Vision 2020 Inspires Debate and Discussion on Equality -- Hundreds of National and Local Delegates Gather in Philadelphia for Bi-Partisan Project to Shape America’s Future

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Vision 2020, a national, bi-partisan initiative will launch in Philadelphia on Oct. 21-22, 2010. Hundreds of national, local and visionary delegates will gather in Philadelphia to encourage debate and discussion at Vision 2020: An American Conversation about Women and Leadership – a 10-year project to advance equality and women’s leadership. This first-of-its-kind event was created by the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine.

While women have made great strides we still hold only about 17% of elected positions and corporate board seats. Vision 2020 will begin to change the tide of leadership.

Vision 2020, a national, bi-partisan initiative will launch in Philadelphia on Oct. 21-22, 2010. Hundreds of national, local and visionary delegates will gather in Philadelphia to encourage debate and discussion at Vision 2020: An American Conversation about Women and Leadership – a 10-year project to advance equality and women’s leadership. This first-of-its-kind event was created by the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine.

“Equality seems simple but the facts show we have a long way to go,” said Vision 2020 Co-Chair Rosemarie B. Greco. “While women have made great strides we still hold only about 17% of elected positions and corporate board seats. Vision 2020 will begin to change the tide of leadership.”

Only 3% of Fortune 500 companies’ CEOs are women, according to the White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership recent statistics. In addition, only 18% of our top leaders are women and they make 78.7 cents to every dollar earned by a man.

“The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote but stopped short of making us equal,” said Lynn H. Yeakel, Vision 2020 co-chair and director of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. “Vision 2020 will embark on a decade-long action agenda to advance gender equality and women’s leadership by the year 2020.”

Vision 2020 kicks off on Oct. 21-22, when a congress of National Delegates, a team of 102 women representatives ready to identify ways to reach equality, will meet at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Two women leaders were selected from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to join Vision 2020 as National Delegates. Fourteen women were selected to serve as Visionary Delegates. These Visionaries will advise and assist the National Delegates by connecting them to organizations and resources that will assist in the 10-year effort to bring more women into leadership roles. (For a full listing of delegates, visit http://drexel.edu/vision2020/get_involved/delegates/.) The delegates serve three-year terms.

The Delegates will participate in eight “Conversations” on the topic areas of:

1. Business, Law & Finance
2. Health
3. Education
4. Communications & Media
5. Engineering, Science & Technology
6. Philanthropy, Faith & Volunteerism
7. Arts & Culture
8. Politics & Government
Each discussion will be led by three expert panelists and two moderators. (See a full listing of panelists and moderators at http://drexel.edu/vision2020/conversation/2010-panelists-moderators/.)

In addition, Drexel University and Drexel University College of Medicine will host the “Celebration of American Women” featuring Oscar-winner Geena Davis, astronaut Mae Jemison and actress and artist Jane Seymour.

Davis, who launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2007, says the disparities are significant in the entertainment business. “I have always been a champion of equality and I commend Vision 2020 on its goal and mission,” said Davis. “Whether it’s the board room or the big screen, we need to increase the presence and leadership of women.”

Following the delegates’ discussion, they will sign the “Declaration of Equality” and craft an action agenda with information from the eight conversations. They will return to their home states and begin to work on their action projects in their states.

For more information, visit http://www.drexel.edu/vision2020.

About Vision 2020
Vision 2020 is a national project of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine focused on ensuring equality by energizing the dialogue about women and leadership. In 2010, Vision 2020 will develop and launch its decade-long action agenda to move America toward equality by inspiring and engaging new generations of women and men to finish the work of the suffragists who pursued women’s right to vote as fundamental to social and economic justice. The centennial of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution will be celebrated in 2020.

About Vision 2020’s Sponsors
The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company is the Presenting Sponsor of Vision 2020. The Exelon Foundation is a Forger of the Future and Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company, Siemens, The Philadelphia Foundation and Phoebe W. Haas Charitable Trust are also sponsors.

About The National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. The enter serves as a museum, an education center, and a forum for debate on constitutional issues.

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