Leadership Forum Urges Women to 'Wake Up'

MSNBC’s Irin Carmon came to UCF on Tuesday as the keynote speaker for the seventh annual forum on “Women in Leadership: A Global Perspective.” Drawing nearly 100 audience members, the event was organized by the Global Perspectives Office in conjunction with SGA. In addition to Carmon, participants included UCF Women’s Studies program director Maria Christina Santana and SGA president Melissa Westbrook.

Santana opened the forum by challenging college women to “wake up” and acknowledge, what she described as, the continuing “attack on women” in politics. After pointing out that political leaders were often first student leaders, Santana underlined the importance of local involvement and the consequences of being uninformed. She invited those interested to attend the UCF workshop, “Elect Her,” on Jan. 25.

Carmon, whose work in journalism and reporting has focused on women’s issues, politics and culture, said that “the old order has been shaken,” but not changed.

She emphasized strides women have made, such as representing a greater portion of the American workforce or living independently. Underscoring a recent influx of women into Congress, Carmon said “young women made this happen by speaking up.”

She urged the audience to get involved at the local level, as well as at the national level of politics to fight for issues important to them. She said she also advocated for more women in politics regardless of their political party affiliation.

“It is worth it to push for change. It is worth it to keep talking about it,” she said.     

In addition to the Global Perspectives Office and UCF’s Student Government Association as co-sponsor, sponsors for the presentation included the UCF Burnett Honors College, UCF Women’s Studies Program, UCF Diplomacy Program, UCF Global Peace and Security Studies Program, the Chastang Charitable Foundation, UCF Center for the Success of Women Faculty, UCF Political Science Department, UCF LIFE and the Global Connections Foundation.