2009 National NOW Conference

Turning the Tide for Equality

2009 Conference Agenda

Conference Speakers

Jennifer Brunner

Jennifer Brunner has had an exceptional career as a defender of fair elections. She became Ohio’s first female secretary of state when she replaced Ken Blackwell (notorious for the Ohio election scandals during the 2004 presidential elections). Brunner’s accomplishments propelled her to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican George Voinovich in 2010. Previously, Brunner served as legislative counsel for the Secretary of State’s Office, a judge for the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, a member of the Franklin County Board of Elections, special prosecutor for election fraud, and a private-practice lawyer.

Born in Springfield, Ohio, Brunner received a B.A. in sociology-gerontology from Miami University and a J.D. from Capital University Law School. Brunner chose a career in public service, working in the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office to improve openness and accountability in campaign finance and election law. After starting her own successful private practice, Brunner was elected and reelected to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. In 2006, she was elected secretary of state. Her work on reforming Ohio’s election system earned her a Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in 2008.

Brunner has dedicated her career to ensuring citizens’ voting rights, having taken the fight to the Ohio legislature, the Supreme Court – and now, hopefully, the U.S. Senate.

Barbara Ehrenreich

A passionate advocate for women and the working class, Barbara Ehrenreich is a renowned journalist, author and activist. Her bestselling book “Nickel and Dimed” – an account of her undercover year working minimum-wage jobs – won the Sydney Hillman Award for Journalism and was one of the most talked-about books of 2001. She has authored 19 non-fiction books, one novel and countless essays.

Ehrenreich grew up in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and everywhere in between. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed University and a Ph.D. in cell biology from Rockefeller University, and has since received six honorary degrees and earned myriad grants and awards.

As an advocate for social justice, Ehrenreich has protested U.S. involvement in Vietnam, called for better health care for the urban poor, joined picket lines and marched for a living wage. As a writer for the women’s health movement, Ehrenreich found inspiration and success combining her passions with her pen.

Ehrenreich has written essays, opinion pieces and blogs for publications such as Time, Harpers, Ms. Magazine, Mother Jones and The New York Times. Her books cover a wide range of topics that pique her interest, including: “Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy,” ” Re-Making Love: The Feminization of Sex” and “Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers.”

Lulu Flores

Maria Luisa “Lulu” Flores is the national President of the National Women’s Political Caucus, an organization co-founded by Betty Friedan and other NOW leaders which works to increase the number of women in elected office. An attorney with HendlerLaw in Austin, Texas, Flores represents people who have been victimized by corporate misconduct.

Flores grew up in Laredo, Texas, the youngest of nine children. While attending the University of Texas School of Law, Flores became chief of staff for Rep. Irma Rangel, the first Hispanic woman elected to the Texas Legislature.

Flores currently serves as legislative coordinator for the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas and vice president of public affairs at the MexicArte Museum.

She formerly worked for the Railroad Commission of Texas, serving as assistant director for intergovernmental affairs (1996-2001) and assistant director for the Alternative Fuels Division (1992-1996). From 1986-1991, Flores was director for governmental affairs for the State Bar of Texas. She is past president of the Texas Political Caucus, and was on the Women’s Advocacy Board for 10 years, serving two terms as chair.

Having run for public office herself, Flores helped found the Texas Hispanic Women’s PAC, which raised money for Hispanic pro-choice women candidates for elective and appointed office. Flores is very involved with Hispanic community outreach programs through the Hispanic Bar Association.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is the president of Bennett College for Women in North Carolina. An economist, author and commentator, Malveaux has contributed to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture and gender, and their economic impacts.

A native San Franciscan, Malveaux received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Boston College, and her Ph.D. in economics from MIT. She holds honorary degrees from four colleges and universities, has been on the faculty or visiting faculty of six, and lectured at more than 500.

