HISTORY AND BACKGROUND OF VISION 2020 AND VISIONFORWARD
Vision 2020 founder Lynn H. Yeakel
Vision 2020 became VisionForward at the end of 2021. Vision 2020 originated in 2009 at the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership on the campus of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. It was founded by Lynn Yeakel, who was director of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership and held the Betty A. Cohen Chair in Women’s Health since 2002. She passed away on Thursday, January 13, 2022.
In honor of Lynn’s work, the Institute was named the Lynn Yeakel Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership in 2022.
Read more about Lynn’s Legacy
Vision 2020, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit initiative headquartered at Drexel University, was launched publicly in 2010 when it held its first national event in October of that year. A congress of Delegates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia gathered at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia for "An American Conversation about Women and Leadership." Its intent was to ignite a national discussion and accelerate the pace of women's progress by illuminating and eliminating the bias and barriers that perpetuate gender inequality in the United States.
Throughout the next decade, Vision 2020 built a coalition of Delegates, Allied Organizations and partners in order to advance gender equity through women’s leadership.
The coalition comprised three different types of members:
- Advocates (formerly referred to as Delegates)
- Allied Organizations
- Proud Partners
Learn more about the coalition
As Vision 2020 and coalition members propelled the progress of gender equity through partnerships, programs, events and media, the Campaign for Equality was created.
The Campaign for Equality prioritized four pillars:
- Shared Leadership: Men and women were equally represented in senior leadership positions.
- Economic Parity: Equal pay and benefits made women and families more secure.
- Civic Engagement: Women were engaging in civic issues, voting and running for office.
- Youth Education: Boys and girls valued gender equality, shared leadership and civic engagement.
The focus of VisionForward was advancing gender equity through valuing caregiving and increasing civic participation. Like Vision 2020, VisionForward was a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit initiative, and the coalition increased the number and power of women leaders to accelerate change and advance gender equity. VisionForward was a convener, catalyst and rallying point for everyone committed to gender equity.
Events and Programs
Vision 2020 and VisionForward hosted programs, initiatives and exhibitions to not only educate and inspire, but to also connect and convene local and national advocates for collective impact in the gender equity movement. Individual volunteers, organizations with aligned missions, sponsors, donors, community leaders, historians, students and other constituents gathered in person and virtually, in Philadelphia and across the nation, to advance gender equity.
Learn more about Vision 2020/VisionForward events and programming
The Impact of Vision 2020 AND VisionForward Since 2010
- Vision 2020 and VisionForward had more than 900 donors from 2010-2022.
- Over 500 individual volunteers and partner organizations helped to shape and drive the gender equity movement.
We are grateful to the organizations and individuals who supported Vision 2020 and VisionForward throughout the years.
Learn more about our sponsors
CONCLUDING VISIONFORWARD WHILE EXPANDING ITS LEGACY AT DREXEL
The VisionForward program has concluded effective December 31, 2022. Read a message from Dean Charles B. Cairns, MD, about Drexel’s ongoing diversity and equity efforts and the legacy of VisionForward and its founder, Lynn Yeakel.
Contact the team at the Lynn Yeakel Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership for more information.
Lynn Yeakel Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129