New: the SUNY Broome Women’s Institute

Women in the Southern Tier have a new collective voice for addressing the societal challenges that impact our local, national and global community.  A dedicated group of women at SUNY Broome have united to form the SUNY Broome Women’s Institute. The Institute membership, which includes women from every corner of the SUNY Broome campus, welcomes partnerships with individuals, organizations and other educational institutions.

The mission of the Women’s Institute is to advance women’s issues through education, research, and local, state, national and international outreach in areas of modern day concerns that are important to women.  As a community college, one of our greatest strengths is our close connection to the community. The newly formed Institute hopes to draw from that valuable resource by building a collaborative network of local women and men who have the common goal of harnessing their diverse skills and talents to take on the issues that matter most to women in our community.

The Women’s Institute will serve as clearinghouse for both campus and community generated programs on women’s issues.   Our inaugural programs include a film screening and panel discussion of the film Suffragettes (co-sponsored with the Broome-Tioga League of Women Voters);  a screening and conversation with the directors of the documentary Bottoms Up that examines the new and dangerous craze in aesthetic surgery –big butts; a powerful presentation on modern day sex trafficking as part of the College’s Convocation Day; and a Distinguished  Speaker Series launched with an examination of the historical connection between an iconic  female superhero and the struggle for women’s rights with Harvard historian, Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman.

In addition to academic and community programming, the Women’s Institute is revitalizing the Liberal Arts Women’s Studies degree program by recruiting new faculty, revising existing courses, and preparing new core courses to better meet the needs of today’s students.  We strive to make the Women’s Studies program a truly interdisciplinary experience that will promote critical thinking and challenge students to actively engage with women’s issues.  In support of this educational goal, the Institute will provide applied learning opportunities for the next generation of women to engage in research, debate and collaboration.

We envision the Women’s Institute as a dynamic and creative entity that will evolve, transform and have meaning in unique ways that reflect those individuals who contribute to, partner with and help sustain the Institute. By drawing from individuals affiliated with Liberal Arts, Health Sciences, Business and Public Services, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, we are poised to take on a multitude of issues, including workplace equality and diversity, economics, health and wellness, body image, violence against women, politics and leadership.

The members of the Women’s Institute value, and are committed to, the enrichment, education and empowerment of women and those individuals and organizations that strive to support women.  By linking SUNY Broome faculty, staff and students with policymakers, professionals, and community entities passionate about women’s issues, we will make this commitment explicit.  In keeping with the well-established SUNY tradition of excellence, it is our goal to make the Women’s Institute a recognized Center of Excellence, not only for the College and SUNY, but for our entire community.

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