Malveaux’s popular writing has appeared in USA Today, Ms. Magazine, Essence Magazine, and the Progressive. Her academic work is included in numerous anthologies and journals. She has edited three publications on issues important to African-American women, authored two column anthologies, and co-authored the book “Unfinished Business: A Democrat and A Republican Take on the 10 Most Important Issues Women Face.” She has hosted television and radio programs and appeared regularly as a commentator on national TV.

A committed activist and civic leader, Malveaux has held positions in women’s, civil rights, and policy organizations, including four years as president of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. She currently serves on the boards of three organizations. Malveaux is also the founder of Last Word Productions, a multimedia production company.

Hon. Gwen Moore

A passionate advocate for low-income women (and men), Gwendolynne Moore was sworn in as representative of Wisconsin’s Fourth District in January 2005. She also serves as the vice-chair of the Women’s Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. Moore was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1989-92, and the State Senate from 1993-2003.

Moore’s compelling personal story of living on welfare informs her advocacy. Born in Wisconsin in 1951, Moore was elected student council president in high school. When she started college at Marquette University, she faced challenges as an expectant mother receiving welfare. After receiving a B.A. in Political Science, Moore went on to become a community leader, earning the national “VISTA Volunteer of the Decade” award. In 2000, Moore earned a Harvard University Certificate for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.

In the U.S. Congress, Moore has served on the House Committees on Small Business, Financial Services, and Budget. Additionally, Moore has been a delegate to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, as well as a member of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank to strengthen accountability and transparency.

Moore champions legislation to promote progressive social issues and foster economic prosperity, one of the major frontiers in the fight for civil rights.

Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale

An Episcopal priest and open lesbian, the Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale was named president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School in March of this year. At the time of her unanimous election to the post, Ragsdale was serving as president and executive director of Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank, and vicar of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Pepperell, Mass.

Ragsdale is a dedicated women’s rights advocate who served for served for 17 years (eight as chair) on the national board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She also serves on the board of NARAL, Pro-Choice America and The White House Project, as well as the bi-national advisory board of the FaithTrust Institute.

Ragsdale holds a doctor of ministry degree from Episcopal Divinity School, a master of divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary, and a bachelor of arts degree from William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia.

She has testified before the United States Congress as well as numerous state legislatures, and is a widely sought speaker on public policy issues affecting women, professional ethics, and LGBTQ rights. She is the editor of the book Boundary Wars: Intimacy and Distance in Healing Relationships and the author of numerous articles, including “The Role of Religious Institutions in Responding to the Domestic Violence Crisis.”

Donna Smith

Woman of Action Honoree

Donna Smith helped draw attention to the troubled U.S. health care system when she appeared in Michael Moore’s 2007 movie, “SiCKO.” Despite being insured, Smith and her husband were forced to move into their daughter’s basement after suffering major illnesses and losing everything to outrageous medical costs. A uterine cancer survivor, Donna traveled to Cuba with Moore to compare the country’s national health care system with her experiences in the U.S.

Since then, Smith has campaigned in 41 states and D.C. in support of single-payer health care reform as co-chair of the Progressive Democrats of America’s “Healthcare Not Warfare” campaign. Smith also founded American Patients United, a non-profit group dedicated to raising awareness about national health care and works as a community organizer for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.

A graduate of Colorado College, Smith’s journalism career includes work with Newsweek magazine. She has been honored by the Associated Press Managing Editors, and also received the Inland Press Association’s top honor in 2006 for community-based journalism.

Smith continues an active writing and speaking career, blogging and writing op-eds about the health care crisis. This May Donna spoke about the issue on PBS’ Bill Moyers’ Journal.

 

Workshops

Breakout Session I – Friday 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM

Changing Media, Changing Policy: Feminist Voices Needed

For decades the public has been left out of the debate over U.S. communications policy. But times are changing, and feminist activists must take our place at the table to share in this important dialogue. This workshop will bring together conference attendees with public interest advocates to help shape new policies for our evolving media landscape. Through innovative, interactive discussions, we will highlight the importance of putting women’s interests at the heart of future media policy – at the core of which is universal, open and affordable Internet access, diverse media ownership, quality journalism, and a vibrant public media.

