the development of grade-school curricula. A new internship program involving CUNY women students and elected officials is under way, and leadership training seminars are scheduled throughout the academic year.
The Women’s Leadership Initiative has been guided by President Gail Mellow of LaGuardia Community College and Secretary of the Board of Trustees and Vice Chancellor for University Relations Jay Hershenson. Their call for a sustained focus on women’s leadership was enthusiastically answered by Dr. Richard K. Lieberman, director of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College. For 25 years, the Archives has produced exemplary calendars and lesson plans on a variety of subjects, including the history of the New York City Council, the origins of public housing, and, most recently, voting rights and citizenship. Dr. Lieberman, his colleagues Dr. Steven A. Levine and Sarah Crossley, and other researchers combed the vast resources of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College, and The New York Times Photo Archives to produce the one-of-a-kind images, historical documents, and period material that fill the Women’s Leadership Calendar. The Calendar has also benefited from an advisory group (See Acknowledgments Page) that includes some of CUNY’s and the nation’s finest scholars in women’s studies, to underscore the integrity of the content.
The commitment of the calendar’s sponsors has been particularly gratifying, and I am especially grateful to The New York Times Knowledge Network. I would like to especially thank JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO William B. Harrison, Jr., President Kim Davis of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Vice President Laura Winter, Vice President Tim Noble, Senior Vice President Leonard Colica, and Senior Vice President Cheryl Halpern of JP Morgan Chase for their generous assistance and support. I would also like to thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Vice President Thomas Newell of the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Their historic support and funding of the La Guardia and Wagner Archives and its calendars and curricula has helped the Archives to preserve history and make it available and accessible to the public. This project, of course, builds on the success of the CUNY/New York Times Knowledge network Voting Rights and Citizenship Calendar published last year with the generous help of JPMorgan Chase and TIAA-CREF. I want to express my appreciation to Chairman and CEO Herb Allison and Senior Consulting Officer Rosemary G. Markowski of TIAA-CREF for their continued support and assistance.
Building on our ongoing partnership with colleagues at The New York Times Knowledge Network, in particular Vice President of Marketing Services Alyse Myers, College Marketing Manager Felice Nudelman, Corporate Sponsorships Manager, Newspaper in Education, Stephanie Doba, and Group Director of Community Affairs and Media Relations Diane McNulty, a formal collaboration was established to make the Calendar widely accessible and to facilitate the curricular elements. The New York Times Archives contributed photographs.
Because the issue of women’s leadership is critical to our country’s future, the project is designed to reach the widest possible audience, in the hope of encouraging a new generation of women to prepare for and embrace leadership roles. The interactive Web site, www.cuny.edu/womensleadership, includes research and images that could not be included in the Calendar because of space limitations, and has links to additional documents and to women’s rights and women’s history organizations for a fuller investigation of the topic. Both the Calendar and the Web site are also published in Spanish. In addition, research from the Calendar will be used to develop curricula for fourth-, eighth-, and eleventh-grade students. The lessons will teach students to interpret original documents and help them prepare for document-based questions used in both the New York State Department of Education and Board of Regents examinations.
The Women’s Leadership project is a natural outgrowth of CUNY’s historic mission of providing access and opportunity to all people. CUNY currently enrolls more than 220,000 degree-credit students, 62 percent of whom are women, along with 200,000 adult and continuing education students and over 40,000 high school students in its College Now program. Both on its campuses and in the community, the University is fostering women’s leadership in education, business, and public service through academic programs, student support, and outreach. By spotlighting women’s history and broadening our understanding of women’s roles in the major movements of U.S. history, the Women’s Leadership Calendar is an important step in the move toward an inclusive and newly oriented future.