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“At the Crossroads: Women in Civic Leadership”: The Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium 2020

March 6, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

10:00 am

“At the Crossroads: Women in Civic Leadership”

You’re invited to the 2020 Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership, featuring panel discussions about the contributions of women in civic leadership both regionally and across the country. As the nation marks the centennial of women’s suffrage this year, the seventh annual Fairbanks Symposium brings together top female leaders from across the region to celebrate the achievements made since 1920 and to discuss pathways to reaching new milestones.

The keynote INconversation features special guest Jennifer Lawless, Commonwealth Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, a national expert on women, politics and the media, in conversation with Rima Shahid, Executive Director of Women4Change since 2017.

The $10 event fee includes a buffet lunch. Students may register at no charge and must produce a current university ID card upon entry

Follow #Fairbanks20 on social media!


  • 9:30 a.m.: Registration and networking
  • 10:05 a.m.: Remarks
    Robert L. Manuel, President, University of Indianapolis
  • 10:15 a.m.: Panel Discussion: Women and Civic Leadership in Indianapolis Today
    We’ll kick off the day by looking at how women in Indianapolis have shaped our shared civic life in politics, philanthropy and service.

    • Moderator: Laura Wilson, University of Indianapolis Assistant Professor of Political Science
    • Panelists:
      • Mel Raines, Indiana Pacers Senior VP of Facilities Operations, Pacers Sports & Entertainment; former Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Susan Brooks
      • Angela Smith Jones, Deputy Mayor Deputy Mayor of Economic Development at City of Indianapolis
      • Deborah Daniels, former U.S. Attorney and U.S. Assistant Attorney General, University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees member
      • Kathy Cabello, Cabello Associates, Indiana State University Board Trustee, Indy 500 Festival Board Director, Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commissioner
  • 11:30 a.m.: Buffet lunch
  • Noon: INconversation with Jennifer Lawless and Rima Shahid
    Although women have played an integral role in a variety of leadership positions, Indiana has never elected a woman governor or senator. Moreover, Indianapolis has never elected a female mayor. What does this suggest about the unique challenges politically ambitious women face as they seek and hold elected office? During this signature INconversation, Jennifer L. Lawless, Commonwealth Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, a nationally renowned expert on women, the media and politics, will join us to share her insights and look ahead to 2020 and beyond. Rima Shahid, founding Executive Director of Women4Change, will moderate.
  • 1:15 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Building a Pipeline for the Future
    To conclude the day, we’ll look at how local organizations are supporting women who want to run for political office and reflect on how Indianapolis and Indiana compare nationally.

    • Moderator: Anne Hathaway, President, Hathaway Strategies; Director of Lugar Series
    • Panelists:
      • Kristin Jones, Indianapolis City Council District 16
      • Adrianne Slash, Senior Instructional Designer, Community Health Network; Exchange for Urban League; Forefront Columnist, IBJ.
      • Amy Levander, Executive Director, Hoosier Women Forward

Ticketing Policy

Spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If all tickets are claimed, you will automatically be added to the waitlist and notified should additional seats open up. Stand-by tickets will be released approximately 10 minutes before the event begins.

About the Fairbanks Symposium

The Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership is hosted by the University of Indianapolis’ Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives, in partnership with Indiana Humanities. It is made possible through the generous support of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.


March 6, 2020
10:00 am - 2:30 pm
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University of Indianapolis
(317) 788-3368
View Organizer Website


Schwitzer Student Center, UIndy Hall
1400 Campus Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46227 United States
+ Google Map
(317) 788-3368
View Venue Website

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