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Salon Series March 6 2018 ywcanyc.org

From right to left, Lucille Songhai, Stella Fitzgerald, Alana Castillo, Sara Solomon, and Diane Sinti

March 6th, 2018 Salon Series

Issues confronting girls are intergenerational and evolving, along with the media and methods girls use as young activists. At YWCA-NYC’s Salon, Young Women in NYC: Bridging the Generation Gap held at Deloitte on March 6, 2008, panelists discussed ideas and experiences across generations in the fight for women’s rights.  We hope that the experiences and insights shared in the clips below, will inspire you to join the burgeoning movement to create a more equitable and inclusive society for current and future generations.


Lucille Songhai, Director of Community Affairs, Manhattan Borough President

Ms. Songhai joined the Borough President’s Office from Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the fifth largest intermodal transportation company in the United States. She led community outreach for the Authority’s capital construction projects and legislative outreach with local and state elected officials. Lucille began her career in education policy for the Mayor’s Office in Philadelphia under the leadership of Mayor John F. Street. She served as Special Assistant to the Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia coordinating the legislative agenda for the Mayor’s Cabinet members and staff. She previously held a position as Special Projects Manager for the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management where she gained experience in resiliency and hazard mitigation planning.

In her current role as Director of Community Affairs for the Manhattan Borough President, she leads a team of 5 liaisons who are deployed throughout the borough and who are committed to seeking out new and better ways for the office to connect with, and deliver for, Manhattan’s diverse neighborhoods, communities, and constituents. In addition, Lucille leads the office’s Community Board process and works closely with colleagues to ensure the Borough President has the most up to date information on community concerns.

Alana Cantillo, Director of Government Affairs, Charter Communications

Alana Pilar Cantillo has been the Director of Government Affairs for Charter Communications since November 2016. Charter Communications is the second largest cable operator in the United States, serving roughly 25 million homes across the country with Spectrum cable television, broadband and/or voice services. In New York City, Alana oversees municipal compliance and drives national initiatives in partnership with local stakeholders. She manages Charter’s efforts to expand digital access, cultural appreciation and strategic investments. Additionally, she supports agency, legislature and community engagement throughout the City.

Ms. Cantillo previously served as the Director of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus. As Director, she coordinated with 18 Council offices to advance an agenda that promotes a more just and equal New York. Through legislation, funding of social service programs and advocacy, Alana lead multiple city-wide efforts that address inequalities in education, employment, housing and criminal justice.

Emigrated from Colombia and raised in the metropolitan area, Ms. Cantillo earned a BA in Anthropology and Spanish Literature at Rutgers the State University in New Jersey and a MS in Bilingual Special Education from City College, City University of New York. She is a proud alumni of the New York City Teaching Fellows Program and Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs.

Sara Solomon is the only high school student serving as a member of Community Board 8, representing 59th to 96th Streets on the East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. On the board, she also co-chairs the Youth, Education, and Libraries Committee where she has led public panels and sessions, ranging from the college admissions process and student loans to family emergency management and preparedness. Additionally, she is a member of the Technology Committee, helping to oversee the board’s website and social media presence.  Currently, she is in the process of organizing a forum, with the Health, seniors, and Social Services Committee, on the reentry of formerly incarcerated people into society. She studies at The Dalton School, where she is in her senior year. At Dalton, Sara serves as a member of the Board of Trustees, providing the student’s perspective in administrative discussions and decision-making. Last summer, she had the honor of working at the United States Senate as a Senate Page where she prepared the Senate chamber for business, reported to the cloakroom, and attended meetings with the senators. She also interned in Senator Schumer’s New York City District Office, addressing constituent cases about housing, education, and prisons. She oversees The Daltonian’s, her school newspaper, and website as the paper’s Digital Director and writes a monthly Community Board Report. For the last four years, she has been an active volunteer and fundraiser for the Leukemia Lymphoma’s Light the Night Campaign. Sara will be attending Harvard University next fall.

Stella FitzGerald is an activist for young women’s rights. She is a part of the All-Girl Theater Company, a group made up of NYC high school girls. The Company combats issues pertaining to young women across the country and around the globe through theater, creating nationally-touring plays. Stella has been most involved with A Day in The Life, an ensemble and monologue piece confronting the sex-trafficking of young women and girls the United States, and SLUT: The Play, which addresses rape culture and victim-blaming in our society. The creation of A Day in The Life began with meetings between the Company’s writer and director, Katie Cappiello, and teenage survivors of sex-trafficking in a Westchester County rehabilitation center. After listening to their stories, the Company adapted them into monologues to be performed in front of lawmakers. Stella is a member of Manhattan Community Board 2 and is working to raise awareness about sex-trafficking in her own district. She is currently a senior at Millennium High School and will be attending Yale University in the Fall.