SBU champions gender equality

SBU champions gender equality

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By Charles L. Robbins

Stony Brook University has long been devoted to fostering diversity and equality. To further our commitment to equality for all people, we recently joined the United Nations Women’s HeForShe solidarity movement as an IMPACT 10x10x10 Champion.

Stony Brook is one of 10 universities around the world — and only two in the United States — that are committing to take bold, game-changing action to achieve gender equality within and beyond their institutions. This work will be done in partnership with UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

We will serve as a leader and advocate within the SUNY system and are championing three core areas to drive progress on gender equality:

• Close the gap between men and women — from matriculation to graduation.

• Use Stony Brook University’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities to build global understanding of the role of men in achieving gender equality.

• Integrate gender equality into the academic and social experience of Stony Brook University.

As an IMPACT school, we are also committed to developing and implementing a gender sensitization curriculum for students, faculty and staff, including a mandatory orientation for all new students, along with programs that will address gender-based violence. We have agreed to meet frequently with other Impact leaders to measure and report on progress, share best practices and engage other universities to champion this cause.

To that end, we are proud to be hosting the first face-to-face meeting of all 10 IMPACT University Champions, on November 30 and December 1. Representatives from the other nine universities will fly in from across the globe to discuss best practices and ways they can collaborate to drive this movement. President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, will help showcase what Stony Brook has been able to accomplish during the past few months and what we will be doing going forward.

Stony Brook and Georgetown University are the only two American universities selected to be IMPACT schools. The other eight university champions are The University of Hong Kong, University of Leicester, Nagoya University, University of Oxford, Sciences Po, University of São Paulo, University of Waterloo and University of the Witwatersrand. We look forward to welcoming these leading universities to Stony Brook and to working with them to better our communities and ultimately the world.

In 2016, Stony Brook will host two major gender equality events. First, working closely with the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, we are planning a conference to take place on our campus with representatives from all 64 SUNY campuses.

This conference will focus on gender equality as well as the Affirmative Consent. Second, we will host Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as she discusses equality with President Stanley during a public talk. The HeForShe tour bus will make a stop on campus at that time as well.

Throughout the academic year, Stony Brook will look for ways to champion gender equality on campus and beyond. Learn more about HeForShe and how you can participate in this initiative by visiting

Charles L. Robbins is the vice provost for undergraduate education and dean of the undergraduate colleges at Stony Brook University.