Loving Our Bodies, Changing the World
Speakers and Honorees
Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
It all started in Boston, at a women’s liberation conference in 1969. Twelve women, ranging in ages from 23 to 39, met at a workshop titled Women and Their Bodies. After unpacking their own health care nightmares and negative experiences with doctors, they decided to turn their frustrations into action. From the civil rights movement to fighting for legal abortion, these women were no strangers to grassroots activism. Focusing on self-empowerment and raising their own consciousnesses about health and sexuality, they decided to work on a summer project that eventually led to the creation of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective.
In 1970 they published a stapled newsprint booklet entitled Women and Their Bodies. The booklet, which put women’s health in a radically new political and social context, become an underground success. In 1973 Simon & Schuster published an expanded edition, renamed Our Bodies, Ourselves. The book transformed women’s relationship with their health care providers and finally gave women agency over their own bodies through education. Translated into various languages and updated for different generations throughout the years, profits from the sales of the books even go toward improving the lives of women.
The collective went on to support the creation of the National Women’s Health Network – the first national women’s health advocacy membership organization. The NOW Foundation is proud to honor the founding women of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective for their feminist contributions to the field of women’s and girls’ health.
Kim Bottomly is the current president of Wellesley College. Prior to that she was the deputy provost for science, technology and faculty development at Yale University. At Yale, in addition to being responsible for a wide array of academic, administrative and budgetary activities, Bottomly initiated successful new programs to enhance faculty career development and was instrumental in Yale’s efforts to recruit and retain women in the sciences and underrepresented minorities in all fields.
A renowned scientist, Bottomly’s research focused on the molecular and cellular changes associated with allergic and asthmatic responses. She was a member of the Immunobiology Study Section at the National Institutes of Health and a MERIT award recipient. She has served as editor of the scholarly journal, Immunity, and associate editor and then section editor of the Journal of Immunology. She is a former chair of the Committee on Status of Women of the American Association of Immunologists; former chair of the Women’s Committee of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biologists; and former member of the steering committee of Yale’s Women Faculty Forum.
Bottomly is a graduate of the University of Washington and the University of Washington School of Medicine. In 2008, the university designated her as one of its top 100 alumni of the past century. Bottomly was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.
Carol Moseley Braun
Carol Moseley Braun is the founder of Good Food Organics, Inc, which represents her fourth career. She has worked as a trial lawyer, a public official in local, in state and national government, and as a diplomat.
From 1999 to 2001 she served as the United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. As a consultant to the Department of Education (1998 to 1999), she advanced the policy issue of federal financial support for the rebuilding of America’s crumbling schools. From 1992 to 1998 she pioneered membership in the U.S. Senate for women and minorities, becoming the only woman from Illinois and one of two African Americans elected to the Senate in the 20th century.
In the Senate, Braun was the lead sponsor of successful legislation concerning school construction, pensions, agriculture and alternative energy, historic preservation, small business development, low-income housing and transportation. Prior to her service in the Senate, Braun served as a county executive, a state representative and an assistant U.S. attorney. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago, and has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in corporate and business law and political science. Braun holds 11 honorary doctorates, and has received more than 200 awards for public service. A new elementary school has been named in her honor, with its team name the Ambassadors.
Andrea J. Cabral
Andrea J. Cabral, Esq., is the sheriff of Suffolk County, Mass., and the first Black American female sheriff in Massachusetts history. Appointed in November of 2002 and elected in November of 2004, she was an assistant district attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for nearly 10 years. As chief of District Court and Community Prosecutions, Cabral trained and supervised 48 prosecutors in Suffolk County’s eight district courts and the Boston Municipal Court. She also created and was chief of Suffolk County’s first major felony Domestic Violence Unit.
From 1991 to 1993, Cabral was an assistant attorney general in the Trial and Civil Rights Divisions of the Attorney General’s Office and an assistant district attorney in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office from 1987 to 1991. Cabral authored the book Obtaining, Enforcing and Defending 209A Restraining Orders in Massachusetts and co-authored the article Creating Courtroom Accessibility, from the book: Same-Sex Domestic Violence.
Cabral is an Eisenhower Fellow and the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the NEWLA (New England Women’s Leadership Awards) Courage Award, the Pioneer Award from the Massachusetts Minority Police Officers’ Association and a Lawyer of the Year Award from Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly. She is also on the board of the Mass Mentoring Partnership. Cabral is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School.
