New Feminist Solutions

Marking the newest direction in BCRW's more than thirty-five-year-old tradition of print publication, New Feminist Solutions is a series of reports geared toward informing and inspiring activists, policy-makers and others. Each report was written in collaboration with organizations and individuals who, like BCRW, have made a concerted effort to link feminist struggles to those of racial, economic, social and global justice. The reports are based on conversations and ideas emerging from conferences held at Barnard College, and are published in conjunction with websites featuring additional information from these events. Copies of the reports are free. They can be downloaded by clicking on the links below. Print copies can be requested by emailing

Volume 9
The Crisis of Criminalization: A Call for a Comprehensive Philanthropic Response

This report is an urgent call for a comprehensive philanthropic response to the growing crisis of criminalization. Over the past decade mass incarceration - the reality that over 2.2 million people are locked up in the nation’s prisons and jails, and 60% are people of color – has emerged as a central social justice issue of our time. This groundbreaking report calls for immediate, concerted, comprehensive, sustained, cross-sector, collaborative philanthropic response to the growing crisis of criminalization, and outlines strategies to more effectively tackle criminalization and mass incarceration, to stop the spread of surveillance and punishment, and to meet the challenges of the current political climate.

Volume 8
#FemFuture: Online Revolution

In the spring of 2012, Courtney Martin and Vanessa Valenti approached BCRW with a message: the new digital environment, so critical to online organizing and feminist community in the last decade, was in crisis. As feminist writers focused on online spaces, they were increasingly alarmed by the severity of burnout they saw among their fellow feminist bloggers and online activists. They wanted to make sure the landscape that had given them so much would still be around a generation later. Martin and Valenti had a compelling vision to make the landscape of feminist writers and activists online stronger; to create a sustainable force that would build on existing alliances among feminist movements and between online feminists and their institutional counterparts; and to develop an infrastructure of support for these important voices. In this report, Martin and Valenti build on a 2012 convening where 21 writers, activists, and educators who work in the online feminist landscape came together to discuss their needs, desires, and hopes for the online feminist future. Here they provide a cogent explanation of the power of online organizing, the risks and challenges of the current state of the field, and some possible solutions for creating a more sustainable system.

Volume 7
Desiring Change

Desiring Change represents the integration of joint efforts by the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) and Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ). Desiring Change offers a framework for thinking about how desire and gender are brought alive through the ways lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed people use their bodies; and how desire and gender are made poignant and meaningful by the ways we construct or deny our erotic passions and gendered identities in the course of daily life. This project looks at intersections between LGBTQ and progressive politics, asking how best to integrate sex and gender into organizing around issues like immigration, the economy and social services. Desiring Change is born of the fact that in the current political moment, particularly after the financial crisis of 2008, both BCRW and QEJ see an opportunity to bring fresh vision to questions that have long challenged organizations and movements, including questions about how to frame issues of key concern and how to develop effective models for making change. We also see a longing for new possibilities, a way forward in the face of increasing inequality, and a means of keeping our desires at the center of our politics.

Volume 6
Reproductive Justice in Action

Reproductive justice is an inclusive framework for thinking about reproductive freedoms, holistic well-being and comprehensive justice. Organizing for reproductive justice encompasses a multiplicity of issues; the individuals and networks working in this model are just as diverse in their missions, constituencies, and methods of action. Reproductive Justice in Action is the result of a collaboration between the Barnard Center for Research on Women, Groundswell's Catalyst Fund, the New York Women's Foundation and seventeen of their grantee partners doing reproductive justice work in New York City. Seeking to explore the ways in which these seventeen organizations think about their mission and work, we jointly embarked on a participatory action research project in order to better understand how the organizations relate to (or feel limited by) the model and language of reproductive justice.

Volume 5
Valuing Domestic Work

Domestic work—the daily maintenance of households and the labor of caring for children and other dependents—is crucial work. It enables workers to go out into the world, reproduces a new generation of workers and citizens, and sustains relationships among parents, children and families. And yet, it is devalued, degraded and made invisible. Its degradation and invisibility are produced through processes of gendering that naturalize domestic and caring labors as women's work, and racialization that naturalize low-wage, "dirty" jobs as the work of people of color and immigrants. As laborers doing devalued work, domestic workers receive neither adequate wages nor any of the other legal protections many US workers have—sick leave, time off, and collective bargaining. In New York and nationally, workers have organized for better wages, humane treatment and the right to legal protections that cover other US workers.

Volume 4
Towards a Vision of Sexual and Economic Justice

Sexual oppression and economic oppression are inextricably linked, but the movements and theoretical frameworks that address each of these issues so often treat them as discrete. Contemporary movements for global economic justice tend to shy away from sexuality issues, while campaigns for sexual rights rarely foreground economic concerns. In some spheres, however, the gap is beginning to close. BCRW highlights these potential intersections with its new project entitled Towards a Vision of Sexual and Economic Justice.

Volume 3
The Work-Family Dilemma: A Better Balance

Recognizing the need for a forum to discuss work-family issues that focused on issues across the economic spectrum, A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center and The Barnard Center for Research on Women, along with the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California at Hastings, and the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development, planned a summit bringing together leaders and experts (those who have studied these issues and those who advocate for better policies) and the actual stakeholders (labor, business and elected officials in New York City).

Volume 2
Women, Work, and the Academy: Strategies for Responding to ‘Post-Civil Rights Era’ Gender Discrimination

This report is based on the Virginia C. Gildersleeve Conference at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, with keynote speakers Nancy Hopkins, Claude Steele, and Virginia Valian. The participants in this conference have all made significant contributions to our understanding of the situation women currently face in academia, highlighting the effects of a diffuse set of barriers to women's participation: small-scale, often unintended differences in recognition, support and response that can generate large-scale differences in outcomes for women. This conference was organized so as to take stock of the extant research and interventions and to chart a course forward.

Volume 1
Responding to Violence, Rethinking Security: Policy Alternatives for Building Human Security

In the fall of 2002, the Center hosted Responding to Violence, a conference that brought together over twenty activists and academics whose work focused on developing alternatives to violence. In addition to a public lecture by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and a workshop with experts on responding to violence around the world, the conference generated a number of exciting projects, including the book Interventions co-edited by Elizabeth A. Castelli and Janet R. Jakobsen, Issue 2.2 of The Scholar & Feminist Online and the first report of the New Feminist Solutions series.