Center for Women & Gender Equity Signature Programs

take back the night 2016 crowd sitting with candles lit

Take Back the Night 2016

Take Back the Night (Fall)

Take Back the Night is an annual event, held in October, which brings awareness to gender-based violence. The event includes a march against gender-based violence and a candlelight vigil to honor survivors and those we have lost to violence.








women's leadership academy 2015

WLA 2016 Cohort

Women's Leadership Academy (Fall)

The Women's Leadership Academy (WLA), held in collaboration with the Dean of Student office, is an annual program based in principles of feminist leadership. The training takes place off-campus each fall semester over two days. Participants of WLA hear from empowering female leaders on our campus and in our community, identify their individual values that motivate them to make social change, collectively engage in formulating solutions to challenges presented, analyze American societal norms that have limited women's participation in leadership roles throughout the course of history, and enhance self-care techniques as a tool to further their growth in leadership.   


start smart aauw logo

Start Smart- Campus Women Win! (Spring)

Start Smart workshops are specifically designed for college students about to enter the job market. According to AAUW’s research, women one year out of college are paid only 82 percent of what their male counterparts receive. By using the skills taught in this workshop, you are prepared to

  • Negotiate your starting salary and narrow the gap early,

  • Improve your lifelong earning potential,

  • Articulate your value,

  • Build confidence in your negotiation style,


  • Sharpen your budgeting skills.



rainbow icing cupcakes

Lavender Graduation 2018

Lavender Graduation (Spring)

Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the University. The Lavender Graduation Ceremony was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish Lesbian, who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her sexual orientation. It was through this experience that she came to understand the pain felt by her students. Encouraged by the Dean of Students at the University of Michigan, Dr. Sanlo designed the first Lavender Graduation Ceremony in 1995. The first Lavender Graduation began at the University of Michigan in 1995, with three graduates. By 2001, there were over 45 Lavender Graduation Ceremonies at Colleges and Universities nationwide. Graduating students, including undergraduates and graduates, are invited to take part in the celebration.