Sonia Chang-Díaz is the first Latina woman elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. A tenacious champion for the voiceless, Chang-Díaz has been a strong advocate in the 186th legislature for public education; access and opportunities for low-income and immigrant communities and for those affected by foreclosures, hate crimes, and youth violence; as well as sound fiscal reform and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
Previously Chang-Díaz served as a public school teacher, learning first-hand the challenges facing our public school students, teachers, and parents and the role state government can play in improving our educational system. Chang-Díaz also worked in public service as a senior legislative aide to former state Senator Cheryl Jacques, as a key political adviser at the Barbara Lee Family Office, and as director of outreach at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
Chang-Díaz was raised on the idea that leadership, at its heart, is about service. It is a value deeply rooted in her family’s long tradition of public service. A single parent, Chang-Díaz’s mother raised her and her sister while dedicating her career to those most forgotten in our society: from adults with mental illness, to foster children in need of loving families, to at-risk toddlers and infants. Her father, an immigrant to the U.S. from Costa Rica, was our country’s first Latino American astronaut.
Susan Douglas is the Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and chair of the department. She is the author of Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism’s Work Is Done; The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How it Undermines Women (with Meredith Michaels); the widely praised (and one of the top books of 1994) Where The Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media; and Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination, which won the Hacker Prize in 2000 for the best popular book about technology and culture.
Douglas has written for The Nation, The Village Voice, Ms., and The Washington Post, and served as media critic for The Progressive from 1992 to 1998. Her column “Back Talk” appears monthly in In These Times. She has appeared on The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Working Woman, CNBC’s Equal Time, NPR’s Fresh Air, The Diane Rehm Show, Talk of the Nation, and various radio talk shows around the country.
Douglas received her B.A. from Elmira College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University. She is the chair of the board of the George Foster Peabody awards and received the 2009 Leonardo Da Vinci Prize. She currently lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., with her husband and daughter.
Irasema Garza is president of Legal Momentum, the women’s legal defense and education fund. Before joining the organization in 2008, she began her career in the family court system, and later moved to public policy, working for the Department of Labor. Her varied experience also includes consulting Fortune 500 companies on diversity integration.
A Clinton administration appointee, Garza served as the first secretary of the National Administrative Office, successfully managing the creation of the organization and building coalitions between labor groups, businesses, and governments to address labor rights. President Clinton later nominated her to serve as director of the Women’s Bureau, where Garza worked to ensure that economic security for women was a policy priority for the Department of Labor. She established innovative outreach programs that expanded the reach of the organization outside of U.S. borders, helping the government of Costa Rica to establish a women’s bureau within its own department of labor.
From 2003 to 2006, Garza served as the director of women’s rights for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Garza later served as the national political director of Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO. In 2008, Garza served on President Barack Obama’s transition team. She frequently provides commentary on women’s issues for mainstream media outlets, as well as in the Spanish-speaking press.
Amy Goodman is an award-winning investigative journalist and syndicated columnist, author and the host of Democracy Now! airing on more than 800 public television/radio stations worldwide. Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award – widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” – for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” The Independent of London named Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration” and she topped the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009 on pulsemedia.org.
Goodman is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. Her latest book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, proves the power of independent journalism in the struggle for a better world. She co-authored her first three bestsellers, Standing Up to the Madness, Static, and The Exception to the Rulers, with her brother, journalist David Goodman.
Goodman writes a weekly column, for which she was recognized in 2007 with the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Reporting. She has received the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award, and the first ever Communication for Peace Award from the World Association for Christian Communication. She was also honored by the National Council of Teachers of English with the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.
Woman of Action Honoree
As executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Silvia Henriquez has positioned NLIRH as one of the leading organizations working to advance the reproductive health and rights of Latinas. Within the first two years of her tenure, Henriquez increased national visibility through the 2004 March for Women’s Lives and the National Latina Summit. Under her leadership, NLIRH has developed a successful organizing and leadership development training curriculum, a national policy agenda, and built coalitions with state and national partners.
Henriquez currently sits on the board of directors of both the Reproductive Health Technologies Project and the Guttmacher Institute. At their 30th anniversary, the National Women’s Health Network recognized her as one of 30 activists working on behalf of women’s health. Henriquez is also the recipient of the 2005 Young Professional Award from the American Public Health Association. Under her direction, NLIRH was granted the Alfred F. Moran Public Advocacy Award from Family Planning Advocates of New York State.