Moderator: Lisa Bennett

Panelists: Mary Alice Crim, Misty Perez Truedson

No Sanctuary: Sexual Violence in the Pews

An eye-opening discussion by this panel will bring greater awareness about sexual violence in faith-based communities. Currently, efforts are primarily focused on helping ministers to better respond to victims of sexual violence who seek their guidance, both emotionally and spiritually. Unfortunately, these efforts overlook the reality of sexual violence by members of the clergy against those in their care. The consequences of this form of sexual violation are alarming and can include a loss of family, support network, and even spiritual solace. Learn about the victims whose religious experiences become tainted by betrayal.

Moderator: Nancy Quirk

Panelists: Vicki Polin, Rev. Dr. Traci West, Maria Taylor

Mapping Your Retirement: Will You Find the Treasure?

With Wall Street’s meltdown, the push for privatization of Social Security has stopped, but some political forces are out to cut our retirement benefits. Join this panel of experts as they examine state and federal retirement programs, review the political climate for change, and address many of the legal and financial concerns that all women must eventually face. Explore various questions such as: How do you make a retirement plan or map? How much money will you need? What help will you get from Social Security and Medicare? Will you have a pension and/or 401K? Will you need long-term care? Planning for retirement can be daunting; but it does not have to be.

Moderator: Jan Erickson

Panelists: Janet Witt, Ashley Carson, Linette Kinchen

ORGANIZING INSTITUTE
Take Back the Night: Capturing Public Attention to Stop Domestic Violence

Learn from activists, educators, police officers, lawyers and advocates as they describe their successful annual Take Back the Night events which draws large crowds and gets lots of attention. Hear about organizing in a small Southern town, as well as efforts in Toledo, Ohio, that have led to a number of other successful actions, including street-level protests, community forums, government-sponsored research, and policy changes. The multi-voice, multicultural perspectives provided will help you organize your own Take Back the Night event and help combat violence against women in your community.

Moderator: Sharon Barnes

Panelists: Gabrielle Davis, Tressa Johnson, Debbie Schwartz, Lisa Binkowski, Izzy Pellegrine

Issue Hearing

Disability Rights

 

Breakout Session II – Friday 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM

Winning the Battle against Sexual Harassment: What You Need to Know

The problem of sexual harassment for working women is pervasive, but more often than not, sexual harassment goes unreported for fear of retaliation. In an intimidating environment, what are the steps to be taken to stop harassment? A Supreme Court decision in January strengthened protections against retaliation, but that’s a far cry from real protections against harassment and discrimination. Experienced attorneys lead the discussion about how to effectively counter harassment, while protecting your job. Participants will leave more empowered than ever by learning about their rights and how to draw the line against sexual harassment!

Moderator: Lisalyn Jacobs

Panelists: Tammy Marzigliano, Deborah McKenna

Proven Programs: Aiding DV Survivors, Deterring Batterers and Helping Military Families

Learn from survivors of domestic abuse, social workers, and other advocates for victims of violence on how best to help. These experts will discuss the use of the Life Skills project in supporting survivors and improving their opportunities for success, and will share ideas on how to keep families and women safe from domestic violence. A New York program for batterer intervention will be spotlighted to demonstrate various approaches for changing violent behavior. Finally, there will be a review of a military program to help families where domestic violence has occurred and Army programs to educate personnel in preventing date rape.

Moderator: Jolynn Woehrer

Panelists: Jacqueline M., Jenissee Volpintesta, Phyllis Frank, George Shuler

Don’t Be a Bystander: Own Your Sexual Health

With Centers for Disease Control reports that one in four teenage girls has a sexually-transmitted infection (STI), access to accurate and complete information for sexual and reproductive health is imperative.. Direct medical costs associated with STIs in the U.S. are estimated at $14.7 billion annually. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences without coercion, discrimination or violence. Learn about an internet-based program that helps advocates press for equal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services through SisterSong’s Mapping Our Rights initiative.

