Professor Heidi R. Lewis Elected as the Next President of the National Women’s Studies Association!

The Feminist and Gender Studies Department at Colorado College is very proud to announce that Professor Heidi R. Lewis has been elected the next President of the National Women’s Studies Association (2023-2025)!!! Established in 1977, “the National Women's Studies Association has as one of its primary objectives promoting and supporting the production and dissemination of knowledge about women and gender through teaching, learning, research, and service in academic and other settings.” The Association has more than 3,000 individual and 350 institutional members around the world, all of whom share its commitment “to illuminate the ways in which women’s studies are vital to education; to demonstrate the contributions of feminist scholarship that is comparative, global, intersectional and interdisciplinary to understandings of the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences; and to promote synergistic relationships between scholarship, teaching and civic engagement in understandings of culture and society.” Vivien Ng was elected as the first NWSA President in 1993, preceded by a steering committee and nine chairs and co-chairs starting in 1977.  

As the 22nd President of the NWSA, Professor Lewis will be joining a long and inspiring genealogy of feminist leaders, community-builders, and visionaries who have led the organization through its many important chapters in history, including most recently Karsonya (Kaye) Wise Whitehead (2020-2022), Premilla Nadasen (2018-2020), Barbara Ransby (2016-2018) Vivian May (2014-2016), Yi-Chun Tricia Lin (2012-2014), Bonnie Thornton Dill (2010-2012), Beverly Guy Sheftall (2008-2010).  

Professor Lewis has a long-standing relationship with the NWSA, which has been one of her primary intellectual homes for over 15 years. She joined the association through the 2008 Women of Color Leadership Project (WoCLP). Since then, she has regularly attended the annual conference, as well as the chairs and directors’ meetings. She was also selected to attend the Curriculum Institute and founded the Feminist Media Studies Interest Group. More recently, Professor Lewis was elected Secretary of the NWSA. In that role, she served on the Executive Director search committee and co-organized two chairs and directors’ meetings with the Program Administration and Development co-chairs. The first honored the late bell hooks, and the second focused on resisting the racist policies impacting higher education, especially in Florida. Most recently, the Women of Color Caucus co-chairs selected Professor Lewis to co-organize the WoCLP for this year’s (2023) conference. 

 As a boundary-spanning feminist scholar dedicated to collaborative and transformative leadership, Professor Lewis is committed to centering communities that have been systemically subjugated and oppressed. Furthermore, her commitment to catalyzing change is grounded in an understanding of the past and present as much as it is focused on visualizing the future. As President of the NWSA, her work will be necessarily collaborative and grounded in a spirit of patience. Indeed, as one of her favorite quotes from the late Toni Cade Bambara reminds us, “not all speed is movement.” 

Professor Lewis, we in the Feminist and Gender Studies department at Colorado College could not be prouder of all that you have carefully envisioned, built, and inspired to deserve this tremendous honor. We look forward to supporting you every step of the way in this new and exciting chapter of your professional life as a nationally recognized feminist leader!  

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