Conference Agenda

Topic Areas: Special Events

May 14, 2014 - 10:00am - May 16, 2014 - 1:00pm
Rackham, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070


This 3-day interdisciplinary, multi-sector conference will focus on identifying and combating barriers that women living in poverty face as they seek economic security and mobility. National researchers and practitioners will join U-M faculty, bringing multiple perspectives to this complex concern with policy recommendations as the expected outcome. Women & Economic Security is a joint conference presented by the Center for the Education of Women (CEW), University of Michigan, and Re:Gender (formerly the National Council for Research on Women).

Use Hashtag  #MakeEndsMeet


Conference Agenda | Day One with Keynote Sheryl WuDunn

Day Two Breakout Sessions | Day Three Action Agenda

Conference Registration | Speakers | Sponsors

Area Information | General Conference Information


Conference Agenda: Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Focus on American Families and Economic Vulnerability
Sessions will bring together scholars, policy thinkers, and practitioners to map the landscape of challenges families face in the current context of financial vulnerability. Through formal presentations and group interaction, sessions will explore how the current economic times have an impact on families’ ability to self-identify and be self-determining.

9:00 AM

Onsite Registration and Check-In

10:00 - 10:15 AMWelcome from Re:Gender and UM
Gloria D. Thomas, PhD, Director, U-M Center for the Education of Women
Áine Duggan, President, Re:Gender

10:15 AM - 11:45 AM


Day 1 (Read more...)

Women, Families & Economic Vulnerability

Research: What Stories Can Data Tell?: This session will look at shifts and trends within families such as demographics; marriage, divorce, cohabitation; choices relative to children, work, domestic labor, etc. Participants will explore families’ increased financial vulnerability, particularly relative and absolute economic mobility over time. We will focus especially on why the climb is so much steeper today for poor families trying to move into the working class or middle class.

Panelists:  Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College & the CUNY Graduate Center; Lisa Brush, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh; and Niki Dickerson von Lockett, PhD, Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations and Sociology, Pennsylvania State University

11:45 AM - 12:30 PMLunch
12:30 - 2:00 PMPolicy: Framing Opportunities and Outcomes: In this session, we will look at the institutional, economic and social frameworks that define what is and is not a family; how they differ across class; and the limits and opportunities available depending on where a family falls on the economic spectrum. Participants will also offer an analysis of how government structures have shifted over time to help (and limit) families' ability to survive and thrive.
Panelists: Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President, National Women's Law Center; Sarah Fleisch Fink, Senior Policy Counsel, National Partnership for Women & Families; Rebecca Loya, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, Brown University; and Assata Richards, PhD, Project Row House
2:00 - 3:30 PM

Practice: The Nexus of Policy and Institutional Forces: Practitioners will explore how policy and institutional forces shape day-to-day financial precarity within families. Topics include the effects of family size/composition from singles to extended kinship networks; long-term, cross generational poverty; separations based on incarceration, financial needs, immigration, divorce, etc.; workplace structures and conditions that make work inflexible and unpredictable, including too much and too little work; and child care and education.
Panelists: Kelly Sakai-O'Neill, Director of Marketing and Senior Manager of Applied Research, Families and Work Institute; and Diana Pearce, PhD, Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington School of Social Work and Director, Center for Women’s Welfare

3:30 - 3:45 PMBreak
3:45 - 5:30 PMSmall Group Discussion, Report Out from Discussions and Closing:
Participants will be led in small and large group discussions to reflect on strategies shared across the day and how they can concretely integrate some of them into their own work.
Facilitators: Lynda K. Jeffries, PhD, Senior Consultant, The Leadership Group; and Lynda M. Ronie, Senior Consultant, The Leadership Group
5:30 - 6:45 PMPre-Keynote Reception (conference registrants only)
7:00- 8:30 PM

Welcome & Introduction - Janet A. Weiss, Dean, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Mary C. Bromage Collegiate Professor of Business, Ross School of Business, and Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Conference Keynote - Economic Security and Mobility for Women: Through a Worldwide Lens
Sheryl WuDunn, business executive, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, and co-author of Half the Sky places the discussion of the next two days into the context of global iniatives to address women's economic security.

