WMU News

WMU hosts statewide women's satellite summit

March 3, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University is one of four sites selected to play host when leading women's organizations bring prominent women leaders from around Michigan together via satellite Friday, March 11, to kick off a public education campaign focused on equal opportunity.

"Michigan Women's Summit 2005: Challenges to Equity" will attract such leaders as Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the women presidents of three state universities to discuss women's access to high-paying jobs, affirmative action and the future of opportunity for women in state. Other speakers at the 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. event will be Detroit Free Press columnist Desiree Cooper; Debbie Dingell of the General Motors Foundation; and Llenda Jackson Leslie, president of the National Women's Political Caucus.

WMU's Fetzer Center will be one of the satellite locations. Others will be at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Lake Superior State University.

One of the summit's highlights will be a panel discussion involving the women presidents of the state's major universities. From 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., WMU President Judith I. Bailey, Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon and University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman will discuss the importance of affirmative action, policies in higher education and their personal career stories during a session moderated by Paul Hillegonds, president of Detroit Renaissance.

Another panel will feature a discussion of new research that shows the disparities that still exist for women in the state. The event also will include a working lunch during which those attending can develop working action plans to support affirmative action and educate women.

Those planning to attend should preregister online at <www.oneunitedmichigan.org>. The cost to attend is $20 per person or $10 per student for those who register by March 5. On-site registration will be available at a cost of $25 per person, with the student cost remaining at $10. Lunch is included in the fee.

The event is sponsored by such women's organizations as the Michigan Women's Commission, Michigan League of Women Voters, Michigan Business and Professional Women, Michigan American Association of University Women, Michigan Council of the YWCAs, National council of Jewish Women, National Women's Political Caucus and the Michigan Conference of the National Organization for Women.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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