Women and Economic Security Conference, May 14-16, 2014

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 Michigan Meetings conference, sponsored by Rackham Graduate School and 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. The Women and Economic Security Conference is one of CEW’s 50th Anniversary events.

Conference Agenda | Day One with Keynote Sheryl WuDunn

Day Two Breakout Sessions | Conference Registration

Speakers | Sponsors Area Information

Day One, May 14, 2014

The goal of Day One is to create a cultural and historical context for many of the issues that will arise during the evening keynote and in the following days of the conference. The Center for the Education of Women and Re:Gender (formerly the National Council for Research on 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 histories of the family; economic realities 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.

Keynote Address: 7:00 pm  Sheryl WuDunn, business executive, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, and co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, (along with NYTimes columnist Nicholas Kristof) a No.1 NYTimes 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 keynote is free and open to the public. To attend only the keynote address, 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. 

Day Two, May 15, 2014

The goal of Day Two is to establish the state of women’s experiences in low-wage work and develop working policy alternatives for addressing work-related barriers to women achieving economic stability.
The morning session will feature Barbara Gault, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Anne Ladky, Women Employed, and Saru Jayaraman, Restaurant Opportunities Center, discussing “Good Jobs for Women with Low Incomes.” The morning will also feature a dance piece, “Living Jobs,” choreographed by Dr. Adesola Akinyele, Dancing Strong and the U-M Flint. After lunch the registrants will select from one of six breakout sessions under “Barriers to Getting and Keeping ‘Good Jobs.'” Using data, research, and lived experiences, a scholar and an activist/practitioner will analyze the impact of specific issues on women who are trying to get and keep employment. Following that analysis, each group of participants will formulate policy alternatives for addressing their issue.

Day Three, May 16, 2014

The goal of Day Three is to jumpstart a movement to achieve economic security for women by learning more about strategies that can be used to influence work-related policy change. Day three will focus on a Collective Agenda for Action panel discussing the path from Policy Planning to Political Action with Michigan legislators and government staffers. The conference will conclude with a final Call to Action by Cindy EstradaUAW Vice President. The conference will conclude at 1:00 pm.

Registration Fees: The conference registration fee is $150 to attend all three days, or $100 per day. All U-M staff, faculty and students anmay attend the full conference at no cost. Non-U-M students may attend for $25.00.Please contact CEW for your special registration code at [email protected].

For complete agenda and more information about the conference, please click here.


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)