OpenVISONS: UNICEF's Caryl Stern on What the World's Children Teach Us


OpenVISONS: UNICEF's Caryl Stern on What the World's Children Teach Us

Caryl M. Stern, who became president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF after spending more than 30 years as a child advocate and civil rights activist, will deliver this year’s Jacoby-Lunin Humanitarian Lecture, entitled “I Believe in Zero: Learning from the World’s Children,” at 8 p.m., Wednesday, November 19 , at the Quick Center.

Stern will speak about her mission to reduce the number of preventable deaths of children under the age of five from 19,000 each day to zero. Included will be a discussion of her current work on behalf of UNICEF to stop Ebola. Nearly 5,000 people have died from Ebola since March, and children are its most vulnerable victims. UNICEF estimates that 3,700 children have already been orphaned by this disease.

“Ms. Stern's efforts to help children throughout the world, while recognizing their values and understanding the power of their traditions, is truly inspirational,” said Dr. Ellen M. Umansky, director of the Bennett Center. “Her work is a testament to the difference one compassionate and committed person can make in the world.”

Prior to becoming president & CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in 2007, Stern spent 27 years in non-profit and education work, including serving as the chief operating officer and senior associate national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). She was the founding director of ADL’s A World of Difference Institute and the dean of students at Polytechnic University.

Stern has served on numerous non-profit boards, including the United Nations International School, Mercy College, and the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation. Currently, she serves on the boards of the We Are Family Foundation, the Center for Disaster Relief, and SEEDS Academy, and the advisory board to the WNBA.

Stern’s bestselling book I Believe in Zero: Learning from the World’s Children (St. Martin’s Press, 2013) was released in paperback in October. Frequently appearing in the media, she has been publicly recognized for her work, including being named as one of “25 Moms We Love” by Working Mother Magazine ; a “Role MOMel” by the New York Daily News ; and one of the Forward 50 – a list of the 50 most influential Jews in America. Most recently, she won the Leading Lights Award from the National Multicultural Institute and the FutureWork Institute and the Inspiration Award from the United Nations Association Young Professionals.

Stern holds a B.A. in studio art from the State University of New York at Oneonta; and an M.S. in college student personnel administration from Western Illinois University. She completed her doctoral coursework in this same field at Loyola University in Chicago and has received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from both Mercy College and Cedar Crest College.

Part of the University’s signature Open VISIONS Forum series, her talk is co-sponsored by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies. This lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Frank Jacoby Foundation of Bridgeport, Conn.

Tickets are $45. For tickets, visit or call the Quick Center Box Office at 203.254.4010 or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396.

Last modified: 11-12-14 09:41 AM


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