General Meetings

During COVID, General Meetings are broadcast on the Y’s Women YouTube channel and can be viewed live or at a future date. Click here to view past meetings.

If you haven’t already done so, please renew your Y’s Women membership for 2020/21. Just send your $45 check to Doris Levinson at 6 Beechwood Lane, Westport, CT 06880. We are planning to continue to have two speakers each month through May and the satellite groups are in session as well.


Stacey Close, PhD, Eastern Connecticut State University: 

March 8 at 11:30 am 


Dr. Close’s presentation, titled “The Great Migration of the Transformation of Connecticut’s African American Community, 1915-1970,” focuses on the push and pull factors influencing people from the South to settle in Connecticut. It covers the increased growth of African American religious, political, business, and social organizations. In addition, the presentation includes a discussion of ties to the South and national movements.


A native of Georgia, Dr. Close has worked in higher education for more than 25 years. He currently serves as the Associate Provost/Vice President for Equity and Diversity at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, CT, where he is also a professor of history. Dr. Close received his PhD and MA degrees from The Ohio State University and his BA from Albany State College, a Historically Black College and University in Georgia. He has presented papers at conferences including the Southern Conference on African American Studies, Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and Professional and Organizational Development Network. Dr. Close has published with journals and presses such as the Journal of Negro History, CT Explored, Wesleyan University Press, and Guilford Press. An American Council on Education Fellow, his honors include Connecticut State NAACP 100 Most Influential, Eastern Connecticut State University Faculty Teaching Award, and Hartford Courant Magazine’s 12 Hot Professors.



Robbin Zella, Housatonic Museum of Art: 

March 22 at 11:30 am


Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art, will discuss the museum’s art collection, which is regarded as one of the premier college art collections in the country. Spanning the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary, the collection is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility. The museum also hosts changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries, as well as lectures, workshops, films, special events, and programs both in person and online.


Ms. Zella also will highlight the community contributions that resulted in the museum’s nomination for The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. In addition, she will describe the history of the museum and provide a behind-the-scenes look at activities needed to maintain the quality of its collection, including acquisitions, storage, preservation, and restoration.


Ms. Zella, who holds a BFA from the College of New Rochelle and an MA from Bard College, has been Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art for 21 years. During that time, she has collected and managed objects and materials of cultural, aesthetic, and historical importance, preserving them, researching them, and presenting them to students, faculty, and the community.