The Women's Center at the University of California, Irvine first opened in the 1973/1974 academic year and was staffed by five volunteer coordinators and other volunteers. Supported by the Associated Students of UCI, its activities and services included a library, a calendar of activities, and several committees. The Center also offered a reading group, self-defense classes, consciousness-raising groups, day care, and information on health services.
In 1994 the Women's Resource Center became the Center for Women and Gender Education. In the fall of 2001, the center was renamed the Center for Women and Men. Supported by the Office of Student Affairs, the Center offered programs concerning gender issues for both women and men, while continuing to address the special needs and interests of women. In 2006, funding for the Center for Women and Men was suspended until the Womxn’s Hub was birthed in the Fall of 2016.
The Womxn's Hub was founded through the collaboration of some dynamic womxn. The former Director of the UCI Cross-Cultural Center, Jade Agua (pictured left), partnered with former Director of the Womxn's Hub, Tamara Austin (pictured right), to discuss the lack of a womxn's center at UCI. They discovered that the campus had a previous womxn's center and due to budget cuts, the center was disbanded. They assessed the number of womxn who were coming to the Cross-Cultural Center and used the Gender Initiative to bring the womxn's center back. Working with alumni, current students, faculty, and staff a renovated space in the Cross-Cultural Center became the new home of the Womxn’s Hub. The center opened in September 2016 and served over 1000 students in the first year.
The Womxn's Hub has led by example in the fight for gender equity at UCI. In 2018 the Los Angeles Times published an article stating the former UCI Vice Chancellor, Thomas Parham, committed sex discrimination by paying three women less than men who did the same or similar work. According to the article, "The review by the campus Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, which was dated June 21, confirmed the unequal treatment." To read more on this story, click here. To watch a short video on this injustice click here. The work of gender equity will continue in each of us as we claim our power and collectively destroy the glass ceiling.