Day One with Keynote Sheryl WuDunn, Author, "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide"

Topic Areas: Special Events

May 14, 2014 - 10:00am - 8:30pm
Rackham Auditorium, 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


Re:Gender (formerly The National Council for Research on Women) and the Center for the Education of Women will open the conference with researchers, policy thinkers and practitioners discussing financial vulnerability and the modern family. Sessions will look at: recent cultural and social history of the family; economic reality within modern configurations of family; gender roles and domestic labor; economic forces influencing families, from benefits, wages and labor to education, immigration and incarceration; generational economic immobility across class; and how and why families define themselves (and what happens when they are defined by others). These explorations will be overlaid with an analysis of current conditions of work instability and economic insecurity across class.

Day One, Monday, May 14 - Women, Families & Economic Vulnerability

The goal of Day 1 is to create a cultural and historical context for many of the issues that will arise during the afternoon plenary and in the following days of the conference.

Onsite Registration (9am-12pm) Main Lobby, First Floor
Onsite registration will be available for those who have not yet registered. Previously registered conference participants can check in and pick up name tags and conference materials.

Welcome (10am-10:15am) Amphitheatre, 4th Floor
Gloria D. Thomas, Director, U-M Center for the Education of Women
Áine Duggan, President, Re:Gender 






Session 1 (10:15am-11:45am) Amphitheatre, 4th Floor

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; Rosa Cho, Policy and Research Analyst, Re:Gender; Niki Dickerson vonLockett, PhD, Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations and Sociology, Pennsylvania State University; and Krista Brumley, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Wayne State University

Lunch (11:45am-12:30pm) Assembly Hall, 4th Floor






Session 2 (12:30pm-2pm) Amphitheatre, 4th Floor

Policy: 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: Rebecca Loya, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, Brown University; Assata Richards, PhD, Project Row Houses; Sarah Fleisch Fink, Senior Policy Counsel, National Partnership for Women & Families, Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President, National Women's Law Center






Session 3 (2pm-3:30pm) Amphitheatre, 4th Floor

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; Charla Drysdale, Human Resources Liaison, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Lisa Tomanelli, Director of Income Support Services, Community Service Society of New York; Meredith Loomis Quinlan, Director of Development and New Adventures, Michigan United; and Diana Pearce, PhD, Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington School of Social Work and Director, Center for Women’s Welfare, School of Social Work, University of Washington

Break (3:30pm-3:45pm) Assembly Hall, 4th Floor

Session 4 (3:45pm-5:30pm) 

Small Group Discussion, Report Out from Discussions and Closing
East and
 West Conference Rooms, Amphitheatre, 4th Floor
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

Bookstore (5:30pm - 8:30 pm) East end of the Rackham building lobby
Local bookstore Literati will be selling a selection of books written by conference speakers or recommended by local experts. Sheryl WuDunn will sign copies of her book Half the Sky at the bookstore following her keynote presentation on Wednesday evening.


Pre-Keynote Reception (5:30-6:45pm) Assembly Hall, 4th Floor
Conference registrants and special guest are invited to join us for beverages and light hors d’oeuvres. In a short program, CEW will present its annual Carol Hollenshead Awards for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change and Re:Gender will present the Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award.

Conference Keynote – Sheryl WuDunn (7:00pm-8:30pm) Rackham Auditorium, First Floor

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

Economic Security & Mobility for Women: Through a Worldwide Lens
Sheryl WuDunn is a
business executive, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, and co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a No. 1 New York Times best-selling book about the challenges facing women around the globe, published in 2009 by Knopf and featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Colbert Report and other network television shows.

The 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night keynote lecture by Sheryl WuDunn is the keynote for the Women and Economic Security Conference, placing the work of the next two days in the context of creating economic security and mobility for women worldwide.

If you are attending the conference, you will have an opportunity to register for the keynote in your conference registration.

If you are not attending the conference but would like to attend the free lecture by Ms. WuDunn, please register here.

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.

Book Signing (8:30 pm) East End Auditorium Lobby, First Floor
Sheryl WuDunn will sign copies of her book Half the Sky after her presentation.

The Twitter feeds for
 CEW and Re:Gender are: @CEWatUM and @Re_Gender

Use #WESconf as the conference hashtag for live tweeting! Additional hashtags appropriate for conference tweets include:   #makeendsmeet   #women   #poverty  



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).


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