April 4, 2019

Now in its seventh year, the student-run Global Women in Leadership (GWL) conference examined pressing topics related to women around the world. This year’s theme focused on ‘power’ and brought diverse voices to campus to inspire participants to claim and exercise their power to effect social change. Nearly 500 attendees representing current and incoming students, faculty, and alumni, and the public enjoyed an itinerary full of stimulating panels and networking.

The discussion “Overcoming Barriers to Action” featured April Goggans (Black Lives Matter DC), Rafif Jouejati (Free Syria Foundation), Nikki Pitre (Center for Native American Youth), and Greisa Martinez (United We Dream), who spoke about the role of women in social movements working for a more equal society. “Engaging Men as Allies” featured Gary Barker (Promundo), Laxman Belbase (MenEngage Alliance), Manuel Contreras-Urbina (Global Women’s Institute), and Ron LeGrand (Promundo) for a conversation about the ways in which all people, including men, can create positive change and contribute to the advancement of gender equality. The keynote speaker was Director of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund Sharyn Tejani presented the keynote address with a moving account of her work in the legal field defending victims of gender discrimination.

This year’s conference built on the school’s community through the involvement of alumni and faculty. In addition to a alumnae panel, Professor Cinnamon Dornsife led a breakout session on turning ideas into action, while Professor Bettina Boekle led a session on learning from women in the private sector.

The day concluded with a reception at the Australian Embassy for attendees to debrief and discuss further engagements advancing gender equality. 

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