Jennifer L. Pozner’s Twitter account says she’s a: Media critic. Public speaker. Anti-racist feminist. Fiend for cocoa. Founder/E.D., Women In Media & News. Author, Reality Bites Back. She is also adding to her list a speaking engagement at Rochester Institute of Technology’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business during the fourth annual Power Your Potential Women’s Leadership Conference on Monday, March 25, in RIT’s Louise M. Slaughter Hall.
The event, which is sponsored by the Saunders College and KeyBank, begins at 11:30 a.m. and includes lunch and the conference, as well as campus transportation and elite seating at “An Evening with Maya Angelou.” Emcee for Power Your Potential is WHEC-TV news anchor and reporter Rebecca Leclair, who will introduce women commentators from business and education in the community.
“Power Your Potential is a wonderful conference that connects RIT alumnae, local business executives, entrepreneurs and RIT students by providing them activities designed to help them support and implement business with each other and learn innovative ideas and strategies for surpassing their business and professional objectives,” says Saunders College Dean dt ogilvie.
Pozner, who founded Women in Media & News in 2001 to increase women’s power and presence in public debate through media analysis, education, advocacy and reform, will discuss “Ladies First, Leaders Later... or Never? Media, Sexism and Power.”
The former staff writer for Extra! magazine and organizer of the national Feminist Coalition on Public Broadcasting is a widely acclaimed journalist and media critic. Pozner has published in Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Ms., Arizona Republic, Hartford Courant—and appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, ABC News Now’s Top Priority, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Fox News Network’s The O’Reilly Factor.
“I focus on news media, entertainment media, advertising, the way these forms of media frame our understanding of what women are supposedly capable of—and not capable of—their biases against the men in businesses and where it comes from, what kinds of representations are more authentic and more open to women’s real experiences.”
Pozner grew up in a lower-income family living in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Her father worked at a power plant for Con Edison and her mother was employed as a legal secretary. She says her first act of advocacy was at age 14. “I kept seeing my friends of color getting mistreated by police just for walking down the street. I’ve always been on a quest for fairness, and having these friends who were all smart, funny and compassionate, I wondered why some people are treated so badly and some aren’t.”
A graduate of Hampshire College, she believes laughter is both a powerful weapon and an activist’s best medicine. “Without accurate, independent, non-biased journalism and creative cultural entertainment we can never move forward as a democracy. The progressive community must be involved in the fight for media reform.”
Additional speakers include Linda Murphy, professor at RIT’s Saunders College of Business and former owner of Flex Enterprises Inc.; Karen Magnuson, editor and vice president/news at the Democrat and Chronicle; Margaret Bailey, RIT professor of mechanical engineering and faculty associate to the Provost for Female Faculty at RIT; Shalini Khazanchi, associate professor of management in RIT’s Saunders College; Kathy Turiano, co-founder and owner of Joe Bean Coffee Roasters; Jennifer Posey and Zahra Langford, co-owners of Hedonist Artisan Chocolates; and Leslie Berkowitz, executive director of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester.
The cost to attend Power Your Potential is $10 for students, $35 for RIT alumni, faculty and staff, and $40 for the general public, and includes lunch. To register, go to http://www.rit.edu/womensconference or contact Dana Pierce at 585-475-2199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.