‘Women’s Leadership for Change’

Prominent women leaders in politics, business and academia will explore the complex challenges facing New York at the Third CUNY Women’s Leadership Conference, “Women’s Leadership for Change: Building a Better New York” on Friday, Nov. 16. This year’s program also unveils before several hundred CUNY students and educators the new 2008 CUNY/New York Times Knowledge Network calendar and website, “Let Freedom Ring,” fourth in a groundbreaking educational series highlighting critical U.S. historical themes, co-sponsored by JP Morgan Chase and TIAA-CREF and researched by The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College.

The conference runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. at The Roosevelt Hotel, Madison Avenue at East 45th Street, Manhattan. Part of CUNY’s Women’s Leadership Initiative to inspire student interest in public service and women’s issues, the event includes panel discussions on community and business matters, speeches and a resource fair providing representatives from major women’s organizations and CUNY programs.

Sheryl McCarthy, longtime Newsday columnist, Distinguished Lecturer in Journalism at Queens College and host of “One on One,” a CUNY-TV weekly public affairs program; and Yasmin Namini, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Circulation at The New York Times, will keynote the multifaceted conference.

Speakers include: CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost Selma Botman, Trustee Freida Foster Tolbert; Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board Jay Hershenson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Garrie Moore; Gail Mellow, LaGuardia Community College/CUNY President and Chairperson of the Council of Presidents’ Women’s Leadership Initiative Committee; Richard Lieberman, Director of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives and Professor of History, LaGuardia Community College/CUNY, and Ann Kirschner, University Dean of the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY.

Panels moderated by CUNY’s women college presidents will explore the conditions-–from stark income disparities to the impact of the global economy–-facing New York, and what leaders can do to help the city and state remain vibrant, accessible places to live and work. Women members of the New York City Council and New York State Assembly, and current and former corporate executives will participate in the discussions.

The CUNY Women’s Leadership Initiative was launched in 2005 to encourage CUNY student leaders to embrace their potential as educated, engaged members of society. Through internships, workshops, curricular opportunities and a public policy institute, the Initiative, guided by a committee led by CUNY’s women college presidents, seeks to advance fresh ideas about policy and practice.

The 2008 “Let Freedom Ring” calendar and website–fourth in a series of calendars and websites rich with facts, documents and rare photographs culled from CUNY’s LaGuardia and Wagner Archives of LaGuardia College/CUNY and the photo archives of The New York Times–will also be announced at the conference.

The “Let Freedom Ring” project explores the fundamental American principle of freedom and its role as catalyst for the nation’s struggle to exist, to define and spread its values, as well as for social movements such as civil, workers’ and women’s rights. Previous CUNY/New York Times Knowledge Network calendar and website projects, some with companion curricula offered to the city’s public schools, include “A Nation of Immigrants,” “Voting Rights and Citizenship” and “Women’s Leadership in American History.” All web-based materials are available to the public.

The calendars have been prepared under the direction of Senior Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson and LaGuardia Community College History Professor Richard Lieberman. For more information, click to www.cuny.edu/letfreedomring and www.cuny.edu/freedom.

The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847 as the Free Academy, CUNY comprises 23 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. The University serves more than 231,000 degree-credit students and 230,000 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program for 32,500 high school students, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of the City of New York. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and individualized bachelor’s degrees through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. The University Teacher Academy provides free tuition for highly motivated mathematics and science majors who seek teaching careers in the city.