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Provost gives keynote at Women's Commission event

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  • woman on stage

Posted on September 20, 2017

As the youngest of three children, Provost Maria Cimitile recalled not always getting equal time or portions at the family dinner table.

"I would complain to my parents that it wasn't fair, and the reasoning was my siblings were bigger than me and doing more in school, so had more to talk about," she said.

Cimitile spoke at Grand Valley's Women's Commission Fall Luncheon September 19 and called equity a complex idea that at times masks itself as "sameness."

Cimitile said her parents, who were first-generation Americans after her grandparents emigrated from Italy, understood the value and the power of education and instilled those values in their children. She also said education is a path to equity but recognized growing disparity gaps for women and people of color.

"Not everyone begins on the same, level playing field," she said. "We have to identify these areas that lack equity and fill the gaps."

The luncheon was the 20th annual fall event for the Women's Commission; learn more at