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Women's equality conference gathers in Rose City

Portland will be the site of a national women’s equality conference this Thursday and Friday.

Vision 2020, a national initiative advancing women’s economic and social equality, will hold its third annual Congress “Collaborating for Change,” at the Portland Hilton.

Hundreds of participants will come from across the country to examine issues such as pay equity, increasing women in senior leadership positions, and promoting family-friendly workplace policies.

Vision 2020 is a project of Philadelphia-based Drexel University’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. Organizers aim to achieve their goals by 2020, which marks the U.S. centennial of the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote.

The Portland event includes a free reception and awards ceremony, “She Flies With Her Own Wings,” open to the public Thursday from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m.

The ceremony will honor Gov. Barbara Roberts, the first and only woman governor of Oregon and the only woman to serve as majority leader in the Oregon House of Representatives., who is also a “visionary delegate” for Vision 2020.

The ceremony will also honor Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a writer, director and producer of the 2011 Sundance documentary, “Miss Representation,” part of a call-to-action campaign to educate, engage and empower women and girls and eradicate sexism in the media.

Siebel Newsom is also an executive producer of “The Invisible War,” winner of the 2012 Sundance Audience Award, examining sexual abuse and rape in the U.S military. Her company, Girls Club Entertainment LLC, develops and produces independent films that empower women.

Thursday evening’s events will also will feature a panel discussion called “After the Election: Women and the National Conversation,” focused on the impact of national and state election results, moderated by KGW-TV anchor Brenda Braxton.

Panelists will include Leslie Bennetts, author and former Newsweek and Daily Beast journalist; Tomoko Hosaka, news and politics manager at Ustream; and Melody Rose, vice chancellor for academic strategies at Oregon University System.

For more information: www.drexel.edu/vision2020/annual_congress/2012/