CUNY Women’s Leadership Conference Addresses the Importance of Giving Back

Keynote speaker Halla Tómasdóttir (in white jacket) with CUNY leaders and students

Photo by Duubar Villalobos Jimenez | Keynote speaker Halla Tómasdóttir (in white jacket) with CUNY leaders and students

Girl Power!

Hunter College held the 14th annual CUNY Women’s Leadership Conference, on Friday, November 02, 2018 and emphasized the impact of girl power.

The leadership conference was sponsored by the Council of Presidents’ Women’s Leadership Initiative Committee. This invitation-only conference was set to inspire women students who have demonstrated leadership qualities and help them to further develop their skills so they could realize their potential as leaders.

CUNY School of Professional Studies picked a select group of women students to attend the conference based on their extraordinary leadership skills, demonstrated both on our campus and in our community. SPS’ objective by inviting this hand-picked group of student leaders was to empower, acknowledge, and reward their initiative.

Amazing speakers and panels

The quality of the speakers was remarkable. The opening group of speakers shared stories and experiences. The student participants enjoyed the wisdom shared in the openers provided by Hunter College President, Jennifer Raab; Vita C. Rabinowitz, Interim Chancellor of The City University of New York; Mary C. Pearl, Dean of William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY; Mayra Linares-Garcia, CUNY Trustee; and Marcia V. Keizs, York College President and Chairperson for the Women’s Leadership Initiative Committee of the CUNY Council of Presidents. The students were touched when this prestigious group of speakers pointed out, “When all of this started, we were sitting in your seats”.

The keynote speaker was Halla Tómasdóttir, a former Icelandic presidential candidate, and prominent businesswoman who recently moved to New York City. During her address, some highlights of Ms. Tómasdóttir ’s remarks included: “Embrace Courage”, “Be Unstoppable” and “Be Confident”.  The theme circled into an extraordinary and inspiring open question: “Who am I not to serve a greater good?” Ms. Tómasdóttir ’s reflections helped inspire young women by emphasizing four principles:

  1. “Serve a greater good”
  2. “Enjoy a better life”
  3. “Be transparent”
  4. “Use the girl power” which extrapolates into “How to talk”, How to build”, “How to behave” and the most important of all “How to be you”.

Other panels included “Political Action Issues” in which “Issues Impacting Women” were addressed by Inez Barron, New York City Council Member representing Brooklyn; Diana Ayala, New York City Council Member representing the Bronx; Adrienne E. Adams, New York City Council Member representing Queens; Deborah J. Glick, New York State Assembly Member; Carmen De La Rosa, New York State Assembly Member, and Toby Ann Stavisky, New York State Senator.

The call was loud and clear; we need more women to lead the way!

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