Press Releases

Mills College and the International Museum of Women Preview Young Women Speaking the Economy Virtual Exhibition

Oakland, CA–April 13, 2011 On Thursday, April 21, 2011, Mills College will host the preview of an innovative virtual exhibition featuring work from college students from the four corners of the globe. In this unprecedented worldwide partnership, student representatives from the Philippines, Sudan, and Denmark will join six Mills students at a special event to unveil their work for Young Women Speaking the Economy, a new online exhibition produced by the International Museum of Women (IMOW).

A highlight of the event will be guest speaker, Maya Soetoro-Ng, an educator, author, and half sister of United States President Barack Obama. Soetoro-Ng, whose work addresses themes of global awareness, cross-cultural understanding, and intergenerational connectedness, will also be signing copies of her new book, Ladder to the Moon.

Mills College, as the United States' representative, has partnered with Ayala Museum and Miriam College (Philippines), the Women's Museum and Aarhus University (Denmark), and the Sudanese Women's Museum and Ahfad University (Sudan) to create an online multimedia public platform that communicates the economic challenges faced by today's young women. Young Women Speaking the Economy highlights and contrasts these diverse economic cultures, while giving the 44 participants a voice through creative mediums including visual, musical, graphic arts, and the written word to express their views on global issues of power and economics.

"Women throughout the world face the shared burden of economic obstacles to varying degrees," said Mills College President Janet L. Holmgren. "This collaboration will give voice to that burden in a truly innovative way by implementing technology to bridge distance, language, and culture. This unique and timely project further illustrates Mills' commitment to provide a contemporary, progressive education."

Mills' participating students Christina Ayala, Colleen Kimsey, Dana Maralason, Jessica Glennon-Zukoff, Kirby Kimber, and Sahar Momand, produced a diverse array of projects which include personal essays, original music, photography, and videos.

Kirby Kimber's video diary, "Making It Work; Getting Married in College," details her decision to get married while still attending Mills, and the ensuing economic challenges she faces which range from planning a wedding to an uncertain fiscal future as she and her fianc plan for careers in academia.

In her essay, Sahar Momand focuses on the contrast between the economic hardships her mother and grandmother faced growing up in Afghanistan and Sahar's own experience as an Afghani-American growing up in this country.In her essay, Sahar Momand focuses on the contrast between the economic hardships her mother and grandmother faced growing up in Afghanistan and Sahar's own experience as an Afghani-American growing up in this country.

Jessica Glennon-Zukoff's photographic project, "Making Myself (Up)" takes a complex look at a simple morning ritual as ten different Mills students are depicted getting ready in the morning. Glennon-Zukoff examines the connection between the art of making oneself up, and the face women must put on as they launch their careers.

"A Sound Economy," Dana Maralason's improvisational music composition, was inspired by the duality women face in their lives as mothers and as wage-earners. It conveys their challenge of trying to do both well, or as in Maralason's case, potentially giving up one in order to succeed in the other.

Colleen Kimsey's "My Body's Economies" is a first-person essay on a controversial way some young women make ends meet; by selling their eggs. Kimsey explores the complexities of making such a decision by examining the balance between personal considerations and economic incentives.

Education major Christina Ayala used social media to engage in a project-wide online dialogue. Following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, both of whom were teachers, Ayala provides a passionate intergenerational perspective on the economic challenges each encountered in their quest to become educators.

A video montage with clips of projects from each country's participants will be shown at the Young Women Speaking the Economy launch event which begins at 7:00 pm at the Littlefield Concert Hall at Mills College. In addition to Soetoro-Ng, Marjorie Ames, the head of cultural programs for the Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, will be another featured speaker. Young Women Speaking the Economy will be exhibited on the IMOW website for four months, from April 21, 2011-July 31, 2011.

Major funding for the Young Women Speaking the Economy project is provided by Museums & Communities Collaboration Abroad (MCCA), made possible by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and administered by the American Association of Museums; and by MetLife Foundation's Museum and Community Connections grant. Additional support comes from the Emma Willard School.

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to over 950 undergraduate women and more than 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 373 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and second among colleges and universities in the West in its “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit

Pam Gould
Media Relations Manager

Last Updated: 8/30/11