Campus Life, News

Leadership symposium advocates women’s empowerment

DREAM Act advocate Gaby Pacheco speaks during the Women's Leadership Symposium on Saturday in the SAC Ballrooms. As the keynote speaker, Pacheco spoke about her experience as an undocumented student in America and her four month campaign walk, "Trail of Dreams," from Miami to Washington, DC. Monica Herndon // Photo Editor

DREAM Act advocate Gaby Pacheco speaks during the Women’s Leadership Symposium on Saturday in the SAC Ballrooms. As the keynote speaker, Pacheco spoke about her experience as an undocumented student in America and her four month campaign walk, “Trail of Dreams,” from Miami to Washington, DC. Monica Herndon // Photo Editor

 

Caitlyn Boyle asked women at Saturday’s Women’s Leadership Symposium to consider themselves and their role in the success of businesses.

“Think about how many corporations would go bust if women were happy with themselves,” she said.

Boyle, the creator of “Operation Beautiful: One Note At a Time,” was the closing speaker at this year’s Women’s Leadership Symposium that was held at the Student Activities Center (SAC). Boyle encourages women to post positive Post-it notes in public places to foster their self-esteem.

The symposium was hosted by the Butler Center and served as a forum for women at the University of Miami to gain insight on how to become effective leaders in the community. Though geared to female students, men and women from the community also attended to learn about issues faced by women globally.

Gaby Pacheco, an advocate of the DREAM Act and activist on immigration reform, gave the keynote address to the event.

Pacheco is one of the creators of the Florida-based, youth-led group Students Working for Equal Rights that fought for the rights of undocumented students in the Miami-Dade community.

Her speech not only focused on women but on everyone’s “power.”

“Never doubt the power you have,” she said. “You have the power to make a difference.”

In its second year, the symposium emphasized the importance of community engagement and what tools and knowledge women need to become active citizens and spark change.

Other speakers included award-winning business journalist Cindy Goodman, URGENT Vice President Saliha Nelson and Mara D’ Amico, an advocate for survivors of domestic violence.

Sophomore Hannah Goldrick was motivated by Boyle’s speech.

“As Caitlyn said, these Post-it notes may seem really minor, but they really encourage women to realize how toxic negative self-talk is,” she said. “I am going to start putting Post-it notes.”

In addition to the speakers, the symposium also offered workshops that encouraged team building through games, playing video clips and talks, which all highlighted the motto “the heart of the leadership is building trust.”

Workshop topics included body image and objectification, leadership in the workplace, history of feminism, health and well-being as well as violence against women. These workshops encouraged a frank discussion of challenges women face in the workplace and in their private lives.

Senior Hannah Burke attended the symposium for the first time because she was interested in the workshops on violence against women.

“I wanted to learn more about the issue and how to tackle it,” she said. “I hope to make a difference in my local community in the fight against violence against women and be the best leader I can.”

November 17, 2013

Reporters

Layla Haidrani


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