Prior to NLIRH, Henriquez was National Campus Coordinator at the Feminist Majority Foundation, Outreach Director at the National Abortion Federation, and a Policy Analyst with the Latino Issues Forum. She was even a NOW intern years ago. Henriquez has a Bachelor’s in International Affairs and a Master’s in Women’s Studies, both from George Washington University.
National NOW/PAC has endorsed Lois Herr for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 16th District. Herr is taking on the all-important challenge of unseating Rep. Joe Pitts (R), co-author of the outrageous Stupak-Pitts Amendment. Herr rightly called this amendment, “a direct attack on the freedom and privacy of American women.”
Herr worked for 26 years in the telecommunications industry and has served on numerous corporate, non-profit and governmental boards. Under President Ford, she worked in the Office of Management and Budget. Since 1993, she has worked for Elizabethtown College in a variety of positions – teacher, senior-level administrator and Scholar-in-Residence, and has published two books.
Active in the Democratic Party, Herr was the endorsed 2004 and 2006 Democratic candidate in the 16th Congressional District. She was elected as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and in 2006-07 she served as executive director of the Lancaster County Democratic Committee.
Herr is dedicated to providing affordable health care to every person in the U.S., but not at the expense of women’s access to reproductive health services. She is a longtime NOW member and a strong supporter of constitutional equality, equal pay, affirmative action, equal marriage rights and the full range of feminist issues. Herr understands the hurdles that women face every day in this country, and NOW looks forward to her arrival on Capitol Hill.
As the executive director of Choice USA, Kierra Johnson’s top priority is developing new leaders and funneling them to positions across the progressive movement. Since 1999 she has helped Choice USA transform into a dynamic, youth-led and youth-focused organization.
Johnson began her career as a student organizer around choice issues at the University of Colorado. She started at Choice USA as a participant in its National Gloria Steinem Leadership Institute, after which she became the group’s 2000 Maxine Waters Reproductive Freedom Fellow. The following year she joined Choice USA’s staff as field director, focusing on state and regional campaigns and working on issues including reproductive health and rights access for lower-income women.
In 2002, she developed and ran Choice USA’s state-wide youth-led campaign in California for emergency contraceptive (EC) access. As a result, the state passed legislation to require training for pharmacists to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception over-the-counter. It was the first state in the nation to embrace this standard, long before the FDA made EC over-the-counter nationwide in 2006.
From 2003 to 2007, Johnson was Choice USA’s development director. Under her leadership, Choice USA encouraged innovative peer-to-peer house party fundraisers and started its trademark Generation Awards – an annual event to recognize and give national visibility to amazing young leaders in the reproductive justice movement.
Dr. Paula A. Johnson
Dr. Paula A. Johnson is the executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, chief of the Division of Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Johnson has brought her broad range of experience as a physician, a researcher and as an expert in public health and health policy to the Connors Center.
The Connors Center works to transform the health of women through discovering how disease is expressed differently in women and men as well as integrating leading-edge research about women’s health into the delivery of care. The Center is unique in its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to women’s health, which influences health policy, addresses the health of women globally, and trains the next generation of leadership in women’s health.
Dr. Johnson, an internationally recognized cardiologist, founded the Center for Cardiovascular Disease in Women at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2000. Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, and received her MD and MPH degrees from Harvard. In 2007, Dr. Johnson was appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino to become a Commissioner of the Board of the Boston Public Health Commission, and later became its chairman. She serves on several boards and has been honored by many organizations for her work.
Kilolo Kijakazi is a program officer in the Financial Assets Unit of the Economic Opportunity and Assets Program at The Ford Foundation. Her area of work is building economic security over a lifetime, which focuses on promoting public support for the creation of universal savings accounts from birth through retirement and Social Security reform that improves benefits for low-wage workers. This approach incorporates the expertise of people of color into all aspects of the work, including research, policy, and practice.
Before her position at Ford Foundation, Kijakazi was a senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she specialized in Social Security. While there, she wrote and presented research and policy papers, provided testimony before Congress, and served as a panelist at the White House Conference on Social Security under the Clinton administration. Prior to that, she worked as a program analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, and at the National Urban League’s Washington Operations office as a policy analyst.
Kijakazi received a doctorate in public policy from George Washington University, and her dissertation was published in 1997 as a book titled African-American Economic Development and Small Business Ownership. She also holds an MSW with a specialty in community development from Howard University and a BA in psychology from Binghamton University.
