Sharing updates, celebrating successes

Brown Women's Network: Learning, Connecting, Belonging

Fall 2020 Newsletter

In this issue:

Podcast with Kristin Richardson Jordan ’09 | Virtual discussion series | Alumnae making a difference | Student spotlight | Young alumni corner | Recent & upcoming events | Great escapes: Self-care resources

Women’s Voices Amplified podcast with civic leader Kristin Richardson Jordan ’09

Women's Voices Amplified. Kristin Richardson Jordan '09. New York City Council Candidate, Teacher, Poet. On civic engagement, activism, and leading with radical love.

16-minute listen available now on  Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Youtube, Apple Podcasts, or Amazon.

“Community care is at the base of everything. Radical community love and service is at the base of everything,” says self-proclaimed radicalist Kristin Richardson Jordan ’09. In the latest episode of the Women’s Voices Amplified podcast, Almaz S. Dessie ’07 MD’11 F’17 sits down with Jordan to discuss her recent run for New York City Council, the late-night conversations at Brown that helped shape her worldview, and what we can all do to affect change locally.

Jordan’s interest in activism first took root as a student in Brown’s Africana Studies program and as a member, and later counselor, of the Third World Transition Program. In addition to her role as civic leader, Jordan is also a published poet, teaching artist, author, and community-centric third-generation Harlemite. Her independent publishing company, Pens Up Press, caters to literary activists, particularly Black and Latinx activists.

Inspiring alumnae in a range of fields are interviewed for the Women’s Voices Amplified podcast series from the Brown Women’s Network. The views expressed in this podcast do not necessarily represent those of the University.

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Student working at laptop

Virtual discussions tackle today’s top issues

As the Brown community is adjusting to a new normal behind masks and screens, we’re also tackling the persistent wounds of anti-Black and systemic racism, navigating climate and economic crises, and trying to make time for self-care all during a polarizing election year. Here are a few recent podcasts and webinars led by Brown faculty to help you make sense of it all:

Politics and Policy:

In this historic election year, the Watson Institute’s Trending Globally: Politics and Policy podcast dissects the political factors that affect various societal issues.
The 30,000 Leagues podcast from The Policy Lab brings together experts from government, universities, and community organizations to promote evidence-based policy making in RI.

Anti-Black Racism and Social Justice:

In the kickoff episode of the Women’s Voices Amplified podcast (formerly Brown Blasts), Tricia Rose, Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, discusses race, privilege, and the movement towards equality.
The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice’s “This Is America” series explores how various forms of structural violence are rooted in anti-Black racism.
Brown scholars shed light on the enduring effects of racism in America in the monthly “Race &” panel discussion series hosted by the Office of the Provost and Brown’s Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America.

COVID-19 and Public Health:

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the School of Public Health, and his guests explore various perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic on the Conversations with... series.
In a collaboration between the Warren Alpert Medical School and the School of Public Health, a new “Decoding Disparities” virtual event series examines health inequity and outlines steps toward a more equitable and just health care system.

Brown women making a difference

Hats off to these remarkable alumnae! The Brown Women’s Network salutes the following women for working to address the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling social justice and political issues, and having thoughtful conversations during a challenging time.

Megan Ranney MPH'10 RES'08

At the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic

Megan Ranney MPH’10 RES’08, associate professor of emergency medicine, ER doctor, and assistant dean of the Brown Institute for Translational Sciences, has been hard at work testifying before Congress and appearing on news outlets since the pandemic began. She is working to create and build an organization to address Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortages and is drawing up plans to help us stay safe this fall and winter.

Lynn Nottage '86 DFA'11 hon., P'20 and her daughter, Ruby Aiyo Gerber '20

A mother-daughter reflection on this time in history

While navigating 2020 has been a challenge on many fronts, quarantine has also illuminated the importance of close bonds. In this interview, Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage ’86 DFA’11 hon., P’20 and her daughter, Ruby Aiyo Gerber ’20 chat about their experiences at Brown, living through the COVID-19 pandemic, and processing the realities of recent police violence.

All In: The Fight for Democracy Poster

All In: The Fight for Democracy, a new film by Liz Garbus ’92

In advance of this critical election year, producer and director Liz Garbus ’92, created All In: The Fight for Democracy. The film examines voter suppression, civic engagement, and systemic oppression in the United States. Watch the recording of the Watson Institute’s panel discussion with Garbus and Stacey Abrams, whose race for governor in Georgia is the centerpiece of the film.

