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Agenda-setting 2012 Nationally and Globally: Leveraging Women’s Voices
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Agenda-setting 2012 Nationally and Globally: Leveraging Women’s Voices

6/20/2012 to 6/22/2012
When: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Friday, June 22, 2012
Where: Georgetown University Conference Center
Washington, District of Columbia 
United States

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Friday, June 22, 2012

To book at room at the Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center , visit their website here

Please note that the Georgetown University Conference Center Hotel is currently full on some nights.  

As an alternative, to book a room at nearby Savoy Suites Hotel with a discounted rate, click here

The Savory Suites Hotel provides free shuttle service to Georgetown University Conference Center

National Council for Research on Women in partnership with its member centers will host its 30th Anniversary Annual Conference in historic Washington, DC from Wednesday, June 20th through Friday, June 22, 2012. The twin focus of this year’s Conference is on strengthening women’s economic security and advancing women’s leadership; two critical areas in the path towards greater gender equality. Held over three days, the Conference will offer a series of panels, workshops, networking, and strategy sessions with the specific aim of identifying action steps to bring about transformative change in our economy and society. The opening keynote panel, multiple plenary, breakout and poster sessions will be dedicated to topics like women’s economic security, leadership, health, education, mobilizing and coalition-building, and the role of communications in advancing a progressive women’s agenda. The Conference will provide an opportunity to connect with researchers, policy specialists, and advocates from across our network, as well as allies and partners from government, business, media, and philanthropic circles.

As an organization at the nexus of feminist research, policy and advocacy, NCRW’s Annual Conference showcases current scholarship as well as the advocacy and policy work that is essential for advancing an agenda for change. The Conference will highlight best practices at the local, national and global levels, while offering perspectives on how to measure success, bring innovations to scale and address the challenges that women and girls face everywhere.

The goals of the Conference are:  (1) Issues and policy recommendations that emerge from the Conference will help the Council to inform the political platform of candidates during this election year, (2)the Council will broadly disseminate the outcomes of the Conference – key issues and recommendations to strengthen women’s economic security and women’s leadership –as part of its commitment to public education and awareness-building, and (3) the Conference will help to identify potential partners for the Council’s Collective Impact initiative for movement-building.





 Special thanks to our Sponsors:


Co-Sponsors: Association of American Colleges & Universities; Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI); Athena Center for Leadership StudiesBarnard College; Barnard Center for Research on WomenCenter for Research on Women, University of Memphis;  Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, SUNY Albany; The Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University;  Five College Women's Studies Research Center (FCWSRC)Hadassah-Brandeis InstituteInternational Center for Research on Women (ICRW)Legal MomentumMADRENational Council of Women's Organizations (NCWO)NOW-NYC and The Service FundNational Women's Business Council;  National Women's Law CenterProject on Women & Social Change, Smith College;  Wider Opportunities for Women;  Women's eNews;Women's Environment & Development Organization (WEDO)The Women of Color Policy Network, New York University;Women's Research and Education InstituteWomen's Studies Program, Duke University; Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, 



(for full agenda please click here)

 Wednesday, June 20th

Opening at Capitol Hill

Room B-340, Rayburn Building, 201-215 S Capitol St SW, Washington, DC

2:30 pm Welcome and Release of NCRW’s Childcare Report, Child Care As An Investment For The Future


                Linda Basch, National Council for Research on Women

            Chris Cuomo, University of Georgia

            Lynda Sagrestano, University of Memphis 

                Shyama Venkateswar, National Council for Research on Women


3:00-5:00pm The Continued Impact of the Recession:

Strategies and Initiatives for Improving Women’s Economic Security

This opening session will identify specific strategies that would increase the economic security of women and their families, focusing on issues including education, job-training, fair pay and income supports, such as child care and paid sick leave. The panelists will lay out their visions for building sustainable economic security for women and what economic recovery for all would truly look like. Based on current research, policy and advocacy initiatives, the panelists will help frame a progressive agenda for the 2012 presidential elections and beyond.