Adrienne Kimmell has focused her career on empowering women and advocating for their rights. As foundation and political director at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and Political Office in Cambridge, Mass., Kimmell leads efforts to engage women in the political process through grant-making and foundation projects, and to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates and political organizations across the country.
Prior to joining the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and Political Office, Kimmell served as the executive director of the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates and the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, where she led Planned Parenthood in advancing their public policy agenda through legislation, organizing, and electoral work.
Before moving to Florida, Kimmell managed state policy work for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in Washington, D.C., designing model laws and policies and developing legislative strategy to advance reproductive justice at the state and local level. In her past work with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Kimmell developed and implemented political and electoral strategy nationally and in the states.
Kimmell began her career as a grassroots organizer and later as a lobbyist for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University in New York and a Master’s degree in public policy from Tufts University in Massachusetts.
A national leader on neighborhood issues, Mayor Thomas M. Menino believes that government is about helping people. The first Italian-American mayor of Boston, he was elected to his first term in 1993, winning 64 percent of the total vote, and won a historic fifth election in 2009. Previously, Menino served the City of Boston for nine years as a district city councilor from Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
Nicknamed the “Urban Mechanic” early in his career for his tireless work ethic and attention to the basics that make for a thriving city, Menino is working to inspire a generation of New Urban Mechanics, rooted in the belief that citizens are the best civic entrepreneurs. Forging partnerships to revitalize neighborhoods, strengthening the economy through workforce investments, and innovating in education, his vision for Boston is based on strong, welcoming communities that provide unlimited opportunity for success.
Menino’s commitment to social and economic advancement is evidenced by the city’s considerable investment in workforce development. His administration is committed to bringing the city even closer together across varied backgrounds. In 1998, Menino launched the Office of New Bostonians to welcome immigrants and connect them to the cultural, economic and academic fabric of the city. An early advocate for same-sex marriage and a vociferous proponent of criminal records reform, social justice is atop the Mayor’s priorities.
Judy Neufeld is the executive director of Emerge Massachusetts, the premier training program that recruits, inspires and trains Democratic women to run for office in the state. Before Emerge, Neufeld was the manager of Recruitment and Community Partnerships at Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, the largest and oldest mentoring organization in Greater Boston exclusively serving girls.
During her three years at Big Sister, Judy built relationships with corporations, universities, and community organizations to recruit thousands of women to serve as volunteer mentors to girls. She also developed and managed Big Sister’s Alumnae Association to engage and involve former Big and Little Sisters and created a thriving Diversity Council to help recruit and retain women of color to serve as mentors. Prior to Big Sister, Neufeld worked as a community organizer with Stand for Children, a grassroots advocacy organization focused on increasing funding for public education and other vital state programs for children.
Neufeld has worked on numerous political campaigns, including Marty Walz’s successful run for state representative and Marty Martinez’s city-wide campaign for Alderman at Large in Somerville. Currently, she serves as co-president for Massachusetts NOW and chairs the Mass NOW Political Action Committee. She has been on the Mass NOW Board for more than three years and helped organize their first annual fundraising event, The Feminist Affair, in 2009.
Elected to office in 2006, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s life has traced a trajectory from the South Side of Chicago to the U.S. Justice Department, Fortune 500 boardrooms, and now the Massachusetts State House.
During his first term, Governor Patrick worked with the legislature to preserve marriage equality. He also signed into law four major reform bills, including education reform to improve public schools and close the achievement gap, as well as pension, transportation and campaign finance reform.
The first in his family to attend college, Patrick attended Harvard Law School and went on to clerk for a federal appellate judge before joining the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. He became partner in a Boston law firm in 1990 at the age of 34.
In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the nation’s top civil rights post. At the Justice Department, Patrick worked on a wide range of issues, including prosecution of hate crimes and abortion clinic violence, and enforcement of employment discrimination, fair lending and disabilities rights laws. Notably, he led the federal investigation of church burnings throughout the South in the mid-1990s.
Patrick worked to foster equitable workplaces within the private sector, and he has served on numerous charitable and corporate boards, as well as the Federal Election Reform Commission under Presidents Carter and Ford.
