, black, and transgender queer people who are often disproportionately impacted by violence in this struggle.
Endorsed by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council at UMA, we hope to increase the visibility of queer issues at UMA with these flags, and we charge our colleagues to take action as diversity agents in higher education. We also invite you to visit the UMA Rainbows Facebook page for more information, collaboration, and support.
Learn more about TDOR from GLAAD and PFLAG. For more information about ways to support local Maine initiatives to support transgender Mainers, please visit MaineTrans website.
What is WICCD?
WICCD is a committee at UMA composed of faculty and staff who work toward gender equality and social justice. In addition to providing funding for events and initiatives related to our mission, WICCD works to provide programming that raises awareness and provides opportunities for education and engagement. We also seek to provide resources and insights related to contemporary issues related to gender, sexuality, and diversity.
What are Rainbows Across UMA?
We are very proud to support the UMA LGBTQIA+ student, faculty, and staff group – Rainbows Across UMA. This group, originally a student group co-founded by UMA-Bangor students Alicia Bessey and Jennifer Stano in 2015, seeks to provide a safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community and all allies. This group meets the first Monday of each month during the academic year for community building and discussion of issues of relevance to LGBTQIA+ folks.
For more information about UMS resources for queer students, please visit the University of Maine Rainbow Resource Room page.
What does WICCD do?
In the past decade at UMA, WICCD has brought a number of guest speakers and workshops to UMA including: The Breakbeat Poets, Be Steady (a queer performance artist), the Identify project (by UMA graduate and local artist Jodi Renshaw), Rachel Hills (author of The Sex Myth), and more. We also have provided and hosted Bangor Pride events on the campus including a panel discussion about healthcare, yoga classes, and a drag show. In 2019 we started a $1000 book grant program to support learning and research on gender issues for UMA students, faculty, and staff. We also presented the Bangor and Augusta campuses with progress pride flags to be flown annually for a week beginning on Transgender Day of Remembrance.
How long has WICCD been around?
Women in Curriculum (WIC) has existed as a committee and initiative in the UMaine System for more than 30 years. On the Bangor campus, under the leadership of Sarah Hentges, we revised WIC’s name to WICCD, invited the Augusta campus to participate, and expanded our mission to include student representation and more focus on social justice and diversity issues, in addition to our focus on women and gender.
We have created and administered the Safe Zone program, initiated the creation of all gender bathrooms on campus, and established a WICCD Resource Center in Belfast hall on the UMA-Bangor campus. Regular events include: The Clothesline Project, Women’s Voices Read-a-Thon, and Soup & Substance. We also have regularly featured students’ work in our events.
Are you gender inclusive?
Yes! We loudly and proudly include and support transwomen and non-binary people in our understanding of the term “women”. We reject exclusionary feminism of all kinds, and instead embrace intersectional analysis of complex and interlocking inequalities.
I am not a woman; can I be WICCD too?
Of course! While there are fundamental reasons why WICCD focuses on women, this focus does not mean that men are not welcome. In fact, educating men about sexism and partnering with allies across categories of identification is part of the work that WICCD does.
How do I participate?
We meet monthly via Zoom to discuss WICCD related issues at UMA and to plan events. Please email one of the co-chairs for more information and to be invited to our next meeting. All are welcome!