-- Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Yolanda B. Jimenez to Speak at Press Conference; Male Members of the Academic Community Will Pledge to Help End All Violence Against Women --
FLUSHING, NY, March 28, 2011—As part of its ongoing commitment to address the issue of violence against women, Queens College is holding a press conference April 6 to announce the acceptance of its Women and Work program as a member organization in the UN Women’s Say NO-UNiTE to End Violence Against Women (“Say NO”) campaign. Yolanda B. Jimenez, Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, will be among the speakers. The conference begins at noon in Rosenthal Library, Room 230.
Women and Work—a free, 15-week program founded in 1999 at Queens College—empowers participants to rebuild their lives, many of which have been shattered by physical and emotional abuse. To date, the program has helped transform the lives of over 1,500 women through job and life skills training. Say NO was launched in 2009 by UN Women as an international call for action to end violence against women and girls. UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, it was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.
With acceptance into Say NO, Women and Work will have its own page on the organization’s website where it can post its “Actions”—educational and outreach efforts and campaigns. Almost two million antiviolence actions have been taken so far through the combined efforts of Say NO’s member organizations.
At the April 6 press conference, Queens College President James Muyskens, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Frank Sanchez, Queens College Vice President for Student Affairs Joseph Bertolino, and college alumnus and Wall Street executive Jon Jankus will be among the first men at Queens College to join the global White Ribbon Campaign: Men Working to End Men’s Violence Against Women. All male audience members will be invited to stand and take the white ribbon pledge to help end all forms of violence against women. Participation is open to women, too.
The White Ribbon Campaign originated in Canada in 1991 with a small group of men who decided to urge other men to speak out about violence against women. They use a white ribbon to represent each man’s personal pledge “to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.” Men participating in the Queens College event will publicly pledge their support for the cause of ending violence against women and receive their white ribbon.
“In the past, we’ve held one-day marches and month-long campaigns to address the issue of domestic violence,” says Carmella Marrone, executive director and founder of Women and Work. “Those worthwhile campus efforts should and will continue. But this is our chance to raise awareness on a daily basis, to mentor a community of men and enable them to foster the antiviolence- against-women movement in their relationships, families, and workplaces.”
“Only when men and women stand together to confront violence against women, can we hope to end this terrible plague,” said Commissioner Jimenez. “By wearing white ribbons or letting victims know that help is available, we all have an important role to play. In fact, any domestic violence victim can simply walk into the City’s Family Justice Center to receive comprehensive services in one location.”
Yolanda B. Jimenez is the first commissioner for the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. The office develops programs and policies aimed at reducing domestic violence and works with diverse communities to increase awareness about domestic violence. The office administers the New York City Family Justice Centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, one-stop service centers that give victims easy access to comprehensive services in their own language and regardless of their immigration status through the work of dedicated prosecutors, City agencies and community service staff.
To learn more about Women and Work at Queens College and its initiatives, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/womenandwork. For more information on the Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, visit http://www.saynotoviolence.org/. For more information on the New York City Family Justice Centers, visit http://www.nyc.gov/domesticviolence.
Immediately following the press conference, groundbreaking sociologist and Penn State Professor Emerita Kathleen Barry will discuss her new book, Unmaking War, Remaking Men: How Empathy Can Reshape Our Politics, Our Soldiers and Ourselves. She will introduce concepts such as core masculinity and expendable lives to expose how masculinity and the military prepare men for killing, and suggest new approaches to world peace and a new definition of masculinity. Barry will sign copies of her book, available for purchase at the event, following her talk.
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its students come from over 140 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Each year Queens College has been cited by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. More info: www.qc.cuny.edu .