Stephanie Poggi is the executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds (also known as “the Network”), an association of over 100 grassroots groups that directly help low-income women and girls to pay for abortion care. The Network also conducts national and state-level advocacy to defend and expand public funding of abortion and to help ensure that the voices and experiences of poor women, women of color, and young women increasingly shape the direction of policy and organizing work in the reproductive freedom, rights, health and justice communities.
Poggi has been an activist for social justice for more than 25 years. In addition to her work for reproductive freedom, she has worked in feminist and lesbian/gay journalism, the battered women’s and rape crisis movements, and for racial justice, civil rights, and welfare rights. For many years Poggi worked as editor of Gay Community News, the national progressive lesbian/gay weekly, and later served as editor-in-chief of Sojourner: The Women’s Forum, a national feminist newsjournal.
She has also worked for Survivors, Inc., a welfare rights organization based in Boston, as well as for Transition House, a shelter and advocacy program seeking to end violence against women. Poggi graduated from Stanford University with degrees in feminist studies and Italian and also has a master’s degree from Mills College in creative writing.
Priti Rao currently serves as executive director of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (MWPC), a multi-partisan, non-profit organization committed to maximizing the participation of women of all ages in the political process and increasing the number of women appointed and elected to public office and public policy positions. She strives to expand MWPC’s reach in order to advocate for women’s political parity at all levels of government.
Rao previously served as the organization’s associate director and most recently as acting executive director. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in Politics and Spanish. Rao coordinated field activities for congressional and City Council races in New York State, and in Massachusetts she worked on the successful campaign of Representative Niki Tsongas, the first woman elected to Congress from the state of Massachusetts in 25 years.
As acting executive director and associate director, Rao worked to design and execute strategic political and field support that helped fuel the successful campaigns of five women endorsed by the MWPC and elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2008. She also worked on the 2009 election of Ayanna Pressley, who became the first woman of color ever to serve on the Boston City Council in its 100 year history. Originally from upstate New York, Rao currently lives in Boston.
Woman of Vision Honoree
Loretta J. Ross is a co-founder and the national coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, a network founded in 1997. SisterSong is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., and serves as a national organizing center for feminists of color.
Ross’ 30-year history in social justice activism includes being one of the first African-American women to direct a rape crisis center in the 1970s. From 1985 to 1989, she served as the director of Women of Color Programs for NOW, organizing the first national conference on Women of Color and Reproductive Rights in 1987. She went on to work for National Black Women’s Health Project and the Center for Democratic Renewal. Between 1996-2004, Ross was the founder and executive director of the National Center for Human Rights Education and she was a national co-director of the April 25, 2004, March for Women’s Lives in Washington, D.C.
Ross is the co-author of Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, and author of The Color of Choice chapter in the anthology Incite! Women of Color Against Violence. She has written extensively on the history of African-American women and reproductive justice activism. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and is pursuing a PhD in Women’s Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. She is a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.
Breakout Session I – Friday 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
America, the Beautiful: Are We Obsessed with Beauty?
This workshop is a timely discussion, with a documentary, that forces us to look at the profound effect that the $412 billion dollar a year advertising industry has on today’s culture. Women of all ages are being barraged daily by the advertising industry, the diet industry, the world of plastic surgery, and false ideas of beauty and self. What drives women to obsess over their physical beauty, making it a priority over their health and family, and how has it happened that so many women cannot appreciate the things that make them truly beautiful? We will take a look at the way society values beauty and how media manipulation leads to unrealistic expectations, low self-esteem, a desire for more beauty products, poor body image and eating disorders.
Panelists: Karin Lewis, Sondra Kronberg
Young Feminist Leaders – Effectively Engaging and Organizing Young Activists
Contrary to the mainstream media’s greatly exaggerated reports of feminism’s demise among younger generations, young women around the country are leading change in ways both familiar and new. This fun, informative and interactive workshop will put the spotlight on young feminist leaders who are making a difference in their own communities. We’ll spark conversations about engaging young women (and girls), organizing effective campaigns on campus and leveraging online resources to get the word out and raise money, as well as share a case study of a successful campaign against crisis pregnancy centers.
Panelists: Erin Matson, Jerin Alam, Bonnie Bryant, Alex Flanagan, Meghan Shalvoy
Bellydance NOW! The Goddesses’ Secrets to Better Health and Empowerment
Combining both lecture and physical activity, Bellydance Afro-Mosaic Fusion Arts presents a workshop on the origins and techniques of bellydancing. This presentation will give participants the opportunity to practice bellydancing techniques, and the presenters will teach a choreography entitled W.O.W. (Wombs of Wellness) NOW! Participants will discover the power of dance and its ability to reawaken the body. They will experience the connection to self that dance provides and will learn to free both their bodies and their minds. Participants will leave this workshop with the tools they need to put these techniques into practice immediately.
