Oxygen, AT&T Air Leadership Effort

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Oxygen Media — working in conjunction with AT&T Broadband — has launched its "Choose to Lead" local advocacy campaign in Hartford, Conn.

The multifaceted effort's goal is to raise awareness of the need to boost the ranks of women in political leadership positions. It also aims to bolster the number of female candidates at all levels of public office and to highlight the contributions of women leaders to date.

The effort's centerpiece is the Oct. 1 "Choose to Lead: Powerful Choices," a panel discussion hosted by Oxygen senior vice president Cheryl Mills, a one-time deputy White House counsel. Panelists will include Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and Connecticut Rep. Sonny Googins, among others.

A second seminar, "Choose to Lead: Speak Up," is set for Oct. 20. It features Positive Communications president Christine Jahnke, who helped coach U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) for the 2000 vice presidential debate.

"Choose to Lead" public service announcements — which started to run on AT&T in Hartford two weeks ago — will continue to air through Oct. 7. The PSAs profile Connecticut Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell and New London board of education vice president Tammie A. Clayton.

The joint effort involves special events, grassroots campaiging, outreach efforts and cable and online programming. It also features a scholarship contest for adult women and an essay contest, titled "Why I'm Going to Be a Leader," for girls in middle and high schools. Both will run well into October.

The winners of both contests — to be presented at the initiative's closing ceremonies on Nov. 14 — will win a trip to New York to appear on Oxygen's Pure Oxygen.

The magazine show will feature various elected women leaders from Hartford and elsewhere, as will the network's weekly financial show, Laura Pedersen's Your Money and Your Life.

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