Moderator: Mandy Meloy

Panelists: Michelle Malizia, Samanthi Hewakapuge, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Serena Garcia

From Prison to Empowerment: Women Advocates Take on the Criminal Justice System

Hear inspiring stories of women who have been directly affected by the criminal justice system and are now organizing for change. Their activism takes many forms including grassroots lobbying, legislative advocacy, and policy-oriented research. The Women’s Prison Association (WPA) and Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH) will spotlight the efforts of women around the country who have successfully advocated for women in the criminal justice system. The WPA will examine women’s rights within the prison system and review efforts to promote prison nurseries and community-based alternatives to incarceration.

Moderator: Chandra Villanueva

Panelists: Rusti Miller-Hill, Tina Reynolds, Darlene Horton

Islamic Fundamentalism and Its Attacks on Women’s Rights

Female infanticide and sexual slavery are just a few of the barbaric practices that are used to oppress Islamic women and girls. Within Islamic fundamentalism, extreme misogyny is a disturbingly common mindset that is physically, mentally and spiritually damaging for women and children. Workshop panelists include the executive director of Women’s Freedom Forum, who has worked with women in the Middle East to promote freedom and democracy. Also, Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) President and former NOW president Eleanor Smeal will address the plight of women and girls in Afghanistan, where hundreds of girls’ schools have been bombed and violence against women is increasing daily. FMF has launched a new campaign in the U.S. to promote the expansion of peace-keeping efforts and support the leadership of Afghan women and rebuild schools. Come learn how you can help.

Moderator: Jerilyn Stapleton

Panelists: Soona Samsami, Eleanor Smeal

ORGANIZING INSTITUTE

I Want to Say I Do! Now! A Roundtable on Winning Marriage Equality

Marriage equality is moving rapidly through the states – thanks to the tireless efforts of NOW and other LGBTI activists. With recent victories in Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire, it is the perfect time to have an action planning session based on solid successes. Whether your state is next to ring the same-sex wedding bells or you are raising awareness, you will want to join this action-oriented discussion. We will hear from people on the ground about what works, what went wrong, and how to win marriage equality. This is a brainstorming session so come prepared to share, learn, and overcome those wedding bell blues!

Moderator: Melody Drnach

Panelists: Judy Murphy, Janice Rocco, Jenni Smith, Gretchen Stewart

Issue Hearing

Economic Justice

 

Breakout Session III – Friday 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Title IX: Swinging into Action in Classrooms and on Court

Even though Title IX, the equal education law, is 37 years old, young women and girls’ potential to shine as students and athletes is still being stifled. There are many challenges in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); ongoing sexual harassment in schools based on gender, gender identity/expression and sexual orientation, both real and perceived; and a proliferation of single-sex schools that segregate girls based on outmoded stereotypes and unproven assumptions. Build an action plan to utilize Title IX as leverage in advocating for girls and women, and learn how to make schools more accountable for assuring safety and equity under Title IX.

Moderator: Mary Pollock

Panelists: Jennifer Martin, Mitzi Witchger

Square Butts, Date Rape and Wicked Witches: Confronting Dangerous Media Messages

Women and girls are constantly bombarded with media messages telling them how they should look, dress and act. Images of women in the media are limited, stereotyped and often degrading. We know that these images can be dangerous to girls’ and women’s self-esteem, their health and their pocketbooks. Find out how you can use NOW’s Media Hall of Shame and NOW Foundation’s Love Your Body campaign to address sexism, racism, homophobia and other offensive media content. Share effective methods for feminists to stand up to these harmful messages and promote positive alternatives for girls and women.

