"Women in Politics" will be the focus Friday at Russell Sage College as the school welcomes three prominent female legislators from both parties to a public forum.
As an all-female college, Russell Sage officials say the school’s mission is to craft students into “women of influence” in the world. On Friday morning, students – as well as the public – will have two opportunities to learn about women – both past and current – who are influencing a field that can be hard to enter for women: politics. The day begins with a visit from the C-SPAN Bus, which is making a stop at the campus to promote the network’s second season of First Ladies: Influence and Image, which begins this fall.
C-SPAN’s 45 ft. interactive multimedia bus is home to a presentation center; it includes touch-screen access to C-SPAN’s vast video library, interactive quizzes on American leaders and the political process and ways to connect with C-SPAN via social media.
A short time later, a trio of recently-elected state legislators, Senators Kathy Marchione, Cecilia Tkaczyk, and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, will share their own journies into public service and the issues facing women in office. The event will be moderated by political journalist and WAMC commentator Liz Benjamin, host of YNN’s Capital Tonight.
Friday’s panel discussion is the first in a series of “Women of Influence in Politics” events, which will bring female leaders from different levels and branches of public service, to the Sage campuses. Women currently hold 18% of Congressional seats and 23% of statewide elected offices, while 24% of state legislators are women.
On the October 21st episode, C-SPAN’s First Ladies: Influence and Image series will focus on Eleanor Roosevelt –who has historic ties to Russell Sage College.
• In the 1920s, Eleanor Roosevelt gave a speech at a Russell Sage student assembly.
• In 1929, Sage awarded Roosevelt its first-ever honorary degree, calling her "one of the ablest, most energetic and most versatile women in public life today." Her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was governor of New York State at the time.
• In 1941, as First Lady, she returned to Sage for its 25th Anniversary celebration, attending Convocation and presenting honorary degrees.
• In 1945, Roosevelt was appointed to the Sage Board of Trustees. She resigned a year later, citing her growing responsibilities at the United Nations.
“From Eleanor Roosevelt to the three distinguished state legislators joining us at Friday’s event, The Sage Colleges enjoy a rich tradition of hosting influential female leaders,” said Susan Scrimshaw, President of The Sage Colleges. “Our history is deeply rooted in fostering Sage students’ commitment to service, and we welcome these distinguished “Women of Influence” to share a rare, intimate conversation about their decision to serve in elected office.”
Among the students attending Friday’s events will be those enrolled in Sage’s new PACE (Public Policy, Advocacy and Civic Engagement) degree as well as its Women’s Studies program, the only undergraduate-level Women’s Studies program in the country