1970’s were fundamental years for the WRRC. The Women’s Liberation UCD student organization formed and, with support of faculty and staff, influenced the chancellor to appoint a task force on the status of women at UC Davis. Shortly after, in the Winter of 1971, The Women’s Center was born and staffed primarily by members of the Women’s Liberation student organization and volunteers. The center provided referral services, literature, peer counseling and support groups.
In February 1972, The Women’s Center received a budget of $412 from ASUCD. Later that year, in April 1972, the WRRC hosted the first all-day conference, the “Ain’t I a Woman?” Conference, and published the first edition of the Woman newsletter. In June 1972, the Report of the Task Force on the Status of Women at UC Davis was published and stated that women at the university were still marginalized due to a lack of continuing education program, scholarships, fellowships and inadequate childcare. The report highlighted the need for a Women’s Center on the UC Davis campus. In October that year, the Women’s Center moved to Temporary Building (TB) 124. In 1974, the Women’s Center was restructured and renamed the Women’s Resources and Research Center (WRRC).
In 1978, the Women’s Resources and Research Center housed the new Women’s Studies program, and when the WRRC is threatened with closure in 1992, students organize and lead a sit-in at Mrak Hall. During the Spring of 1994, Students, staff, and faculty formed the “Ain’t I A Womyn Coalition to Save the Women’s Center” to encourage administrators to hold an open search--rather than appoint--a director of the center. The coalition highlighted that no woman of color had ever served in a leadership role and that an open search, which might yield the hiring of a woman of color, would enhance the scope of the center and better reflect the changing campus population. The administration appointed a director who served in her role for 14 years. In 1996, the Women’s Resource and Research Center moved from basement of Freeborn Hall to North Hall. Later that academic year, in May 1997, the California Assembly passed Resolution No. 979 to honor the WRRC’s 25 years of positive impact and outstanding contributions to the community. In December 1997, the Forum on Disability Issues announces a new book collection to be housed in the WRRC Library.
In June 2005, the WRRC book collection was named to honor Joy Fergoda for building one of the most sophisticated women and gender studies collection in the country. During Fall 2008, the first Womyn’s Art Gallery features the exhibit “Weaving the Revolution: The Art of Alicia Siu,” giving community an opportunity to showcase work dedicated to gender equity and social justice. Two years later, in April 2010, when the Breastfeeding Support Program faced potential elimination, the WRRC led initiative to preserve this essential program. In Spring 2012, inspired by “The Vagina Monologues,” the WRRC organized the first production of “Vagina: HerStories,” a written and performed production by Davis students, alumni, and community members. Later that year in May, Dr. Tina Jeoh and WRRC host “STEM for Girls,” over 60 girls learn about college and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Eighteen years later, in Fall 2012 the WRRC successfully conducts first national search for a new director.
In December 2012, as a way to honor and commemorate the first all-day conference the WRRC hosted back in 1972, the “Ain’t I a Woman Empowerment Conference” engaged students and community in exploring gender equity in 2012. In 2013, the WRRC celebrated over 40 years of continuous advocacy toward gender equity on the UCD campus and the Davis community at large with an anniversary reception.