For Immediate Release

July 1, 2003

Contact: Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023, Marilyn Duncan (901) 333-4247 or
Debbie Hunt (901) 685-6946

Russian Delegates Arrive in Memphis to learn about ‘Women as Leaders’

July 3, 2003 – As most Americans in Memphis are getting ready for their Fourth of July celebrations, five delegates from Russia will be arriving in the Memphis area to learn more about women in America.

The delegates will be coming as part of the “Women As Leaders” seminar put on by the Open World Program. The program is managed by the Open World Leadership Center, an independent federal agency located at the Library of Congress. Open World builds mutual understanding between the United States and the Russian Federation by enabling the new generation of Russian leaders to experience American democratic and free enterprise practices firsthand and to exchange views with their American counterparts. The delegates arrive Thursday, July 3 at Memphis International Airport. They will be touring the Memphis area through July 11.

The delegates are: Yelena Vishneva, Yekaterina Postnikova, Yelena Molchanova, Yekaterina Prokopova and Tamara Yurkina. All five of the delegates are professional women in Russia and with organizations that focus on women’s roles as leaders and in society as a whole. Four of the delegates have never visited the United States before.

“During their stay here in Memphis they will be attending seminars on the role of women in leadership areas, cultural events in the region and participating in cross-cultural activities while living with local host families during their visit,” said Debbie Hunt, associate professor of Developmental Studies at Southwest Tennessee Community College and local coordinator of the event. “This visit is a chance for these women to continue their life-long learning session.”

While in Memphis, each delegate will stay with a local host family to help them experience life in an American home. They will also get to tour much of Memphis and visit some of the world-renowned attractions the area has to offer, such as Graceland and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

The main purpose of their visit it to learn from local educational and governmental institutions women’s roles as leaders in the Memphis area. On Monday, July 7, they will be part of a panel discussion at Southwest Tennessee Community College. The panel, led by Dr. Ada Shotwell, dean of Liberal Studies and Education, will discuss women college leaders and will include a discussion of opportunities for women in education, leadership styles, procurement of grants for program support, the role of technology in the information age, and much more. They will also visit the college’s Workforce Development Center on Lamar Avenue. The site visit will demonstrate the process of training and re-training of women and others for employment or for re-entering the workforce. A tentative itinerary is attached.

Women as Leaders Itinerary

Thursday, July 3

11:30 a.m. - Delegates arrive in Memphis – Memphis International Airport

1:30 p.m. - Tour of Graceland, home of Elvis Presley

5:30 p.m. – Potluck dinner at home of Debbie Hunt for host families and delegates

Friday, July 4 – Sunday, July 6

Various activities with host families to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday

Monday, July 7

8:30 a.m. - Southwest Tennessee Community College welcome reception with Dr. Nathan L. Essex and faculty and staff

10:40 a.m. – Panel Discussion lead by Dr. Ada Shotwell at Southwest Tennessee Community College

1:30 p.m. – Tour of Southwest’s Workforce Development Center on Lamar Avenue

3:30 p.m. – Memphis Rock’N Soul Museum

Tuesday, July 8

9:15 a.m. – Memphis Council for International Visitors

10:30 a.m. – Mayor W.W. Herenton, City of Memphis

1:30 p.m. – Memphis Convention and Visitors’ Bureau

3:00 p.m. – Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Wednesday, July 9

9:00 a.m. – Volunteer Memphis

10:15 a.m. – Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce

11:30 a.m. – Mid-South Quality-Productivity Center

1:15 p.m. – St. Andrew’s AME Church

2:45 p.m. – National Civil Rights Museum

Thursday, July 10

9:00 a.m. - Germantown City Hall – Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy

10:30 a.m. – Office of U. S. Congressman Harold Ford Jr.

1:45 p.m. – Center for Women

3:15 p.m. – University of Memphis Art Museum – Egyptian and West African Art Collection

4:30 p.m. – Hess Environmental Services, Inc.

6:30 p.m. – Farewell Dinner with delegates and host families

The Open World Program is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress and the only exchange program housed in the U.S. legislative branch. Nearly 7,000 Open World participants from all 89 Russian regions have been hosted in all 50 U.S. states since the program’s inception in 1999. Delegates range from members of the Russian parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. In addition to its “women as leaders” theme, Open World also sponsors visits focused on the rule of law, economic development, education reform, federalism, health, the environment, and youth issues.

For more information or for background on Open World, visit