Moderator: Lisa Bennett

Panelists: Latifa Lyles, Wendy Shepherd

Mission Possible: Reforming Welfare and Bringing an End to Poverty

The 1996 federal “welfare reform” law was disastrous for many poor women and children, spawning administrative barriers that kept eligible mothers and children from obtaining much-needed assistance. It added punishing requirements and didn’t provide for the education and skills women need to escape poverty. Next year, Congress must reauthorize this law, called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). We intend to pressure Congress and the Obama administration to adopt reforms proven both effective and responsive to the realities of women’s lives. Feminists must drive home the message that we have the power to end poverty in the U.S. – we just need the will.

Moderator: Marion Wagner

Panelists: Lisalyn Jacobs, Jan Erickson, Terry O’Neill

Through the Back Door: States Limit Women’s Reproductive Rights

In many states, abortion rights opponents are pushing fetal personhood legislation that elevates fetal rights! These laws challenge women’s autonomy over their bodies and mothers’ rights to do what they think is best for their child. It is time we take a new approach and encourage alliances between birthing rights, women’s rights, and reproductive rights. Other legislation such as requiring women to read anti-abortion pamphlets and see a sonogram image of their fetus is being promoted in various states. Panelists will also demonstrate how to effectively use social networks to organize against the hundreds of bad bills being considered by state legislatures.

Moderator: Marj Signer

Panelists: Kathrine Jack, Renee Stromme, Indra Lusero, Sonia Santana, Ashley Plummer –>

ORGANIZING INSTITUTE

Organizing Against Campus Sexual Assault: A Primer

College-age women are at the highest risk for sexual assault and are often re-victimized by the lack of coherent and consistently-enforced university sexual assault policies. The Hunter (College) Women’s Rights Coalition (HWRC) is creating a university-wide sexual-assault policy at the City University of New York and will share their experiences to date. In addition, effective responses to sexual harassment are often lacking on college campuses and reactions by campus officials to efforts by activists to help formulate policies range from ignorance to outright opposition. HWRC will suggest strategies for overcoming these challenges and for advancing campus sexual assault-sexual harassment response policies.

Moderator: Jerin Alam

Panelists: Prof. Robert Eckstein, Margaret Mikkelson, Joseph Vess

ORGANIZING INSTITUTE

It is Up to the Women! Building A Peaceful and Just World

The National Dominican Women’s Caucus (NDWC) — a group of energetic and creative women from the Dominican Republic — will present their ideas on how to make a better world for women and children. The NDWC fights to end discrimination and violence against women, works for poverty eradication and children’s rights, and stresses the need to create a new way of thinking and a change in consciousness which emphasize respect for basic human rights and values.

Moderator: Olga Vives

Panelists: Zenaida Mendez, Candida Bido, Fatima Torres

POLITICAL INSTITUTE

Presidential Campaigning: Acquiring Great Skills and Lasting Memories

Brace yourselves for a fascinating panel discussion about working on presidential election campaigns. Three presidential campaign veterans who organized in multiple states will share highlights of their experiences on the campaign trail, memorable moments, and lessons learned. Most valuable will be advice about how YOU can become a successful staff member or effective volunteer in an election campaign – as well as how to survive the 70 hour work weeks and living out of suitcase!

Moderator: Liz Wing

Panelists: Andalynn Burgess, Emily Reynolds

Issue Hearing

Equality and Civil Rights

 

Breakout Session IV – Saturday 11:15 AM – 12:45 PM

Accessible Orgasm: Women with Disabilities and Sexual Empowerment

Women with disabilities are often seen as less than adult, regardless of age or ability level. They are denied accurate information about their bodies, reproductive systems, and ability to enjoy sex. This panel presentation will openly discuss the role of a healthy, enjoyable sexuality in the lives of women with disabilities and their right to sexual self-determination, which includes pleasure, parenting, and reproductive rights. This workshop is designed to teach women with disabilities, healthcare workers, and disability advocates precisely how to bring up this issue as an important part of general healthcare delivery to women with disabilities. The work of NOW’s Disability Rights Committee will be briefly reviewed.