               Keynote Remarks by Members of Congress:

Representative Rosa DeLauro, (D-CT)

Representative Donna F. Edwards (D-MD)

Representative Carolyn Maloney, (D-NY)

Representative Gwen Moore, (D-WI)

Remarks by Members of Congress

Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL) (invited)

Representative Lois Capps (D-CA)

Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)     

Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA)

Moderator: Susan Scanlan, Women's Research and Education Institute

Panel Discussion Following Remarks:

Ariane Hegewisch, Institute for Women's Policy Research

Leticia Mederos, National Partnership for Women and Families

Moderator: Fatima Goss Graves, National Women's Law Center

5:15pm Opening Night Reception and NCRW Member Center Awards

                Lifetime Achievement Award: The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University

                Kay Warren, Director

                Diversity and Inclusion Award: The Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership at St. Mary's College

                Patricia Fleming, Senior Vice President and Dean of Faculty

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Georgetown University Conference Center

3800 Reservoir RD NW, Washington, DC

7:45 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 AM Welcome and Remarks: Linda Basch, President, National Council for Research on Women

8:30 AM  Keynote Address: Adriana Kugler, Chief Economist to U.S. Labor Secretary, Hilda L. Solis   

                                                   Julianne Malveaux, Last Word Productions, Inc.                                 

9:00 – 10:15  Morning Plenary: Creating Economic Opportunities for Women

Cycles of poverty are perpetuated because large sections of society have less access to the tools, training, and skills required of sustainable jobs.  Women are often overlooked in several sectors of employment that typically pay higher wages, thereby perpetuating the economic "pay gap.” This panel will look at "traditional” areas of employment such as domestic workers who typically hold precarious jobs with low wages and few benefits, and will explore solutions and strategies to bring fair labor standards to this sector. The panel will also look at moving women from traditional to non-traditional jobs which typically are protected by collective bargaining arrangements. Panelists will make recommendations on how women can receive training, enter areas of employment that are still dominated by men, and succeed in the "non-traditional” and green job markets.


Radhika Balakrishnan, Center for Women’s Global Leadership

Heather Boushey, Center for American Progress

Carla Koppell, Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment at USAID

Anne Mosle, Aspen Institute

Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Moderator:  LaShawn Jefferson, Ford Foundation

10:15 – 11:30 Plenary: Is There a War on Women?  

This is an important moment for those working in the feminist space. Recent events –the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United in 2010, the blocking of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, the legal wrangling over the Affordable Care Act and the record-breaking 1100 pieces of legislation introduced in state legislatures across the country in 2011, that sought to push or altogether eliminate the boundaries previously set by the U.S. Supreme Court on abortions—are reasons why women's groups across issue areas must find ways to work together to overcome these many challenges.  In order to do so, these critical issues have to be taken out of the realm of partisan politics in order to mobilize those who support greater gender equality. Finding solutions to the many obstacles requires strategic coalition-building and framing of the issues in an inclusive narrative. This Plenary session will provide an opportunity to generate recommendations on how to reassess critical gender issues and ways to respond to these recent encroachments on women’s rights, how to mobilize and push for greater investments on women at multiple levels, and how to frame these issues within the larger context of rights for women globally.


Avis Jones DeWeever, National Council for Negro Women

Terry O’Neill, National Organization for Women

Dana Singiser, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Elleanor Smeal, The Feminist Majority

Moderator:  Kim Gandy, Feminist Majority Foundation

11:30-11:45    Coffee

11:45 – 1:00        Concurrent Breakout Sessions (4) 

  1. Women Workers

For many women, long working hours – often due to forced overtime and/or unsupported caregiving duties – is destroying their health and well-being and that of their families.  According to the Center for American Progress the average American worker is now working 11 hours more per week and 586 more hours per year than in 1979.  But longer hours and higher productivity has not lead to better pay, as income has stagnated or decreased due to inflation. This problem is even more aggravated by the gender pay gap. Additionally, this increase in hours does not take into account the work of caring for one's family; a burden often shouldered by women.  This panel is led by women representing different work sectors and highlighting the example of women workers organizing against forced overtime.  Most of the women leading this breakout session are factory workers and full-time mothers, who, together with office workers, students, and other caregivers, are spearheading the call to bolster women’s economic security by demanding control of their time on the job and recognition and compensation for caregiving work. 


Lili Cisneros, Factory Worker

Sophie DeBenedetto, Domestic Worker

Wan Zhen Huang, Factory Worker

Mika Nagasaki, Office Worker

Moderator: Lea Geronimo, Ain’t I a Woman Campaign

  1. Building Coalitions Across Issue Areas and Sectors

In order to build a robust pipeline of women leaders across community-based organizations, corporations, the political arena, faith-based institutions, the military, and higher education, critical attention must be paid to dismantling gender stereotypes while building, strengthening, and expanding networks both within and outside each sector. The feminist movement recognizes the benefits of cross-sector mobilization and the gains that can be achieved from building on the numerous points of convergence across issue areas and sectors. This session will be organized as a round-table discussion to highlight challenges and opportunities in each sector and identify current successful programs available to women and girls.  Discussants will generate recommendations on how individuals and organizations working on gender issues can better work together to build coalitions to advance a progressive agenda for women’s leadership and greater economic security for women and their families. They will examine strategies to unify these groups through a model of research and action to achieve a critical mass of women leaders moving forward to build a movement for greater equality and rights.

