To mark Women’s History Month, Stony Brook’s video series “5 Questions With …” is releasing five new video interviews highlighting the importance of gender equality in higher education.
This month’s luminaries include Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, and award-winning novelist Cristina Henriquez. Together with Margaret Jay, Sulma Arzu Brown and Lindsey Hilsum, they are featured in thoughtful, compelling interviews, available on a browsable website as well as a Youtube playlist.
The ongoing series, part of the “In The Know” offerings created by SBU’s Office of Marketing and Communications, spotlights the university’s role in global thought leadership. Interview subjects are affiliated with or have visited the campus for student and community enrichment events and activities.
More on this month’s luminaries:
- Sulma Arzu-Brown is the author of Bad Hair Does Not Exist/Malo Pelo No Existe!, a bilingual children’s book that encourages the cultural solidarity of young Black, Afro-Latino and multi-racial girls to see themselves, and their hair, as beautiful. The book’s mission is to empower young women by providing them with positive terms to describe their hair, while at the same time teaching them the importance of respecting and appreciating the differences in other children. Her work depicts women of various ages, professions and skin tone to expose children to the world’s diversity. Sulma Arzu-Brown is also an entrepreneur, executive director of the Garifuna Coalition, and VP of Operations for the New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She was the keynote speaker at the 2017 opening ceremony of Stony Brook University’s Black History Month.
- Cristina Henriquez is the author of The Book of Unknown Americans, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and one of Amazon’s Top 10 Books of the Year. The novel was selected as the First-Year Reading curriculum for Stony Brook University’s freshman class of 2016. It was the Daily Beast Novel of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, an NPR Great Read, and was chosen one of the best books of the year by BookPage, Oprah.com, and School Library Journal. It was also longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Henriquez is also the author The World In Half (a novel), and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection. Her non-fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, and The Oxford American, among others.
- Lindsey Hilsum is the international editor of Channel 4 News in London, an award-winning correspondent and author of Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution. She was a 2016 distinguished lecturer at the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, and shared a reporter’s account of modern day conflict and America’s future role, as well as her experiences reporting from the frontlines of Rwanda to Syria, and Baghdad to Benghazi. Hilsum was a colleague and close friend of Marie Colvin, a Long Island native and acclaimed war correspondent, who was killed in Syria on February, 22, 2012, while covering the conflict for The Sunday Times of London. Hilsum is currently working on a biography of Colvin. She is a regular contributor to The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The New Statesman, and Granta.
- Margaret Jay, Baroness Jay of Paddington, is a Former Leader of the House of Lords and Minister for Women. A Labour politician and former BBC television producer and presenter, she is a pioneer of women’s issues and has longstanding interests in health and constitutional affairs. Baroness Jay was a journalist for more than 20 years before becoming a force in British government. In 1992, she was appointed a “working peer” to the House of Lords by the Labour Party. In 1998, she became Leader of the House of Lords, and was also named Minister for Women, a position from which she pushed for changes in government policy. Today, Baroness Jay serves on committees in the House of Lords focusing on health, communications and international issues. In 2016, she delivered a Stony Brook University Presidential Lecture on the new populism in America and Britain.
- Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women. She has devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa. From 2005 to 2008, she served as the first woman Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programs to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government. In 2014, she launched HeForShe, a global effort to engage men and boys in removing the social and cultural barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their potential, and thus together positively reshaping society. In 2016, she delivered a Presidential Lecture on gender equality at Stony Brook University, an Impact Champion for the HeForShe solidarity movement.