Women and Leadership Series Culminates With Lynsey Addario Lecture

Women and Leadership Series Culminates With Lynsey Addario Lecture

On stage at the Quick: Bill Tommins, Christine Siegel, Lynsey Addario, Emily Dreas, Peter VanHeerden

(l-r) Bank of America Southern CT Market President Bill Tommins; Fairfield University Provost Christine Siegel, PhD; Lynsey Addario; Emily Dreas, Market Executive, Bank of America Private Bank; and Quick Center Executive Director Peter Van Heerden.

Presented by Bank of America, the Women and Leadership Series welcomed award-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario to the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on December 9, for the final series lecture of the fall 2019 semester.

The day after her 44-page special report on euthanasia made the front page of the Sunday New York Times, photojournalist Lynsey Addario visited Fairfield University to present the second lecture in the Open VISIONS Forum’s Women and Leadership Series, presented by Bank of America.

Addario is not one to shy away from tough subjects, having spent much of the past two decades capturing images of war in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, and Libya. The photographs she shared in her Quick Center presentation, “Eyewitness Through My Camera Lens: Worlds in Conflict,” told stories of rejoicing – and then rioting, fires, and looting – after the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein. Through the grainy, greenish lens of night vision goggles, they documented front line clashes between the U.S. 173rd Airborne and the Taliban in 2007. And they brought to life the chaotic call to arms of the 2011 Arab Spring, when Addario and her fellow journalists had more war experience than the rebel troops they traveled with.

“The women who Bank of America recognize and help bring to the Quick Center serve as exemplars for all of us, and most importantly are role models for our female students as they discern their own path in life beyond our campus,” said Fairfield University Provost Christine Siegel, PhD, in her introduction of Addario at Monday evening’s lecture. Earlier in the semester, the Women and Leadership series featured a visit from former ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, who encouraged students in the audience to never feel that the world’s problems are too big for “just one person” to impact.

Both Power and Addario are proof that a single person can make a difference. As a woman, Addario has had professional access to compelling stories that male photographers would not have been able to cover, including Afghan home life, pregnancies, and secret girls’ schools – necessary because the Taliban forbade the education of females. Troubled by a worldwide statistic that “more than 500,000 women were dying in childbirth in 2009,” Addario used her MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius Grant’ to investigate the causes.

Sharing with the Quick Center audience the heartwrenching story of a mother who bled to death after giving birth to twins in Sierra Leone, Addario noted that her photographic feature of Mamma Sassay in Time magazine had caught the attention of a board member of the pharmaceutical giant, Merck – resulting in the company allocating $500,000,000 to fight maternal death.

"At Bank of America we are proud to celebrate, empower and connect women – as we are guided by a belief that strong women leaders are vital to healthy, vibrant communities and to accelerating women’s leadership and economic empowerment throughout the world," said Bill Tommins, Bank of America Market President, Southern CT. “Bank of America is pleased to partner with Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts in supporting the Open VISIONS Forum’s Women and Leadership series, featuring women who are driving economic, political, and social change on issues of critical importance within our society on a local, national, and global level."

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