University of Rochester

University Center Announces Strategic Plan, New Name and Logo New Initiative Includes Program To Support Networking for Women in Local Government

February 15, 2000

Note to Editors: An electronic color version of the new Anthony Center logo is available. Please contact Helene Snihur (585) 275-7800 with your e-mail address.

The Susan B. Anthony University Center at the University of Rochester is being re-launched with a new name, new logo, and a strategic plan proposing a major new program, center director Nora Bredes announced today, on the occasion of the suffragist's birthday.

The Center, founded in 1995 to honor Anthony's legacy with programs for the University and the community on issues of importance to women, will now be known as the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership.

"The new name clarifies the essence of the center, which has always been to foster women's leadership, and gives people an immediate understanding of why the center exists," explained Bredes. "We feel that calling the center 'The Anthony Center' will make us more easily recognizable among all the organizations named after Susan B. Anthony."

The new initiative is the result of a six-month process of meetings with individuals and groups, both from the University and from the Rochester community, who have been interested in or collaborated on Anthony Center programs. Bredes and Center staff gathered critiques, reactions, and proposals that were used as the basis for a two-year strategic plan.

In line with the new name and strategic plan, the center has introduced a new lavender and green logo, with "Anthony" written in bold script and "Women's Leadership" emphasized in a larger size as well.

Among the plan's major proposals are an expansion of the center's hallmark program, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton/Susan B. Anthony Conversations on Contemporary Issues, and the launch of a new project, "Women Leading Local Governments."

Centerpiece Series Built Up

The Conversations, which have been held annually for five years, bring nationally prominent speakers to Rochester to address issues critical to women's advancement. Topics have included women in the media and women, work, and family.

"The event is very successful and has a healthy following in the community," said Bredes. "But the audience wanted more time to be able to discuss the ideas presented."

The forum, which was held on one evening in October, will be expanded in 2001 to include three Conversations. The event will begin with an introduction to the series topic by local speakers, expand in the second session with national speakers, and continue in a third session by looking at strategies for action. The series will span three months.

Resources for Women in Local Government

Over the next two years, the Anthony Center is also committing to an ambitious project to support women holding local office. "Women Leading Local Governments" will build the Center into a public policy resource and sponsor conventions and other networking opportunities for women officeholders.

"Women in local governments deal with issues critical to women's lives---domestic violence, family court programs, child support enforcement, health clinics---but very often lack policy support," explained Bredes. "By bringing together these women officeholders in a setting where they're no longer a legislative minority, The Anthony Center can help them gain a sense of 'critical mass' and common purpose. They can share information about programs and what's worked and what hasn't, what economists and public policy analysts think, what not-for-profits are doing, and how they can help legislate necessary change."

The Anthony Center plans to organize a statewide convention of local women officeholders in 2001 and create a "Women Leading Local Governments" web site.

Continuing Programs

The strategic plan also calls for the continuation of several existing programs: the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute of Women's Health; the Young Mothers Program, done in collaboration with the Rochester City School District; a quarterly community-wide newsletter; and the annual Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner.

Other programs, including the "Working Women" series and the Babe Didrickson Zaharias Sports Institute, will be presented as the Anthony Center continues and develops collaborations with other organizations.

"Over the next several years we will build on the commitment and vision of founding director Nan Johnson and the strong base that she established for the Anthony Center," said Bredes. "We'll focus on key strategy areas and continue to bring together women's organizations on campus and in the community to work on issues of leadership and policy change."

Johnson, a former Monroe County legislator, headed the center from 1995 until her retirement last year.