Student spotlight: Friedman Award Winner Kamren Gilbard ’20

Kamren Gilbard '20'

This year’s winner of the Susan Pilch Friedman ’77, P’08 Excellence Award in Women’s Leadership—which honors the strength, tenacity, and determination of women on campus—is Kamren Gilbard ’20, a public policy concentrator whose tireless dedication to improving the lives of those around her made her impact felt beyond College Hill.

Her many achievements as an undergraduate include teaching Providence students about how they can drive change through the political process, helping families connect with much-needed resources at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and serving as an academic coach for other Brown students. In addition, as an intern at the Office of the Child Advocate, she helped hundreds of families apply for victims’ compensation and created an initiative to connect children in foster care with free extracurricular activities.

Gilbard received the Noah Krieger ’93 Award, a LINK Award, and was a Fulbright semi-finalist. In June, she started her career in public service at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington D.C, and she plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health and/or a law degree.

Young alumni corner: Meet Laura Kenney ’19, Brown’s first alumni success officer

Laura Kenney '19

Dedicated to supporting young alumni in their transition from student to graduate, Kenney connects recent grads to the Brown resources available to them. On September 20 she held an informational discussion for Class of 2020 Women’s Launch Pad mentees.

If you’re a young alum who wants to keep some Brown in your life, check out this quick list of senior and recent grad resources. Questions? Reach out to

Recent events and activities

Instagram tiles of voters

Brown Women’s Network launches a “Get out the Vote” campaign

In the leadup to one of the biggest elections of our lifetime, Brunonian alumnae and students sent out a powerful message via social media: Get out and vote! Videos and photos about voting plans and experiences were shared on Brown Women’s Network Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels. To stay up to date on all of the happenings of the Brown Women’s Network, be sure to follow!

Instagram tiles of voters

From the 19th Century to Today: Black women’s political engagement and activism

In partnership with the Women’s Leadership Council and Inman Page Black Alumni Council, the Pembroke Center hosted Black Women and the Vote, a virtual event, on October 23. The discussion focused on Black women’s political engagement and activism, including efforts to secure and protect voting rights, from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Watch the recording.

Upcoming events

Visit for details on more upcoming Brown alumni events or email

Tuesday, December 1

Giving Tuesday

It’s a day defined by generosity. This year, the need for that generosity is even greater as more families seek help in funding their children’s education.

Tuesday, December 15 | 7:00 p.m. ET

BULAC Celebration of Mercedes Domenech Scholarship

Help extend best wishes to Mercedes Domenech, who is retiring from the University on January 13, 2021. Mercedes has been an esteemed member of the Brown community for over 30 years, working in the Office of Admissions and as Associate Dean of Medicine for Minority Affairs at The Warren Alpert Medical School.
Learn More

Friday, December 18

Virtual Holiday Concert

Alumnae musicians will each perform songs of cultural or personal significance. Grab a snack and enjoy this musical journey!
For event details, check your inbox for an invitation coming soon from the Brown Women’s Network.

Thursday, January 7, 2020 | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Practicing Self-Care and Laughter

Join a virtual “fireside chat” featuring Tara Schuster ’08 and Lauren Corrao ’83, P’16. The former Comedy Central colleagues will discuss Tara’s new book “Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies”, self-care, and navigating the time we’re living in.
For event details, check your inbox for an invitation coming soon from the Brown Women’s Network.

Peaceful sunset scene

Great escapes: self-care resources

With all that’s going on this year, it’s important to take a break and focus on some self-care. These are some of our favorites from around the University:

Take a deep breath, clear your mind and get grounded in this stressful time with Community Mindfulness Sessions through the Mindfulness Center at Brown.
The Radical Roots Blog from the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender creates regular Roots Radio-themed playlists that hit the spot for any mood you’re in. Here’s their newest playlist on Spotify.
Working your way through the Sarah Doyle Center Staff Quarantine Picks, a list of 100 books, shows, songs, Instagram accounts, and more.

Images credits: Kristin Richardson Jordan ’09 by Jesse Herndon | Megan Ranney courtesy of Researchers@Brown | Lynn Nottage ’86 DFA’11 hon., P’20 and Ruby Aiyo Gerber ’20 courtesy of The Pembroke Center | All in Poster courtesy of The Watson Institute | Black women’s political engagement and activism: Welfare rights demonstration, ca.1975. Unknown photographer. Silvia Federici papers, Ms.2017.023, Feminist Theory Archive, Brown University Library.

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