SOCIAL ACTIVISM FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
New communication media are transforming our everyday lives and leaving a lasting imprint on our culture. A comprehensive understanding of these innovative tools can help us harness their power to mobilize public opinion, promote gender equity, and shape our society for the better. As a leading public research institution located in one of the largest media markets in the world, Rutgers provides the perfect platform for endowing an academic chair dedicated to exploring how new media can be used for communication, igniting social activism, and resolving pressing global problems.
Gloria Steinem has helped to use media to educate and inspire generations of women to challenge the status quo and bring feminist issues to the forefront of national
debate. Now, in the digital age, innovative information and communication technologies have created new pathways for media professionals to practice their craft and for many people to voice their opinions and take part in a worldwide, online conversation. The fluid nature of today’s communication channels offers exciting and unexplored opportunities to engage public debate on topics that affect all humanity, from demanding equal pay for equal work to stemming violence against women.
To honor Gloria Steinem and continue to expand and build on her life’s work of using media to empower men
and women to actively work for social justice, Rutgers is launching a fundraising effort to establish the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies.
A Multidisciplinary Endeavor
The Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies is a collaborative effort among three of Rutgers’ outstanding resources—the School of Communication and Information (SC&I), the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL), and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, School of Arts and Sciences.
SC&I offers a comprehensive academic curriculum for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing professional studies in communication, journalism, media, information technology, and library science, and is committed to encouraging students to make lasting and significant contributions to these multidisciplinary fields.
The IWL is a consortium with nine participating members:
Douglass Residential College
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies
Center for American Women and Politics
Institute for Research on Women
Center for Women’s Global Leadership
Center for Women and Work
Institute for Women and Art
Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics » Center on Violence Against Women and Children
This group serves as a catalyst and incubator for developing innovative programs to advance the leadership of diverse women and to explore timely topics affecting women.
Establishing this new chair is a multidisciplinary endeavor that takes full advantage of Rutgers’ strong platform in women’s and gender studies and its efforts to launch scholarly research that explores the potential impact new media technologies have for informing the public and encouraging active participation in political or social causes.
THE PERFECT PLACE
Distinguished and Diverse
Rutgers’ rich history of promoting women’s education and conducting scholarly research on contemporary issues that affect women makes the university the perfect place for establishing this unique endowed chair. From the founding of the New Jersey College for Women (which became Douglass College) in 1918 to the launching of the Center on Violence Against Women and Children in 2007, Rutgers has demonstrated its leadership and expertise in engaging and empowering women to shape their lives and change society.
As the eighth oldest institution for higher learning in the nation, Rutgers has earned the respect of the academic community with its inclusion in the prestigious Association of American Universities and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). Over nearly 250 years, Rutgers has grown from a small colonial college to a comprehensive university with one of the most diverse student populations in the nation. This diversity is among Rutgers’ greatest strengths, and the university takes pride in its people, whose differences serve to enrich and inform the university community.
THE GLORIA STEINEM ENDOWED CHAIR STEERING COMMITTEE
The Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair Steering Committee provides guidance for establishing the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies and leadership for meeting its fundraising goals. Below is the complete list of the accomplished women who compose the steering committee.
Co-Chairs Subha Barry, principal, SV Barry Consulting Group (formerly senior VP and CDO, Freddie Mac and Merrill Lynch) Geraldine Laybourne, serial entrepreneur who led the creation of the Nickelodeon brand and founded Oxygen Media
Members Susan Berresford, former president, Ford Foundation Abigail Disney, documentary filmmaker(Pray the Devil Back to Hell and Women, War & Peace) Sheila Johnson, co-founder, Black Entertainment Television (BET) Natalie Morales, Today Show news anchor Amy Richards, author, producer, and president, Soapbox, Inc. Salamishah Tillet, associate professor of English, University of Pennsylvania Betty Turock, professor and associate dean emerita, Rutgers School of Communication and Information Gina Valeri, publisher, EntraNewYork.com and The NFLD Guide to New York City; writer, CipolleRosse.it Ellen Chesler, author and senior fellow, Roosevelt Institute Carol Jenkins, former WNBC New York anchor and reporter; founding president, Women’s Media Center Ariel Levy, author and staff writer, The New Yorker Martha Nelson, senior vice president, Global Editor-in-Chief, YAHOO Stacey Tisdale, award-winning financial journalist and author, and financial literacy advocate Adaora Udoji, award-winning journalist, and CEO and founder, outLoud, inc. Cora Weiss, president, The Hague Appeal for Peace; director, Samuel Rubin Foundation
Rutgers Faculty and Staff Lisa Hetfield, director of development, Institute for Women’s Leadership Linda Christian, director of development, School of Communication and Information Jonathan Potter, dean, School of Communication and Information