Ms. WuDunn's address is fully supported by the Christobel Kotelawela Weerasinghe Fund of the Center for the Education of Women. CEW Leadership Council Member Emerita Menakka Bailey created the fund in honor of her mother, Christobel Kotelawela Weerasinghe, a lifelong advocate of cross-cultural dialogue and advancement for women.

Keynote is free and open to the public.

 Conference Agenda: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Focus on Good Jobs: What Are They? Who Gets Them? How Do They Keep Them?

8:00 - 9:00 AM

Continental Breakfast

8:00 AM - 12:00 PMOnsite Registration
9:00 - 9:15 AMWelcome
Maria Schneider, Relationship Manager, institutional Relationships, TIAA-CREF Financial Services
9:15 - 10:30 AMGood Jobs for Women With Low Income:
Moderator:  Laura Lein, Katherine Reebel Collegiate Professor of Social Work, Dean and Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, and Professor of Anthropology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 

10:30 - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Dance Performance: Living Jobs:  Adesola Akinleye, Artistic Director, Dancing Strong, and Lecturer in Music, University of Michigan-Flint
Based on interviews with and the active participation of women with low-income, this professional dance presentation and film performance were created to capture the women’s experiences and beliefs about good jobs. The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the director and performers.

Dancers: Abby Alwin, Adesola Akinleye, Rachael Ahn Harbert, Lisa LaMarre, Ryan Myers-Johnson; Film: Barry Lewis and Emil Charlaff; Costumes: Patty Branam

12:00 - 1:00 PM


1:00 - 2:30 PM

Day 2 Breakout Sessions: Barriers to Getting and Keeping Good Jobs (Read more...)

Six breakout sessions will each focus on one issue:

  • Paid Sick Time/FMLA/Paid Family Leave
  • Pay Issues
  • Workforce Development and Training
  • Child and Dependent Care
  • Re-Entry to the Workforce After a Difficult Past
  • Basic Needs

Each session will lay out data, research, and lived experiences from both scholarly and activist/practitioner perspectives that illuminate the issues that trap women in low-wage jobs. Through facilitated discussions, each break-out will formulate policy alternatives for addressing these issues.

(Each participant will select one of six breakout sessions.)

2:30 - 3:00 PMBreak
3:00 - 5:30 PM Breakout Sessions: Barriers to Getting and Keeping Good Jobs (continued)
Participants will return to the second half of their chosen breakout session.
5:30 PMBreakout sessions conclude

 Conference Agenda: Friday, May 16, 2014

Focus on Collective Agenda For Action
8:00 - 9:00 AMContinental Breakfast
8:00 AM - 1:00 PMOnsite Registration
 9:00 - 10:45 AM
Welcome - Susan Collins, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and Professor of Economics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan
From Policy Planning to Political Action
A review of the recommendations from the breakout sessions will be followed by a conversation with elected and appointed politicians on how to move the conversation from developing to implementing policy initiatives.

I. What the Groups Said

Sandra Danziger, Professor, School of Social Work,and Research Professor, Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, and Peggy Kahn, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan-Flint

II. Working the Politics: Moving From Thinking to Action
Moderator: Gilda Jacobs, President and CEO, Michigan League for Public Policy
Panelists: Rebekah Warren, Senator, State of Michigan, Rep. Pam Faris, State of Michigan, Valerie Brader, Deputy Legal Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Rick Snyder, State of Michigan, and Maura Corrigan, Director, Michigan Department of Human Services
10:45 – 11:15 AMBreak
 11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Organizing Through Workplaces and Communities
Cindy Estrada, Vice President, United Auto Workers
The closing session will focus on generating momentum to create policy change that has real-world impact on the lives of women looking for economic security and mobility.
12:00 – 1:00 PM

Lunch and Closing Discussions

1:00 PMAdjourn



Thank you!

This event is one of the Michigan Meetings, a series of annual interdisciplinary meetings on topics of national and international significance sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School.

CEW thanks TIAA-CREF, our Premier Anniversary Sponsor for their generous support of all of our Anniversary events. We also thank our Event Contributing Sponsors, Morgan Stanley and Ford Motor Company Fund, and The Ford Foundation for support of the Michigan Partners Project (MPP).


Please choose which day(s) you will attend.
If you are registering for Day 2 of the conference, please choose one breakout session to attend.
Please choose one if you will be attending Day 1.
Please choose one if you will be attending Day 2.
Please choose one if you will be attending Day 3.