Panelists: Arianna Halima al Tiye, Gisele Simmons
Women Warriors: Issues Confronting Servicewomen and Women Veterans
The rights of women are continually denied in the U.S. military. This workshop will focus on the horrific epidemic of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment inflicted on servicewomen. Learn about the impact of military sexual trauma, as well as reasons for, consequences of and remedies for this egregious problem. The workshop will also address the impact of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on LGBT servicemembers. Women and racial and ethnic minorities are dismissed from the military at significantly higher rates than their male and white counterparts. Learn more about the actual impacts of discriminatory military policies and what can be done within the legislative system to right these wrongs.
Panelists: Anu Bhagwati, Greg Jacob
Structure and Process
Breakout Session II – Friday 4:45 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Dead Dolls: Female Victims on Primetime TV
This discussion, facilitated through film clips and script reading, will focus on how females are portrayed in popular television crime dramas such as CSI and Criminal Minds. It will present and analyze how these portrayals perpetuate violence against women and women’s obsession with body image. Each participant will receive media guidelines on how to watch programs with a critical eye and the workshop will call on participants to contact broadcasters and voice concerns about these issues. Learn more about the process of how television shows get on the air, and how production actually works. With this knowledge, participants will become empowered and have a greater ability to challenge the messages presented in mainstream television programming.
Panelists: Jill Andrew, Lisa Bennett
Moving Beyond Abuse: The Journey from Victim to Survivor to Thriver!
No longer victims or merely survivors, these women are thrivers – moving on after abuse, rediscovering the positive energy in their lives, and creating a new future for themselves and their children. This workshop will present innovative techniques to help women reclaim their lives after abuse. Certain techniques encourage healthy desires that lead to physical, mental and emotional development. Without such growth and renewed energy, too many women return to abusive relationships or spiral down into depression and hopelessness. This restorative approach capitalizes on the energy of the moment when a woman leaves a violent relationship and takes the critical the next step to break permanently out of the cycle of violence.
Panelists: Susan M. Omilian, Dorothy LaFratta, Kathleen Sloan
Politics 2010: Tea Parties, Racism and Anti-Abortion Rights “Feminists”
This political workshop will delve into the national trends and tactics of the 2010 elections, including: the rise of the Tea Party Movement, the anti-incumbency push, sex and scandal as a political tool, and the injection of racism into the abortion issue. The discussion will include a brief overview of the political landscape for feminist candidates in 2010 and a look at women candidates describing themselves as feminists but espousing right-wing views. The discussion promises to provide insightful analysis from four longtime feminist activists with extensive experience in analyzing campaigns and elections.
Panelists: Bonnie Grabenhofer, Linda Berg, Alice Cohan, Loretta Ross
Sisters Across Borders Demand To Ratify Women!
Ratify Women! is NOW’s campaign pushing for U.S. ratification of a “clean” version of the global women’s treaty known as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). But wait … there are more international treaties and tools to advance the rights of women in the U.S. and globally! This workshop will: 1) educate participants about the use of United Nations international human rights treaties to advance women’s rights in the U.S. and 2) explore how international women’s movements are using the U.N. as well as feminist transnational grassroots gatherings to advocate for our human rights. Special guest presenters have been invited.
Panelists: Jan Strout, Stephanie Ortoleva, Laura Roskos, Norma Romero (Invited), Dr. Gloria White-Hammond (Invited)
After Health Reform: Addressing Women’s Access and Organizing for a Single-Payer Solution
After a protracted political struggle, national health care reform has finally passed. What will its impact be on gender disparities in health care? What is the significance of the political use of reproductive health as a wedge issue? In the wake of reform, what political climate will advocates encounter as they continue pushing for equitable care and a universal, single-payer system? This workshop will bring together researchers and activists from three organizations in Massachusetts – Our Bodies, Ourselves; Physicians for a National Health Program; and Suffolk University’s Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights – to provide insight from this state’s experience with health reform in 2006.