Roundtable Discussants:

Brandy Kelly, Texas A&M

Katherine McDonald, Women's Environment and Development Organization

Diane Ryan, U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Marissa C. Wesely, Simpson Thacher and Bartlett, LLP

Moderator: Andrea Davies, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University

  3. Creating Effective Partnerships: Women’s Funds, Policy, Research and Advocacy (Roundtable)

The philanthropic community, and in particular women’s funds organizations, play a critical role in bringing attention to community groups, activists and leaders who are making a difference in the lives of women and their families. In addition to their role as the repository of best practices, women’s funds can play an important role in bringing research, policy and advocacy groups together to share information and strategize on how to build coalitions and mobilize for social change. In this roundtable, women’s funds organizations from across the country will share the best practices of how partnerships can move policy and research forward to become powerful catalysts for transformative change.

Roundtable Discussants:

Ruby Bright, Women’s Foundation for Greater Memphis

Cindy Clark, Association for Women's Rights in Development

Nicky Goren, Washington Area Women's Foundation

Shalini Nataraj, Global Fund for Women

Ana Oliveira, New York Women’s Foundation

Lynda Sagrestano, University of Memphis

Moderator:  Terri McCullough, Tori Burch Foundation

  1. Democracy Matters: Setting a Civic Learning and Engagement Agenda for Higher Education

Effective education in a globally interdependent world requires new pedagogies on civic learning and democratic engagement that must begin in the classroom. This session will explore how young women's perceptions, attitudes and notions of leadership are created, and the opportunities for prioritizing greater investment in civic learning and democratic engagement in higher education. How can we prepare this generation of college women to be successful and to advance women's equality in our gendered society? Panelists will present research that links civic learning to retention and graduation rates as well as other outcomes that accelerate learning, and a better understanding of systemic power, privilege, and civic action. They will generate recommendations on higher education reform that includes a problem-solving approach that will enable young women to carry forward an agenda of greater equality and social justice.


Lorna Edmundson, President Emerita Wilson College

Patti Provance, National Women’s Studies Association

Carol Moore, President Emeritus, Lyndon State College

Carn McTige Musil, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Moderator:  Sue Klein, Feminist Majority Foundation

1:00 – 2:00           Lunch

Luncheon Speakers:   

Mallika Dutt, Breakthrough

Media That Moves: Igniting New Leadership For Women's Rights

Farah Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities, U.S. Department of State

The Next Frontier: Women in Public Service

2:15 – 3:30           Concurrent Breakout Sessions (4)

  1. Strengthening Safety Nets 

Even with poverty rates the highest they’ve been in 17 years, many states have made their programs for vulnerable families more restrictive by shortening lifetime limits, narrowing work activities, and cutting cash grants. Research has shown that safety net programs have kept millions of families out of extreme levels of poverty, yet support for these programs remain highly contentious and partisan-driven. Additionally, the federal minimum wage for tipped workers has not been modified for over twenty years.  A real minimum wage is a type of safety net since without it women are forced to rely on other safety nets such as food stamps and public assistance.  Setting a realistic federal minimum wage will help keep women and their families out of poverty and reduce the need for safety nets.  This panel will explore the current status of safety net programs and the challenges that many low-income women and families face. Speakers will make policy recommendations to strengthen provisions for child care, food, housing, unemployment insurance, and other features, and also provide strategies to build coalitions to advance an agenda for greater social justice and to decrease the stark levels of income inequality in the United States.

Speakers :

Shawn McMahon, Wider Opportunities for Women

Elizabeth Grayer, Legal Momentum

Bonnie Kwon, Restaurant Opportunities Center United

Adam Sonfield, Guttmacher Institute

Shetal Vohra-Gupta, University of Texas at Austin

Moderator: Miriam Yeung, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

  1. Working at the Intersections:  Moving a Collective Agenda Forward        

Women are working as advocates, non-profit founders, organizers, researchers, medical providers, counselors, and mentors, at the intersections of reproductive, economic, and LGBTQ rights, women’s leadership and faith. This session provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of how women’s leadership has changed, the innovative roles of women leaders, the issues women are taking up, and how women are pushing forward the feminist agenda by working at the intersections of race/class/gender/sexuality. The panel will feature interactive discussions which will allow speakers and audience members to learn from each other, gain insights into different leadership styles to advance a common agenda of social justice, and mobilize broad-based coalitions to overcome challenges to gender equality.

