$2 Million Gift Will Help Suffolk Launch Our Bodies Ourselves Today
Suffolk University today announced the receipt of an anonymous $2 million gift to endow its Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights, which will enable the center to carry on the mission of the pathbreaking book, Our Bodies, Ourselves, through a reinvigorated Our Bodies Ourselves Today online platform providing trustworthy information and resources on health and sexuality.
The Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights, founded in 2003 under the leadership of Suffolk University Sociology Professor Amy Agigian, is the first academic initiative in the United States to focus on women’s health as a human rights imperative.
“We are overjoyed by the opportunities this gift provides to grow our work for health and human rights, and to continue the life-altering legacy of Our Bodies, Ourselves, all with a greater sense of security,” Agigian said.
Our Bodies, Ourselves was a touchstone for many in the second-wave women’s movement, and was in continuous publication from 1970 to 2011, with new editions issued every four to seven years. It has sold millions of copies and won numerous awards, and has been a treasured gift to friends, lovers, daughters, and granddaughters, and a trustworthy guide to health, relationships, and sexuality for countless women over five decades. It has been translated and adapted into 33 different languages.
Many women were heartbroken by the 2018 announcement that no newly revised editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves would be issued. That same year, however, Suffolk University’s Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights entered into an agreement to create an online platform to offer the trusted, evidence-based, and feminist information that Our Bodies, Ourselves provided for so many years.
The gift will help the center launch this new online platform featuring articles, videos, podcasts, first-person stories, and more, all curated and vetted by specialized content experts.
Our Bodies Ourselves Today will present critical topics including childbirth, heart health, menstrual health, abortion, sexuality, gender-based violence, and mental health in a way that is factual, accessible, and intersectional.
“All women, girls, and gender-expansive people deserve the most accurate, reliable information available when it comes to health and sexuality,” said Agigian. “Working with scores of diverse content experts, Our Bodies Ourselves Today aims to become the premier online source that is trusted to provide the information and resources we need. This gift will help us to continue the legacy of providing information about these issues so critical to our freedom.”
“This transformative gift will help the center continue to advance its important mission for this and future generations,” said Suffolk University President Marisa Kelly. “We are grateful to the donor for making this extraordinary investment in our College of Arts & Sciences to support the health and human rights of people everywhere.”
About Suffolk’s Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights
The Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights strives to advance the health and humans rights of women and girls everywhere through advocacy, education, research, and leadership. The center’s interdisciplinary approach embraces public policy, social science, the humanities, and the arts. Dedicated to research, teaching, networking, and advocacy, the center collaborates with other academic and community organizations working on these goals, brings together the community of scholars and activists already working in these areas, and provides expertise to a range of institutions developing the link between health and human rights.
About ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves'
A small group of women fomented a revolution in women’s health in 1969 when they began researching and discussing taboo sexuality and health-related experiences, eventually publishing a booklet, and then a book, that offered frank information demystifying many aspects of women’s health and encouraged women to be more assertive in confronting the sexism, racism, and other forms of bias experienced during medical encounters. The book, Our Bodies, Ourselves, and related publications have been published in more than 30 languages. In 2018, the board and staff of Our Bodies Ourselves announced they would suspend plans to produce any new print publications as it transitioned to a primarily volunteer-driven organization. That organization partnered with Suffolk University’s Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights to create an online platform to offer the trustworthy, evidence-based, and feminist resources that the Our Bodies, Ourselves text provided for so many years.
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