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Marcia Cantarella

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Information about Marcia Cantarella

Profile image of Marcia Cantarella

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Foundation Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Italian Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
France, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/31/1946
Birth Location:
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Foundation Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Italian Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
France, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/31/1946
Birth Location:
Minneapolis
See how Marcia Cantarella is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Corporate executive and school administrator Marcia Elaine Young Cantarella was born on October 31, 1946, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Margaret Buckner Young and late civil rights leader Whitney M. Young, Jr. Cantarella attended Bryn Mawr College and graduated with honors in 1968 after earning her B.A. degree in political science. For two years, she audited American Studies and law courses at the University of Iowa before moving to New York City in 1972.

Cantarella began working for Avon Products, Inc. in public affairs as a manager, focusing on minority and women’s affairs and issues of affirmative action. In 1973, she joined the board of directors for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and became chair of the Committee for Board and Service Volunteers. A year later, Cantarella joined the Women and Foundations Group, became a member of the Association of Black Foundation Executives and joined the nomination and health maintenance organization committee for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Greater New York. She would remain active in all four organizations until 1980.

In 1976, Cantarella was promoted by Avon Products, Inc. to Director of Public Affairs, where she would remain for four more years. During her tenure, Cantarella revamped the Avon Products Foundation in order to focus on women’s issues and moved the organization past monetary donations to focus on volunteerism. In 1980, she was again promoted by Avon, becoming Director of Special Markets, where she spent two years working with minority markets.

In 1985, Cantarella left Avon Products, Inc. and became a work and family issues consultant. Her major clients included New York University and Catalyst, Inc., an organization that works to further the roles of women in the workplace. In 1988, Cantarella was named Executive Director of the National Coalition for Women’s Enterprise, a women's self-employment and advocacy organization. In 1989, Cantarella returned to school and in 1996 earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies with a concentration in American Business from New York University.

Cantarella became Director of Academic Enhancement Programs at New York University at the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1999, Cantarella was named Assistant Dean of Princeton University, where she was responsible for the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program. In 2002, Cantarella was named Vice President for Student Affairs at the Metropolitan College of New York and in 2005, became Acting Associate Dean for Student Opportunities at Hunter College. Cantarella continues to serve in leadership roles on not-for-profit boards and committees.

Marcia Cantarella was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 20, 2007 and July 20, 2007.

See how Marcia Cantarella is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marcia Cantarella's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marcia Cantarella lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marcia Cantarella describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marcia Cantarella describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marcia Cantarella describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marcia Cantarella remembers her paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marcia Cantarella describes her father's upbringing in Lincoln Ridge, Kentucky
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marcia Cantarella describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marcia Cantarella describes her father's decision to pursue social work
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marcia Cantarella describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marcia Cantarella remembers her experiences in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marcia Cantarella talks about the integrated community of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marcia Cantarella remembers the Oglethorpe School in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marcia Cantarella remembers the Oglethorpe School in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marcia Cantarella describes her father's civil rights activities in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marcia Cantarella describes segregation in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marcia Cantarella describes her father's involvement with the Unitarian church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marcia Cantarella talks about her family's move to Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marcia Cantarella recalls her time in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marcia Cantarella describes her early aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marcia Cantarella describes her family's move to New Rochelle, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marcia Cantarella describes her early involvement with the National Urban League
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marcia Cantarella describes her decision to attend Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marcia Cantarella recalls her opposition to the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marcia Cantarella describes her family's opposition to the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marcia Cantarella remembers the National Urban League's Council of Board Members
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marcia Cantarella recalls her internship with Robert F. Kennedy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marcia Cantarella describes her father's work with President Lyndon Baines Johnson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marcia Cantarella recalls her involvement in the presidential election of 1964
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marcia Cantarella remembers the assassinations of 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marcia Cantarella recalls the civil rights organizations at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marcia Cantarella describes her father's stance on equality and opportunity
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marcia Cantarella reflects upon the portrayal of working women in films
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Marcia Cantarella remembers her mentors at Bryn Mawr College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marcia Cantarella describes her father's work in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marcia Cantarella reflects upon the male mentors in her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marcia Cantarella describes her social life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marcia Cantarella describes her experiences at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marcia Cantarella remembers her father's death and her divorce
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marcia Cantarella remembers lessons from her father
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marcia Cantarella describes how she came to work for Avon Products Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marcia Cantarella recalls joining Corporate America in the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marcia Cantarella describes the challenges she faced at Avon Products Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Marcia Cantarella's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marcia Cantarella describes the leadership of Avon Products Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marcia Cantarella describes her role at Avon Products Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marcia Cantarella reflects upon the changing corporate culture of the 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marcia Cantarella describes her work as a business consultant
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marcia Cantarella reflects upon the role of women in business
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Marcia Cantarella describes her decision to attend New York University in New York City
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Marcia Cantarella remembers Leslie Grossman and Mary Murphree
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Marcia Cantarella describes her experiences at New York University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Marcia Cantarella remembers her mentors at New York University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Marcia Cantarella describes the Academic Achievement Program at New York University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Marcia Cantarella describes the influence of the Unitarian Universalist church
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marcia Cantarella describes her career at New York University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marcia Cantarella describes her role at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marcia Cantarella remembers the Audrey Cohen College in New York City
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marcia Cantarella describes her position at the Audrey Cohen College in New York City
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marcia Cantarella describe her role at New York City's Hunter College
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Marcia Cantarella reflects upon her family's work
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Marcia Cantarella describes the Trickle Up program, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Marcia Cantarella describes the Trickle Up program, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Marcia Cantarella reflects upon the status of women in business
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Marcia Cantarella reflects upon the obstacles facing entrepreneurs of color
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Marcia Cantarella talks about the increasing diversity in the United States
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Marcia Cantarella reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Marcia Cantarella narrates her photographs