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SUNY-wide HeForShe Conference Creates a Roadmap for America’s Largest State University System to Address Engaging Men in Gender Equality

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SUNY-wide HeForShe Conference Creates a Roadmap for America’s Largest State University System to Address Engaging Men in Gender Equality

“We cannot fully empower women and girls without involving men and boys.” Michael Kimmel, one of the world’s leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity


STONY BROOK, NY, March 14, 2016 – Stony Brook University, a HeForShe University IMPACT Champion, hosted the first ever SUNY-wide HeForShe Conference, welcoming representatives from 26 campuses across the state, UN Women’s HeForShe leadership and gender equality advocates. The conference elevated the conversation surrounding gender equality and inclusion at SUNY and inspired a commitment to further engage the SUNY campuses throughout New York State, including: 

  • UN Women’s SUNY-wide Commitment: Elizabeth Nyamayaro, head of UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign, committed to keep the momentum going with a speaking tour at SUNY campuses at their request;
  • Stony Brook University’s Pledge to Provide Research: SUNY Distinguished Sociology Professor Michael Kimmel, founder of the Stony Brook University Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, put forth the Center for SUNY to tap into existing research, and offered to conduct specific research that would help make a difference on respective campuses;
  • Campus Networking Pledge: Attendees expressed interest in creating a SUNY network that would help streamline systems and allow for SUNY peer institutions to share best practices, curriculum, programs and more.

The conference featured several keynote presentations, panel discussions and small group workshops aimed at finding ways to move the gender equality movement forward in all aspects of university life across the SUNY system.

For more information about HeForShe at Stony Brook visit

The Leadership Voice

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said: “SUNY is committed to having all of our campuses—faculty, students, staff, and administrators— come together to work toward HeForShe’s goals, and I thank Stony Brook University President Stanley for taking the lead on this important initiative.”

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD 


Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD said: “Alongside our SUNY partners, Stony Brook is taking bold and necessary steps as we work together to make gender equality a reality. The work done during the HeForShe conference is extraordinarily important, not just for Stony Brook and SUNY, but for all of America and the world.”



 Charles Robbins


 Charles Robbins, the SUNY UN Women HeForShe coordinator and Stony Brook’s vice provost for undergraduate education and dean of the Undergraduate Colleges said: “The main goal of this conference was to initiate a discussion across the SUNY system about gender equality, how to begin to take these discussions back to respective campuses and how to expand on these discussions; and we achieved that.”



 Seen and Heard at the Conference:

 Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Head of UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign


 “Truly an honor to be here and we are incredibly humbled by the support of SUNY and to have this opportunity talk to you about how to change the world. The fact that Stony Brook has trail blazed to become an inaugural champion assures me you all believe in gender equality and you want to be part of the solution.” ​ — Elizabeth Nyamayaro



Stony Brook University Distinguished Sociology Professor and founder of the Stony Brook University Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities



“For me the beginning of the conversation is to get men to engage with the idea of gender in the first place. Most men don’t think this is about them. When you say gender equality, they say it’s a conversation about women. Most men don’t even know that is important to us as it is to woman. Gender remains relatively invisible. Most men don’t think gender has anything to do with them.” — Michael Kimmel




 “I’m looking forward to connecting with many other institutions within the SUNY system and to bridging prominent and best practices and collaborating at a much larger level.” — Courtney D’Allaird, attendee and Assistant Director of Intercultural Student Engagement at University at Albany



eminist author and visiting lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University


 “It’s a gigantic relief to know that the men are having their conversation about gender equality, and we’re going to be participating together,” she said. “It’s not going to be a power stifle. It’s a collaboration.” — Naomi Wolf





“It is very important to bring these issues back to our institutions and that the challenging aspects get brought to a co-curricular level. We hope that these issues can be embedded within the curriculum that starts from day one and that is carried through year after year.” — Thomas Albrecht, attendee and Associate Professor at SUNY New Paltz  



About Stony Brook University

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with more than 25,000 students and 2,500 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 100 universities in the nation and top 40 public universities, and Kiplinger names it one of the 35 best values in public colleges. One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. A global ranking by U.S. News & World Report places Stony Brook in the top 1 percent of institutions worldwide. It is one of only 10 universities nationwide recognized by the National Science Foundation for combining research with undergraduate education. The College of Arts and Sciences is the liberal arts college of the university, with 26 academic departments, over 450 faculty and 12,000 students.  It is also host to the renowned Humanities Institute at Stony Brook.  As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

 Reporter Contact: 
Alida Almonte 

631-632-6310; Twitter @sbunewsdesk 

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