Discussion Leaders:

Economic Rights: Bhairavi Desai, Taxi Workers Alliance

Gender Transformative Research:  Riki Wilchins, TrueChild

LGBTQ: Stacey Long, National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce

Young People's Leadership: Mia Herndon, Third Wave Foundation

Reproductive Rights: Laura MacCleery, Center for Reproductive Rights

Corporate: Lisa-Marie Monsanto, Katten, Muchin Rosenman LLP

Moderator: Alesandra Lanto, Women Leaders Salon

  1. Preparing Women for Political Office

Women in the United States hold just 16% of seats in Congress, 22% of statewide elective executive offices (such as governor) and 23% of seats in state legislatures.  According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union of Women in National Office, the United States currently ranks 71st in terms of women's representation. The lack of women holding office has a profound impact on the political culture of the United States. This panel will examine the barriers that hinder women from seeking higher office and strategies to build a robust pipeline of young, emerging leaders.  Speakers will explore best practices that have emerged globally to advance women in political office, including the Women in Public Service Project, and make recommendations on what women in the U.S. might learn from and/or share with women in other countries.


Tiffany Dufu, The White House Project

Jennifer Lawless, Women and Politics Institute, American University

Karen Remmler, Five College Women's Studies Research Center, Mount Holyoke College

Debbie Walsh, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University

Lynn H. Yeakel, Vision 2020

Moderator:  Pamela O’Leary, Public Leadership Education Network 

  1. Women, Tipped Workers and Economic Security

Restaurant servers, the bulk of which are tipped workers, have not seen an increase in the federal minimum wage in decades.  The federal tipped minimum wage stands at $2.13 per hour; forcing many of these women into poverty. According to research by Wider Opportunities for Women 90 percent of female servers who worked in the last 12 months had individual earnings below the Basic Economic Security Wage (BEST), meaning nine out of ten female servers were not paid enough to enjoy basic economic security. Among males, this figure is 74 percent. This session will explore the impact of economic insecurity on restaurant tipped workers, and ways to help improve their economic security.


Mary Gatta, Wider Opportunities for Women

Nikki Lewis, Restaurant Opportunities Center United

Elizabeth Nisbet, Center for Women and Work, Rutgers University

Matt Unrath, Wider Opportunities for Women

Moderator: Karen White, Center for Women and Work, Rutgers University

3:30-3:45 Coffee

3:45 – 4:45 Afternoon Plenary: Higher Education and the Gender Pay Gap

Higher education can and should take a substantial role in improving women’s economic security. This session will take a comprehensive look at higher education’s role in the gender pay gap, identifying opportunities for those at colleges and universities to improve economic equity through their influence as educators and employers. As students, women continue to be underrepresented in degree programs that result in relatively high earning potential after college, particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). A similar pattern appears among students’ faculty role models, as women remain underrepresented in the most highly remunerative faculty and senior leadership positions. While these patterns alone do not explain the gender pay gap, they contribute to its perpetuation. This session will explore what higher education can do to address the structural and cultural factors that limit women’s participation in highly-paid fields and positions. It will offer data on women’s participation as students and faculty in disciplines and positions associated with greater economic security, and will suggest concrete strategies for women and their allies to pursue economic equity in and beyond higher education.


John W. Curtis, American Association of University Professors

Charlene Dukes, Prince George's Community College

Kathryn Peltier Campbell, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Andresse St. Rose, American Association of University Women

Moderator: Lucie Lapovsky, NCRW Board Chair 

4:45 – 5:45 Plenary

Pathways out of Global Poverty: Building a Movement (ORGANIZED BY International Center for Research on Women)

Featuring perspectives from the public, private, philanthropic and civil society sectors, this plenary will explore barriers to women’s economic advancement, identify best practices to dismantling barriers and promoting women’s economic empowerment, and examine opportunities to take these solutions to a national and global level. We will hear from today’s experts regarding the state of the field, examine promising methods for measuring success, and work to identify a successful and sustainable model that recognizes the full potential of women as economic actors fostering positive outcomes for their families, communities and nations.


Matt Crommett, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Anne Marie Golla, International Center for Research on Women

Pamela Reeves, International Fund for Women, U.S. Department of Statae

Moderator: Sarah Kambou, International Center for Research on Women

6:00 – 7:00 Reception: Honoring NCRW's Board Members (Present and Past) and Member Centers

Photography Display: International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)

IFES promotes the full and equal participation of women in all spheres of life as an explicit internationally recognized human right.  To emphasize the importance of equal rights for women, IFES present a selection of outstanding photographs that highlight barriers and advances in women's political participation around the world.  