Moderator: Joanne Tosti-Vasey

Panelists: Alexa Schriempf, Allison Hilliker, Emma Sullivan

Challenges Young Women Face: Family, Work, Time, Health Care and Money

Young women face numerous difficulties in the workplace including sexual harassment, pay disparities, and difficulties in obtaining affordable health care and contraceptives. In this workshop, presenters will address many of the pertinent challenges young women face and propose ways to overcome those challenges. Issues will also be discussed in the context of intersections between gender and race, age, class, sexual orientation, and disability. NOW’s Mothers and Caregivers Economic Rights Committee will cover work and life balance topics and an overview of pay equity legislation will be provided.

Moderator: Martha Burk

Panelists: Rachel Lovell, Elizabeth Gregory, Elisabeth Crum, Ariana Kelly

Classist, Racist, Sexist Auto Insurance: An End is in Sight

The workshop exposes a hot topic auto insurers are trying to keep quiet — the practice of charging higher premiums to drivers on the basis of lower-status education and occupation. Participants will discuss the tricks and truths of this and other classist, racist, sexist stereotypes used in the insurance industry and how the cents-per-mile rates now offered in Texas eliminate these discriminations. Upcoming opportunities to inform both legislators and the public include a July 11 meeting of insurance legislators in Philadelphia to consider the pros and cons of status rating.

Moderator: Joy Thomas

Panelists: Patrick Butler, Twiss Butler

ORGANIZING INSTITUTE

Feminist Blogging: Connecting Women around the World

This panel will address an invaluable organizing tool of the modern feminist movement: blogging. From the comfort of their own rooms, bloggers have the ability to connect feminists across the globe! Hear how the founders of Feministing.org and VivaLaFeminista.com started their blogs and keep them fresh and relevant. This workshop will map out the basics of blogging such as starting up a blog, websites you can use and ways to promote your blog. Leave with the tools to not only tackle potential organizing pitfalls (such as exclusion of those who do not have computer access) but also tools that help mobilize feminists to create change in their community.

Moderator: Amy Rubinson

Panelists: Veronica Arreola, Sally Mercedes

ORGANIZING INSTITUTE

Heart of the Matter: Crafting a Successful Fundraising Message

So you’ve laid out your plans for an event, phone bank, or mailing to raise money for your chapter or state. How can you make sure it will be a success? Good fundraising always starts with good messaging. Learn from some feminist fundraising pros how to craft clear, compelling messages that go straight to the heart of NOW’s mission and goals. These skills are more important than ever during challenging economic times and are absolutely essential to effective feminist advocacy.

Panelists: Alicia Daly, Aprille Russell

POLITICAL INSTITUTE

Build Your Chapter With a Political Action Committee (PAC)

Want to encourage more feminist women candidates to run for elective office? Why not form a Political Action Committee? Hear how Philadelphia NOW PAC and Michigan NOW PAC established and operate their Political Action Committees to empower women and expand feminist influence. Additionally, panelists will discuss some of the complicated laws relating to PACs and to lobbying activities by 501(c) 4 organizations. This intensive workshop will help chapter activists learn how to increase their political clout, support great feminist candidates and develop their political skills.

Moderator: Karen Bojar

Panelists: April Carson, Rosa Woods, Mary Pollock

Issue Hearing

Struture and Process

Issue Hearing

Reproductive Rights and Healthcare

 

Breakout Session V – Saturday 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Hidden Cruelty Exposed: Preventing Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence through Education and Action

Join us to discuss the importance of early education to prevent abuse and violence. Learn what to do when those methods fail, including recognizing symptoms of child-abuse and warning signs of emotional abuse, which can lead to physical abuse. Finally, the panel will offer ways to help survivors of abusive trauma through Trauma Informed Care.

Moderator: Jatu Bracewell

Panelists: Anna Bucy, Sheila McMillan

Congress Reforms Health Care: Will it Meet Women’s Needs?