Panelists: Dr. Rachel Nardin, Dr. Sheila Leavitt, Judy Norsigian, Susan Sered
Breakout Session III – Saturday 9 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Toxic Media: Misogyny, Pornography and Pop Culture
As pornography continues to seep into pop culture, our visual landscape has become dominated by images that depict women and children as hypersexualized and objectified. Pornography has now become the blueprint for the way women’s bodies are represented, and we will explore how these images affect the human brain, shape our sexual identities and inform our culture. Pornography is the major form of sex education for adolescents, delivering ideas about the nature of femininity, masculinity and relationships. This pervasive normalization of sexual harm directly contributes to our cultural acceptance of violence against women, and we must organize to reclaim our culture.
Panelists: Gail Dines, Chyng Sun, Emily Murphy, Sarah Shanahan
Reproductive Choice: Midwives and Birth Settings
This workshop will present an overview of maternity care in the U.S., a discussion of the midwifery model of care and take a look at birth outcomes. The U.S. has a high caesarean section rate – what does that mean for women’s reproductive health, generally? Various birthing experiences – including home birth and those at hospital/birth centers – will be reviewed. A 10-minute video on “Why Choose A Midwife?” will be shown. Finally, there will be a discussion of how women’s birthing rights are being limited by “fetal rights” legislation in many states. And what impact will fetal rights laws have on abortion rights?
Panelists: Dana Keren, Audra Carp, Kelly Roberts, Naomi Sweitzer
I Need Equal Pay, and Hands Off My Retirement!
A presidential commission is looking at ways to trim the national debt – and while their deliberations have been cloaked in closed-door meetings, there are ominous hints that they are seriously considering cutting benefits in vital social insurance programs. Women, who are twice as likely as men to have no pension at all, depend upon Social Security checks to survive in retirement; this is often the sole source of income for divorced or never married women, low-income women and disabled women. Come hear about important developments related to equal pay initiatives, how the lack of pay equity affects lifetime earnings, what’s happening to pensions, and what could be the future of Social Security and Medicare.
Panelists: Lisa Maatz, Janet Witt, Ashley Carson, Jan Erickson
Mothers Losing Custody: Courtroom Tactics, Accusations and Tragic Results
The crisis in family courts continues unabated. Thousands of women are losing custody of children to documented batterers and child abusers. Accusations of “parental alienation” are being promoted by so-called fathers’ rights activists to switch custody. A family court system biased in favor of men and money is desperately in need of reform. Come hear personal stories, an overview of the troubled system, and proposals for change from our NOW Family Law Ad Hoc Committee members and activists.
Panelists: Marcia Pappas, Dr. Mo Therese Hannah, Mary Richmond, Sara Mitran
Women’s Health Roundtable: Women’s Bodies, An Owner’s Manual
This interactive workshop offers a chance to ask experts about common health issues. The panel will focus on aging in a healthy manner, food, menopausal issues, exercise, having a strong body, osteoarthritis, detoxification, and care of body and mind. Speakers will dispel myths about women’s bodies, provide specific exercises for core strength and provide practical information. These health care experts want to make sure that participants have an understanding of how our bodies work and to provide a guide on how to age well.
Panelists: Wendy Marks, Dr. Rebecca Caplan
Economic Justice/Sex Discrimination
Breakout Session IV: Saturday 2 pm-3:15 pm
Exploding the Beauty Ideal: An Exploration of Body Identity, Culture and Race
This workshop will address the intersectionality of body image and identity, culture, race and racism. It will examine the ways that women’s body identity and image is shaped by the dominant culture and its ideals of beauty on individual, cultural and institutional levels. Using the participants’ own experiences, the panel will look at the ways women – especially women of color – manipulate and condemn their bodies to try to achieve unrealistic standards and the damage this has on women’s inner sense of beauty and self. This workshop will also offer action steps to break the mindset of fitting into preconceived ideals of beauty, and encourage acceptance of self and diversity.
Panelists: Chien-Chi Huang, Pata Suyemoto, Christina R. Chen
Healing from Abuse by Reclaiming Our Bodies
The isolation and emotional and/or verbal abuse that are parts of the experience of domestic violence often have a lingering impact long after women have escaped the physical violence itself. Learn strategies to empower women by offering them the opportunity and support to love and embrace their bodies and to experience them as sources of strength and leadership. The presenters will discuss what they’ve learned about the importance of bringing body acceptance work into traditional domestic violence advocacy. And they will address the reality of how challenging it is for women everywhere to abandon the media-driven body loathing that permeates so many lives.