Poster Session with Posters on Display during Reception:

Posters are a unique way to hear about new research in an informal and interactive environment. Enjoy refreshments while meeting and networking with the poster presenters and learning more about one or more of the following research displays:

  • Drug Testing and TANF

Elizabeth Owen, George Washington University 

  • Educate a Woman, Educate a Nation: The Determinants of Academic Success for Female Students in Ghana

Sally Nuamah, Northwestern University

  • The Incredible True Story of the Affordable Health Care Act: Why 2012 is a Critical Year for Women’s Health   

Keely Monroe, Law Students For Reproductive Justice Fellow

Mimi Spalding, Law Students For Reproductive Justice Fellow

Maryanne Tomazic, Raising Women’s Voices For the Health Care We Need

  • The Intersections of Social Exclusion, Gender and Education in Kenya

Judith Obiero, University of Massachusetts

  • Paid Sick Leave

Claudia Williams, George Washington University 

  • A Profile of Latina Leadership in the United States: Characteristics, Positive Influences, and Barriers

Damary Bonilla-Rodriguez, Girls Inc.

  • Public Funding for Family Planning

Alisa Chester, George Washington University Women’s Studies Program

  • Resources for Domestic Violence Survivors

Ashley Badgley, George Washington University Women’s Studies Program

  • Understanding What Holds Women Back: Ambition, Empowerment and Sense of Self

Patricia Tidwell, the Pschyoanalytic Phsychotherapy Study Center

  • Workfare

Kari O’Donnell, George Washington University 

Friday, June 22

Morning Plenary:

9:15 am - 10:15 am          

The Next Generation of Women’s Leadership

As more women seek admission into the still rarefied environments of political offices and C-suites, what effect, if any, is this having on entrenched structural networks and systems that have mostly benefited men? Are these networks eroding, or are they simply changing form?  What does a future with leadership equality and gender parity in politics look like? What will it take to get there? This session will feature young leaders from a variety of fields who will identify the key issues and key alliances that need to be forged, assess their own career paths, and highlight opportunities and existing challenges for advancement.


Analisa Balares, Womensphere

Claire Charamnac, Women LEAD

Jin In, 4Girls GLocal Leadership

Jenn Zephirin, Morgan Stanley

Moderator:  Rose Wang, National Women's Business Council

10:15 – 11:45  

Plenary: Generating a Collective Impact to Build a Social Movement

This session will be organized in small groups to explore the critical issues facing the feminist movement and identify strategies to forge a broad-based movement to advance an agenda for greater equality. Participants will discuss issues as well as disparate constituencies – research, policy, advocacy, philanthropy, among others - that need to be mobilized, leadership strategies, and key metrics to measure change. The goal of the collective impact initiative is to map existing knowledge, identify best practices and generate recommendations to help shape national policy and debate.

Discussion Leaders:

Laura Herman, Foundation Strategy Group

Lynda Sagrestano, University of Memphis

Gloria Thomas, University of Michigan

Moderator: Shyama Venkateswar, National Council for Research on Women

11:45-12:00 Coffee

12:00-1:15 Skills Building/Training Sessions

  •      Success YOUR Vision YOUR Way

Karen Kahn, Threshold Advisors

  •      Harnessing the Power of Storytelling to Communicate Powerful Ideas

Rose Gorman, StoryCorps

  •      Reproductive Justice, Public Opinion, and Developing a Shared Narrative

Eva-Marie Malone and Jill Mizell, The Opportunity Agenda

  •      Using Media for Coalition-Building

Michelle Kinsey Bruns, Women’s Media Center

Janell Hobson, University at Albany - SUNY

Rita Henley Jensen, Women’s e-news

Karon Jolna, Ms. Magazine

1:15      Open Meeting: NCRW Member Centers and Our Broader Network (lunch will be served)

              Lucie Lapovsky, Board Chair, National Council for Research on Women 

              Linda Basch, President, National Council for Research on Women

              The Get Even Campaign, co-led by Catalyst, the National Council for Research on Women, and The White House                 Project

              Building Broad Donor Partnerships and New Donor Relationships in a Changing Landscape

              LaShawn Jefferson, Ford Foundation (invited)

              Jolene Jesse, National Science Foundation

              Terri McCullough, Tory Burch Foundation (invited)

              Michele Ozumba, Women's Funding Network    

              Anne Weisberg, BlackRock        

              Moderator:  Linda Basch, National Council for Research on Women

             Program Launch: Building the Next Generation of Women Leaders in the Nonprofit Sector

             Funded by the American Express Foundation

3:30      Adjourn