Goodwin College assistant professor of Humanities Brittney Yancy was among the 5,200 women — and a few men — at the inaugural United State of Women Summit, hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls on June 14 in Washington, D.C. With a goal of sparking a national movement towards gender equity and justice for women and girls, the Summit focused on six themes: Violence and Justice, Health and Wellness, Work and Families, Education, Business, and Civic Engagement and Leadership. Speakers included President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Warren Buffett, Tory Burch, Billie Jean King, Lilly Ledbetter, Loretta Lynch, Nancy Pelosi, Amy Poehler, Shonda Rhimes, Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem, Kerry Washington, and Oprah Winfrey.
Currently working on her doctorate at the University of Connecticut, Yancy was able to attend the Summit through her affiliation with the Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research, one of the organizing partners of the Summit.
“To be invited to be part of the first-ever United State of Women Summit was a humbling and inspiring experience,” she said. “The framing of gender equity in America typically focuses on ‘equal pay, equal work,’ but the White House Council on Women and Girls broadened our understanding of equity by dealing with those hard topics that juxtapose gender equity with issues of race, class, sexuality, religion, and a variety of intersecting identities and systems.”
The organizers had requested that the speakers share their best practices and solutions to problems in the workplace, rather than simply presenting the audience with statistics.
“I am definitely inspired to further my work and advocacy for equity and justice,” Yancy adds. The motto of the Summit, ‘We stand stronger when we stand together,’ is so true. Gender equity is not ‘Women’s Work,’ it is work for all of us.”
To learn more about the United State of Women, go to http://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org.