Ø WHEN: Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 4:00–6:30 p.m., Reception Following
Ø WHERE: American Federation of Teachers, 555 New Jersey Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C.
Ø WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals, Educators, Staff and Executives of NGOs and public sector agencies, and all concerned with women’s progress, human capital, and public policy.
The early days of March are upon us, with not so springtime weather in many parts of the country, debilitating snow and ice in Washington – but brighter prospects are in the offing with the advent of Women’s History Month, marked with the March 8th International Women’s Day punctuating the observances. Dialogue on Diversity presents its annual Public Policy Forum on March 19th in celebration of the season, partnering in this program with the American Federation of Teachers – under the provocative title: WOMEN: THE COMMUNITY – XXI CENTURY STRUGGLES FOR EQUITY.
Scheduled as key speaker for the Forum, Yvette Donado, Senior Vice President for Administration at Educational Testing Service, notes Dialogue on Diversity’s special role in the observances, focused as it is on an overriding concerns for the advancement of women’s standing in societies around the globe, stressing that “we have come a long way, but new gains require a renewed commitment and more help from every quarter. Women helping women can be one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. Women,” Ms. Donado continues, “have made great strides in recent years, but we continue to be underrepresented in many fields that are vital to our and our nation’s wellbeing. I am convinced that helping each other through mentoring, sponsorship, coaching and networking can accelerate our progress.”
Focusing on the core issues of women’s economic viability, Lisa Maatz, Vice President for Governmental Relations at the American Association of University Women, and chief policy analyst and advocate for AAUW, is lead-off speaker in the Forum segment exploring equitable outcomes in employment and other relationships. Ms. Maatz, dealing with the sensitive question of gender-related pay ratios, stated that “the Equal Pay Act was passed more than 50 years ago, but unfortunately gender discrimination is alive and well in the new millennium. It’s time to update the law and update attitudes about the value of women’s work.”
The economics exposition is rounded out with an account of women entrepreneurs of the Western Hemisphere, in an overview delivered by Amber Forbes, Assistant Summit Coordinator at the State Department Office on Western Hemisphere Affairs. Ms. Forbes has pioneered the cause of women’s entrepreneurship through the societies of Latin America, conducting conferences and exchange visits effectively bringing together the leading women figures in the business/entrepreneurial community.
The Forum agenda concludes with presentation of two awards, the Trailblazer Award to Maria Cardona, a familiar presence in media and public discourse on social conditions and economics; and, second, by way of an institutional award, to Washington’s Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, the august edifice that is home to a dedicated corps of women assembling the historical artifacts of women’s lives in American society.
Ms. Cardona, in the midst of a crowded schedule as a speaker, expert, advocate, and MSNBC commentator, specialized in the issues of importance to the Latino community, is a key executive at Dewey Square, a leading public relations entity. She has blazed a trail of skilled analysis, targeting the crucial questions of equity in the lives of Latina women, whose lot is better than that of earlier cohorts of women, but far from the ideal that a fully realized equity would describe.
Julia Drost of Amnesty International holds forth on the plague of violence visited on women in all corners of the world. Fatima Goss Graves, of the National Women’s Law Center, reviews the central role that education, at all levels, plays in the formation of human capital adequate to sustain robust economic growth. Erin Cadwalader, of the Association for Women in Science, explores policies aimed at enhancing the role of women in these areas of the labor market. Gabriela Pacheco deals with the contemporary crisis of American society’s encounter with the immigration phenomenon, with special focus on the plight of young undocumented persons potentially deportable under existing law.
The 2014 Forum is set for 4:00-6:30 p.m., with a following reception, on Wednesday, March 19th at the American Federation of Teachers, 555 New Jersey Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. The program is free and open to the public. A full agenda is available here. Register now at www.dialogueondiversity.org.
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.