Reforming the nation’s “non-system” of health care is the red hot topic in Congress right now. Almost everyone agrees that we must have a comprehensive reform plan that guarantees access to quality and affordable health care coverage for all. Legislation under consideration includes an option that would allow individuals and families to either keep their employer-provided coverage or obtain coverage through a public insurance plan. Presenters will talk about the health care debate in Congress and why a public option is good for women, people of color, and the medical community. In addition, presenters will highlight a sampling of the state-level single-payer health care proposals.

Moderator: Melody Drnach

Panelists: Donna Smith, Dr. Pamella Gronemeyer, Julia Vaughn, Cindy Purvis

Feminist Activism on Global Issues: CEDAW, Trafficking, Violence, Poverty, and Women’s Health

Join our panelists in an engaging discussion about the hot topics that affect women here and around the globe. Learn about the role that U.S. foreign policy and NGOs are playing in reducing violence against women, ending child marriage, improving access to reproductive health care, reducing poverty and maternal mortality, and combating labor and sex trafficking. Find out what states – like New York, California, Virginia and the District of Columbia – have done to protect victims and prosecute traffickers. Presenters will also discuss the need for the U.S. to ratify CEDAW, without damaging restrictions, and suggest ways that this ‘women’s treaty’ can be used to advance women’s rights at state and local levels.

Moderator: Curt Brungardt

Panelists: Stephanie Ortoleva, Christina Vogt, Sonia Ossorio, Tiffany Goldwater, Jerilyn Stapleton

For Chapters: Watchful Eyes on Family Court

One of the most pressing issues for NOW chapters is the crisis in the Family Court system. Former National NOW board member and family court Judge Doris Pechkurow will provide an overview of the situation and the challenges; founder of the National Family Court Project, Renee Beeker, will discuss information collected from a pilot project; and two mothers currently dealing with family courts will share their experiences. Come learn how a small chapter that adopted a Court Watch Project was able to remove a biased judge from the bench, and learn how to organize a family law task force to help protective mothers and advocate for reform.

Moderator: Roberta Waddle

Panelists: PA Family Court Judge Doris Pechkurow, Renee Beeker, Paul Holdorf, Christine Olanyi, Sara Mitran

ORGANIZING INSTITUTE

Greeting Activists at Your Front Door – Engaging Young Feminists!

Expand your feminist tool belt by developing effective strategies for encouraging and creating young feminists in your community. This workshop will highlight examples and strategies of campus and community-based activities to increase awareness and engagement within your neighborhood. Some examples include: games for presenting sex education, ideas for celebrating Love Your Body Day, tips on creating a successful petition that appeals to young women, and many, many more!

Moderator: Kirstin Eismin

Panelists: Rose Afriyie, Erin Matson, Christina Knowles

ORGANIZING INSTITUTE

Promoting Diversity Within the Movement: Does Race Really Matter?

NOW members attending the conference will be asked to provide baseline information on the issue of racism by completing a survey in the conference packet. The CRC will evaluate these responses to facilitate this “How to Combat Racism and Promote Diversity” session for individual and chapter actions. NOW’s Combating Racism Committee suggests a practical approach for members and chapters to take steps towards combating racism. The goal is to establish measurable outcomes and timetables.

Moderator: NOW Combating Racism Committee: Kathy Joyce Wilson

Panelists: NOW Combating Racism Committee: Diana Castaneda, Jocelyn Morris, Patricia Bellasalma

POLITICAL INSTITUTE

From Community to Congress: Recruiting and Running Feminist Women Candidates

Currently only 73 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives are held by women. Until women have a more substantial presence in Congress, it is vital to recruit feminist women candidates for all levels of political office – ultimately, to gain a solid feminist foothold in the halls of power. Learn how to run and win in a conservative district, and hear from experienced political campaigners about a successful recruitment effort which moved late feminist Representative Julia Carson from a legislative staff position all the way to the U.S. House of Representatives, and how this model can be applied to your own community.

Moderator: Linda Berg

Panelists: Alice Cohan, Fay H. Williams, IN State Senator Sue Errington

Issue Hearing

Emerging and Other Issues