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W+GRA 2021-2022 Seed Grant Recipients Announced


By Dr. Michelle Meggs

The Women + Girls Research Alliance (W+GRA) at UNC Charlotte has selected a new slate of projects it plans to fund, focused on the disproportionate, negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women and girls as it relates to the workforce, health, and community.

Six research teams will be supported by this round of seed funding, totaling $1,000 to $5,000 per project:

  1. Dr. Shanti Kulkarni, College of Health and Human Services, School of Social Work                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Research Project: "Healing and Housing during Covid: Formerly Incarcerated Women Share their Stories"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

  2. Dr. Brittany Anderson, Cato College of Education, Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Students
    Research Project: "Fostering Early STEM Exploration with Gifted/High-Ability Black Girls and their Elementary Teachers" 

  3. Dr. Candace Miller, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology and Organizational Science
    Research Project: "Identifying Mechanisms of Employment Socialization in Mother-Child Dyads"

  4. Dr. Monika Sawhney, College of Health and Human Services, Department of Public Health Sciences
    Research Project: "Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on the Economic Growth and Mobility among Women in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area" 

  5. Dr. Brittany Anderson, Jimmeka Anderson (PhD student); Deneen Dixon-Payne (PhD student), Cato College of Education, Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Students 
    Research Project: "Keepin’ It REEL: Black Girls Film Camp - Phase II"

  6. Dr. Kendra Jason; Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, Dr. Janaka Bowman Lewis, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Dr. Tehia Starker Glass, Cato College of Education, Associate Professor, Department of Reading and Elementary Education Research  Project: "We All We Got: Supporting Home-Insecure Black Mothers Summit"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

The W+GRA conducts and disseminates research on the social and economic status of women and girls in the Charlotte‐Mecklenburg region. W+GRA research is used to promote public dialogue, inform public policy and programmatic priorities, focusing on key areas such as education, employment, economic security, health and violence against women.

In March 2021, the W+GRA in partnership with Ally Financial and Bank of America held its bi-annual summit, “Recovery and Discovery: Women & Girls in a Dual Pandemic.” The summit focused on the impact of COVID-19 on education, employment, health, domestic violence, and the economic mobility of women and girls in our Charlotte metropolitan community.

This led us to research centered around what C. Nicole Mason calls a “ economic downturn where job and income losses are affecting women more than men." This is the W+GRA’s focus for the foreseeable future, as the Charlotte region continues to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic and the recession.

Watch Our October Discussion Panel:

Click here for information about our panelists


Watch Our September 15th Discussion Panel

Click Here to Learn More About Our Speakers


Our August 18th Research and Practice Panel is now available on YouTube:



Click here for more information about our August panelists


Our 2021 Post-Summit Report is now available.

The report details the recommendations for our 2021-2023

research cycle focus and future planning.


Link to 2021 Post-Summit Report


Thank you for helping make the 2021 Summit great!

March 10th was a day of sharing, learning, and community dialogue.

Click here for more information about our panels, speakers, and activities.

Our e-Program is available online or on this page.  The Zoom links are no longer active but all of the recorded sessions will be online soon!