January 31, 2012
Westerville, OH—Otterbein University will bring regional and national leaders together with students, educators and community partners on Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, at Otterbein’s Westerville campus to discuss the role of higher education in ensuring future opportunities for women. As one of 12 universities across the nation selected to host an Opportunity Nation summit, Otterbein will create an open collaborative space in which participants will share, imagine, and build innovative new pathways for women’s social, political, and economic mobility. These discussions will culminate in a strategic regional action plan for higher education and community partners to prepare women to succeed in the 21st century. The plan will be presented at a Town Hall meeting, hosted by MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing.
"We are expecting hundreds of community leaders, scholars and citizens to join us at Otterbein to inspire us as they share innovative and ambitious strategies for increasing opportunity for women and girls within their schools, businesses, organizations and communities," said Melissa Gilbert, associate dean of experiential learning and director of the Center for Community Engagement at Otterbein.
Participants can choose between five tracks, including conversations about raising awareness of the institutional and structural obstacles facing women; developing new strategies in higher education that support the flourishing of women and girls; cultivating meaningful and sustainable community partnerships that help create more communities of opportunity; training a new generation to become social change agents in their own communities; and unleashing resources to transform the everyday experiences of women and girls.
Highlights of the events currently include a Student Leadership Institute for college students and an Ask Legal Series addressing key legal issues in social change work. At the IN/vent Tents, people can drop by and vent about obstacles facing women or share strategies to create new pathways for women. At the Community Action Poverty Simulation, participants will role-play as members of a family living in poverty or as community service providers. The World Café will engage participants in intentional conversations about the powerful questions that matter to those committed to cultivating more opportunities for women and girls. At the Hunger Banquet, participants will share both the story and the average meal of a low, middle, or upper class person as they join others at lunch, experiencing first-hand the significant inequality that exists across the dining rooms of America.
Speakers at the two-day event currently include regional and national women leaders, with keynote speaker Jo Luck, a World Food Prize laureate; advocate for hunger, poverty and agricultural issues worldwide; and former president and CEO of Heifer International. Additional speakers include national service expert Shirley Sagawa; American Association of Colleges and Universities Senior Vice President Caryn McTighe Musil; and MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing. Kerrii Anderson, former president and CEO of Wendy’s International, serves as honorary chair of the event.
Keynote speaker Jo Luck has a distinguished record of public service and addressing issues of hunger, poverty and improved agricultural methods for small farmers. Luck joined Heifer International in 1989 as director of international programs and became president and CEO in 1992. She retired from that position in 2010. During that time, Heifer grew from a $7 million organization annually to $130 million, which translated into a significantly increased programmatic impact on the improvement of the quality of lives for millions who so richly deserved their personal dignity. Luck is a member of the presidentially-appointed Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), whose primary role is to advise USAID on agriculture, rural development and nutrition issues related to global food insecurity. Luck is also a member of the Chicago Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative Advisory Group, the Farm Foundation’s Dialogue on Food and Agriculture Steering Committee and the DuPont Advisory Committee on Agriculture Innovation and Productivity. Luck was named a 2010 World Food Prize laureate and has received numerous other awards, including the Forbes Executive Women’s Forum Trailblazer Award; the International Women’s Forum Women Who Make a Difference Award; Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award.
Kerrii B. Anderson, former president and CEO of Wendy’s International, joined Wendy’s in September 2000 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. She was promoted to the CEO position in April 2006 and left upon the merger of Wendy’s with Triarc Companies, Inc. to form Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc. in September 2008. Anderson provided leadership to the corporation as CEO in a time of transition, recognizing the need to transact while transforming Wendy’s. Prior to joining Wendy’s, she was senior vice president and chief financial officer for 14 years for M/I Schottenstein Homes, Inc. Anderson sits on the boards of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH), Chiquita Brands International (CQB), P.F. Chang’s Bistro (PFCB) and Worthington Industries, Inc. (WOR). She also serves on the Columbus Foundation Audit Committee, Ohio Health Board of Trustees and Finance Committee and Elon University Board of Trustees.
Shirley Sagawa was named a "Woman to Watch in the 21st Century," by Newsweek magazine, and one of the "Most Influential Working Mothers in America" by Working Mother magazine. A national expert on children’s policy and philanthropy, she has been called a "founding mother of the modern service movement" in the United States. She has served as a presidential appointee in both the first Bush and Clinton Administrations. She was the lead architect of legislation creating AmeriCorps and the Social Innovation Fund; the first managing director of the Corporation for National and Community Service; and the founding executive director of the Learning First Alliance, a partnership of national education associations. She served as the chief counsel for youth policy for the Senate Labor Committee and as senior counsel to the National Women’s Law Center. Sagawa is the author of The American Way to Change: How National Service and Volunteers are Transforming America, and co-author of two award-winning books, The Charismatic Organization and Common Interest, Common Good. She is co-founder of sagawa/jospin, a consulting firm that provides strategic counsel to nonprofits and foundations. She is currently a fellow at the Center for American Progress and frequent blogger for the Huffington Post.
Caryn McTighe Musil
Caryn McTighe Musil is senior vice president at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), where she is also in charge of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Global Initiatives. Musil received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University. Before moving into national-level administrative work in higher education, she was a faculty member for 18 years. She has special expertise in curriculum transformation, faculty development, U.S. and global diversity, civic engagement and women’s issues.
Chris Jansing is an MSNBC anchor and host of Jansing and Co., which airs weekdays from 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. on MSNBC. She also serves as a correspondent for Dateline NBC and as a substitute anchor for Weekend Today and the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News. Jansing joined NBC News in June 1998 as an NBC News correspondent and anchor for MSNBC. Since then, she has reported on countless major new events, including the events of 9/11 as they unfolded, the Torino and Vancouver Olympics, the deaths of Michael Jackson and John F. Kennedy Jr. and the Columbine shootings. Jansing has traveled everywhere from Iceland to Afghanistan in pursuit of major stories, including the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict. She’s also reported from the 2000 and 2004 Presidential campaign trails, anchoring coverage from both the national conventions as well as the Presidential Inaugurations. She is a graduate of Otterbein University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.
Participants can register to attend at www.otterbein.edu/opportunitynation. Fees for participation are $25 for students and $75 for non-students. Registration includes attendance to a keynote event on Friday, March 9, and participation in workshops, lectures, lunch, a Hunger Banquet, a World Café, a poverty simulation and a Town Hall meeting on Saturday, March 10.
Regional partners for the event include American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland, National Association of Women Business Owners – Columbus, Ohio Campus Compact, One Girl, The Women’s Book, United Way, Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) and YWCA. National partners include Be the Change and Opportunity Nation. For more information, visit www.bethechangeinc.org and www.opportunitynation.org. Sponsorship opportunities are available; call (614) 823-1305 for more information.