CUNY to Launch Women’s Leadership Initiative with Day-Long Conference on Friday, October 14

To kick off its six-phase Women’s Leadership Initiative, The City University of New York will hold a daylong Women’s Leadership Conference on Friday in Manhattan, co-sponsored by The New York Times Knowledge Network, JPMorgan Chase and TIAA-CREF.

The conference, which will run 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the New York Academy of Medicine Conference Center at 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, will include a keynote speech by Gail Collins, editorial page editor of The New York Times.

The conference, which draws upon the expertise of successful women in a variety of fields, is part of a larger CUNY initiative to motivate students to take an interest in the politics of women’s issues. Prominent leaders from the New York State Senate, New York State Assembly, NewYork City Council and from private business will serve on panels, and a round-table discussion and resource fair will provide information on a variety of business and community issues. In addition, a new CUNY internship program will be announced.

Speakers also include: Chancellor Matthew Goldstein; Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Selma Botman; Board of Trustees members Valerie Lancaster Beal and Kathleen M. Pesile; LaGuardia Community College President Gail Mellow, Women’s Leadership Initiative Chair; Kimberly Davis, president of JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Jamie De Peau, Senior Vice President of Marketing, TIAA-CREF.

“The Women’s Leadership Conference will offer students, faculty and staff a day of focusing on strategic ideas and new opportunities through leadership roles in the public and private policy arenas,” said Chancellor Goldstein.

The goals of the Women’s Leadership Initiative are:

* To empower students by giving them leadership training and access to female role models so they become knowledgeable about the decision-making processes.
* To use the female perspective to create a forum for research, discussion and public policy debate on key issues.
* To recognize and publicize the achievements of past and current female leaders.

In addition to the conference, the Women’s Leadership Initiative has five major components that will debut this fall:

* A CUNY/New York Times Knowledge Network Women’s Leadership Calendar, co-sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, TIAA-CREF and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The calendar, which was developed by Dr. Richard Lieberman and the staff of the LaGuardia Community College Archives, includes photos from The New York Times’ archives and will highlight women’s roles as leaders in family, community, politics and society throughout history and will spotlight the accomplishments of CUNY alumnae since the 1870 founding of Hunter College, which originally was a women’s school.
* The Women’s Archives, which for the first time will bring together the collections of papers of women in elective office in New York City and turn them into a research tool for scholars.
* A policy institute that will provide information to CUNY students and faculty, elected officials and others on women-related issues that are being addressed in the city, state and federal governments. The institute, which will be at Hunter College and will be headed by Hunter President Jennifer Raab, also will develop position papers on issues important to women in New York City.
* A new internship program that will place CUNY students in the offices of elected officials, where they will work on women-related issues, and in organizations promoting women’s rights.
* A public-education photo exhibit that will highlight the role of women in American history and that will be shown at community centers, schools and museums.

The City University of New York, the nation’s largest urban public university, includes 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, a graduate school, a law school, a Graduate School of Journalism and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. It serves more than 450,000 degree-credit students and adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program for 35,000 high school students, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 200 high schools throughout the five boroughs of the City of New York.

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Jay Hershenson 212 794-5317
Michael Arena 212 794-5685