Ruth Davis Design Gallery

Wisconsin Without Borders: A Global Initiative

June 5 – Aug 25, 2017

Photo of Wisconsin Without Borders partners

As a part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 4W Initiative, students and faculty members from the Design Studies program in the School of Human Ecology have partnered with traditional artisans around the world developing coordinated microenterprises projects. Materials and color palettes have been coordinated in order that products are globally interchangeable from one culture to another while still honoring their traditional origins. This exhibition highlights products developed in partnership with artisans in Mexico, Kenya, and India.

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In 2014, a group of UW-Madison scholars, students, campus leaders, and philanthropists came together to discuss the inequities facing women both regionally and on a global scale. They discussed the negative influences of poverty, violence, racial injustice, educational barriers, and inadequate access to family planning and health care across the life span.

The discussion culminated in recognizing the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles as a critical issue that compromises the ability of social institutions to make positive change and fully serve the greater community.

The 4W Initiative was born to find the answers. Convened for the entire campus by the School of Human Ecology, the Global Health Institute, and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, 4W works across disciplines to address the complex issues at hand. UW-Madison was awarded a UNESCO Chair on Gender and Wellbeing, and a Culture of Peace Award. It serves as one of Chancellor Blank’s campus priorities.

Utilizing the resources of UW-Madison, the 4W Initiative is making strides in making life better for women and, in doing so, making the world a better place for all!

See the Wisconsin Without Borders Marketplace


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All Design Gallery events and exhibitions are funded entirely by competitive grants and private donations. Help us keep our programs free and accessible to the public through a gift to the Design Gallery Exhibition Fund at the University of Wisconsin Foundation.
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