4W Initiative

W, every Badger knows, stands for Wisconsin. But at the School of Human Ecology, it stands for much more.

The 4W Initiative (which stands for Advancing Women’s Well-being in Wisconsin and the World) gets to the heart of what, in turn, SoHE stands for. It’s a special application of the Wisconsin Idea, aiming to improve the lives and health of women across the state and around the globe.

Though hosted at SoHE, the 4W Initiative is a campus-wide collaboration, with particular support from the Global Health Institute, and it means to address issues across four different themes: equality, basic human rights, sustainable communities, and leadership and voice.

Among the projects 4W supports is STREETS, an acronym for Social Transformations to End Exploitation and Trafficking for Sex. What makes STREETS 4W project? It’s 4W-worthy because human trafficking isn’t just a problem in distant countries, where women may be sold into prostitution, but in the United States—even in Milwaukee and Madison. It’s a problem based on inequality that affects women both locally and globally.

The 4W Initiative Fund will provide discretionary money to support the faculty and staff involved in efforts such as this, but also to foster partnerships and to aid student work, including internships and service learning projects.