Panelists: Barbara Townley, Aileen Fortune, Janie Waterhouse
Alternative Bodies and Identities: Towards a Trans and Genderqueer Inclusive Feminism
Much of the discussion around the goals of contemporary feminism center around the body. This workshop will examine the ways in which alternative bodies and identities can participate in the feminist movement. Issues of sexual violence, gender-based discrimination, and masculine privilege will be discussed. We will also work as a group to examine the power of language to construct and deconstruct movements. A primary goal of the workshop will be gaining the understanding and tools to build coalitions across the identity line. Questions will be raised such as: How can we combat anti-feminism in the trans community and transphobia in the feminist movement? And, can transfeminism foster an inclusive coalition politics?
Panelists: Rayna Edwards, Toni Zosherafatain, Erin Clark, Joelle Ruby Ryan, Sam Feder
Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry
Will that expensive face cream you bought cause cancer in some women? Come learn about risks involved with the use of cosmetics. Speakers will address the lack of research and federal regulation in the billion-dollar cosmetic industry. The proposed National Cosmetic Safety Act is needed to assure that what we put on our skin will not make us sick. This workshop will also review media messages that are marketed to women and girls to promote cosmetic sales. Critical evaluation skills must be applied to the pervasive media messages aimed at influencing women’s desired appearance and their pocketbooks.
Panelists: Monalisa Wallace, Stacy Malkan, Jennifer Berger
After Citizens United: How Feminists Can Compete with Corporate Campaign Spending
While much of the focus around the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision has been about increased spending by for-profit corporations, the new rules also apply to nonprofits that promote the social good, including women’s equality. This workshop will examine whether Citizens United allows (c)(4) organizations to engage in ways that were previously prohibited. Should nonprofits like NOW use general funds to engage in direct advocacy in elections, such as endorsing federal candidates, encouraging the general public to vote for particular candidates or comparing candidates’ positions on key issues? And the big question remains: Will corporate spending drown out feminist and progressive voices?
Panelists: Bonnie Grabenhofer, Abby Levin, Kellye McIntosh
Social Justice / Civil Rights
Reproductive Rights / Women’s Health
Breakout Session V – Saturday 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Building a Movement: Abortion Storytelling to Heal and Combat Stigma and Shame
A combination of panelist narration and audience participation will be used to empower women to “come out” with their own abortion stories. Come prepared to learn a bit about the history and power of storytelling; you’ll leave equipped with information you need about how you or your organization can hold your own abortion speak out. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss their own abortion stories in a safe and collaborative group environment. This session will emphasize the importance of speaking out about abortion to reduce and eliminate stigma and shame, and will present storytelling as a powerful tool in the fight for reproductive rights.
Panelists: Jennifer Klozik DeCapua, Carol Downer, Kate Palmer
Women’s Health and Beauty: A Latina Perspective (In Spanish)
Many Latinas/women of color acknowledge the influence of mainstream stereotypes that portray the fit/thin woman as synonymous with the Caucasian body type. But in fact, many women feel great with the “Latina” curvy shape as a counter-image. Health promotion of more realistic body types that are in tune with women’s differences may be more effective in reaching out to Latinas in the U.S.
Muchas Latinas reconocen la influencia que los medios de comunicaciones tienen en la promocion del tipo de cuerpo de las mujeres caucasias “super delgadas.” Muchas de nosotras nos sentimos bien con nuestras curvas y con que esa imagen tambien sea promovida en los medios. Promociones de salud deben de tener en cuenta la realidad de los diferentes tipos de cuerpo cuando se trata de las Latinas en los Estados Unidos.
Panelists: Melba De Pena, Dr. Indrani Maity, Yvette Modestin, Zenaida Mendez
Ready, Set, ACTION! In-Your-Face Feminist Organizing
This will be an A to Z, hands-on workshop that will demonstrate how to find other feminists, recruit new members for your chapter, get the word out, plan and host actions, as well as build a sustainable action campaign. We will cover the tools and skills needed to strengthen NOW’s grassroots and to build your local chapter. This workshop will also address important aspects of planning and conducting nonviolent civil disobedience actions. With the sustained right-wing assault on women’s fundamental rights, we need to have all the options in our toolbox!
Panelists: Erin Matson, Patricia Ireland, Allendra Letsome
Emerging and Other Issues
Violence Against Women