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Giving Back through Social ActionYoung Leaders and Social Change Highlights
February 8, 2011

Giving Back through Social Action

"Because of the Institute for Women’s Leadership, I have been given the opportunity to give back to the pre-college program where I was once a student," said Princess N. Belton. "The IWL Program also provided me the opportunity to strengthen my abilities as a leader."

Princess was among twenty IWL Leadership Scholars who presented highlights of their social action projects at the Young Leaders and Social Change Forum held February 8, 2011, at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library, Douglass Campus, Rutgers University.

In her presentation, Princess reported that according to research published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, within a twenty-four day young people spend at least eight hours in school, six hours sleeping and ten hours using some form of media including cell phone, TV, internet, music, magazines and newspapers. Princess became concerned that this overconsumption of media was negatively influencing high school students, contributing to risky behaviors and lack of self respect. She designed Media & Me, a series of media literacy workshops for students 14 to 16 years of age enrolled in the New Jersey City University afterschool program.

"The goal of Media & Me was to make teens more aware of the messages they were constantly receiving through mass media and how these messages have influenced their social behaviors," said Princess.

During the course of the Media & Me program, Princess used two films to spark group discussion: Jean Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising Images of Women; and Byron Hurt's Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.

WINGS Students Benefit from Dress for Success, Mercer CountyWINGS Students Benefit from Dress for Success, Mercer County

Dressing professionally for interviews and events is one of the concerns of students in the Rutgers WINGS College-to-Career Mentoring Program as they prepare to make the transition to the workplace. To meet this need, for the last two years “What Not to Wear to WINGS Events” has been a welcome feature of our WINGS Orientation. This year, advice became opportunity, thanks to the efforts of Connie A. Ellis, WINGS Program Director, and Frances E. Cohen, Boutique Manager, Dress for Success, Mercer County, as well as a corps of enthusiastic Dress for Success volunteers.

In a special WINGS program, Rutgers undergraduate students visited the Dress for Success, Mercer County Boutique, on a selected Saturdays in October and December. Upon arrival, each WINGS student was greeted by a personal shopper who helped her navigate the boutique, select styles, and put together professional outfits, complete with blouses, button-down shirts, shoes, handbags, watches and jewelry. Many of the mentees got their very first suit and were thrilled and grateful. “Thank you for your kindness and dedication to helping me find a business suit and outfit,” wrote Phyllis Lee, WINGS Mentee at Merck & Co. “All of your advice and patient guidance helped me find the perfect one, and I am so excited to wear it.”

WINGS is an eight-month college-to-career mentoring program designed to prepare Rutgers female undergraduate students for the transition from college to career. Students are selected for the program and paired with successful role models and mentors from Deloitte, Wachovia/Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck & Co. Click here to learn how to apply.

The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. To find out more and get involved, visit Dress for Success, Mercer County website at

Executive Panel "Women Leading Social Change"
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rutgers Institute for Women's Leadership, Center for Women and Work, and The Next Level, Inc., will hosted a panel discussion on "Women Leading Social Change." As part of the Executive Leadership Program for professional women this panel was designed to inspire participants to use their talents to lead social change and to increase their understanding of how and where women are leading social change. 

Panelists included:

    1.  Supriya Banavalikar, Senior Executive, The Hunger Project, a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger;
    2.  Ellen LeBow, Artist and Founder, Women Artists of Matenwa, Haiti, an artisan collective to empower poor women of Matenwa to use their creativity to produce scarves for sale;
    3.  Ingrid Hu Dahl, Program Officer of Youth Media, Academy for Educational Development and co-founder Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls;
    4.  Debbie Walsh, Director, Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics; Founder, Ready to Run; Coordinator, The 2012 Project; the pre-eminent source of information on women's political participation;
    5.  Tifphani White, Tax Senior Manager, International Tax Services, Deloitte Tax, LLP, Rutgers WINGS Mentor.
Eileen Fisher Store and Institute for Women's Leadership Partner in Benefit EventEileen Fisher Store and Institute for Women's Leadership Partner in Benefit Event
Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Eileen Fisher Store, Westfield, NJ, featured the Rutgers Institute for Women's Leadership as the beneficiary of its special fall benefit. Thanks to enthusiastic responses, this day set a sales record for the Westfield store and exceeded similar Eileen Fisher benefits held around the country. The event raised $4,996 for Institute programs supporting women and girls.

Leading the Way Book Launch CelebrationLeading the Way Book Launch Celebration
June 5, 2010

Alumnae, current IWL Scholars, and staff as well as family and friends gathered together to celebrate the accomplishments of editor Mary K. Trigg and 21 contributors to the newly released anthology entitled Leading the Way: Young Women's Activism for Social Change. The event began with a welcome by Lisa Hetfield, Interim Director of the Institute followed by remarks by Mary K. Trigg, Director of Leadership Programs and Research and Associate Professor, Women's and Gender Studies.

The Celebration continued with an inspiring series of four speakers that contributed to the book. The speakers were Jessica Greenstone, Douglass College and IWL Class of 2000; Kristy Perez, Douglass College and IWL Class of 2001; Ingrid Hu Dahl, Douglass College and IWL Class of 2002; and Edna Ishayik, Douglass College and IWL Class of 2001.

2010 Susan and Michael J. Angelides Lecture2010 Susan and Michael J. Angelides Lecture
"Look for Leadership, Discover Grace"
Featuring Playwright, Actor and Professor Anna Deavere Smith
May 3, 2010
Nicholas Music Center, Douglass Campus, Rutgers University

Hailed by Newsweek as "the most exciting individual in American Theater," Anna Deavere Smith uses a singular brand of theater and journalism to explore issues of community, character and diversity in America. As the 2010 Angelides lecture, Ms. Smith explored connections between leadership and grace, drawing an audience of over 500 people to Nicholas Music Center.

2010 Susan and Michael J. Angelides Lecture We live in a winner take all society. And yet, part of our potential as humans is our potential for compassion and resilience in the face of adversity. While doing research for her acclaimed play, "Let Me Down Easy," Anna Deavere interviewed people in the U.S. and abroad who were able to exhibit grace in the face of dramatic adversities. In her talk for the Institute for Women's Leadership Angelides lecture, Ms. Smith performed excerpts from these interviews to convey ideas of leadership and grace as illustrated in the lives of people-some famous, others everyday folks-facing illness, hardship, heartbreak and tragedy. Following her inspiring talk, Anna Deavere Smith answered questions about her work and shared perspectives on ways to make a meaningful difference in the world.

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