Women’s Empowerment Lecture

“How to Empower and ‘Un-other’ Yourself?”

Empowerment is not given or awarded, but rather discovered within yourself. Dr. Amra Sabic-El-Rayess endured years of violence, bombing and religious persecution during the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia in the early 1990s. In this inaugural Uceda lecture, she reveals how she survived some of the darkest, most terrifying moments in her life, and then found ways to empower herself as a first-generation immigrant to the United States. Her memoir and self-study of survival will be published in the fall of 2020 (Bloomsbury).


The Charo Uceda Women's Empowerment Lecture Series will address issues and propose solutions to challenges affecting women related specifically to education policy, nutrition and psychology. This lecture series aims to raise awareness and inspire students, alumni and faculty to take action on behalf of women worldwide. Nationally and internationally renowned speakers will share their experiences and insights about overcoming adversity in order to promote the empowerment of women.  

About the Lecturer

Dr. Amra Sabic-El-Rayess
Associate Professor of Practice

Amra Sabic-El-Rayess is the Associate Professor of Practice in Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University, the Project Director at the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education at TC, and faculty member at the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies. Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess is an interdisciplinary scholar who draws on economics, sociology, and political science to study education’s links to social mobility, social transformations, teacher quality, transitional justice, corruption, elite formation, radicalization and the inclusion of women. She maps out concrete ways to bolster women’s social mobility through financial empowerment. She also examines how informal educational practices and formal education institutions create new societal dynamics, norms, and behaviors.

About Our Discussant

Jane Eisner

Jane Eisner is an accomplished journalist, educator, non-profit leader and the current director of academic affairs at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, overseeing the Masters of Arts program. For more than a decade, she was the Forward’s editor-in-chief, the first woman to hold the position at America’s foremost national Jewish news organization, which under her leadership won multiple national awards. Prior to her work at the Forward, Eisner held executive editorial and news positions at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years, including stints as editorial page editor, syndicated columnist, City Hall bureau chief and foreign correspondent. She served as vice president of the National Constitution Center from 2006 to 2008. Eisner is chair of the board of the Student Press Law Center and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of “Taking Back the Vote: Getting American Youth Involved in Our Democracy,” published in 2004 by Beacon Press. She frequently contributes to The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, TIME, NPR, and other major news outlets.

About Charo Uceda

Charo Uceda

Charo Uceda is one of the founders and current CEO of the Uceda School, an accredited chain of language learning sites in the Eastern United States, serving thousands of international students coming from all over the world. She has an M.A. in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College and an M.A. in Educational Technologies at Harvard University, Extension School. She is the author of the Charo Uceda English Series and The Charo Uceda English at Home. She also serves as president of schools of distance education and language learning throughout Peru. PAC member since 2009. 

Read a recent profile on Charo Uceda on the TC website.

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