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National NOW Times >> Special Edition, 2001 >> Article

Advancing Women's Rights: One Woman's Legacy

by Liz Gilchrist, Director of Major Gifts, Planned Giving

Like many NOW members and activists around the country, Lora Liss was an ordinary woman who found the courage and strength to do extraordinary things.

A feminist and social activist, Lora pursued a career in academia, where she taught at the college level after earning her Ph.D. in sociology. Her interest in women and the political process led her to work for Bella Abzug as staff to the President's Council on the Status of Women under President Jimmy Carter.

While in her 50s, Lora felt that she needed better tools to combat social injustices and decided to become a lawyer. After graduating from Georgetown Law School, she became an attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), working in offices in Texas and the District of Columbia. Even after retiring from government service, she continued to work as a consultant on discrimination for the states of Florida and Hawaii.

Lora obviously believed that age should not stop a woman from pursuing her passions. She learned to ski in her 50s, went river rafting for many years, and learned to scuba dive in Hawaii after her retirement.

All of us at NOW were saddened to learn of the passing of this long-time member in August of 2001. Rabbi Jonathan Woll had this to say about her in eulogy:

"Where others saw fences and hurdles, Lora saw wide open spaces. Nothing would stand in the way of her belief in the expansive human spirit. And nobody would stand in her way to elevate the importance of the human spirit by defending migrant workers, trades people, women and others against those who would oppress their spirits."

Lora Liss did extraordinary things as a social activist, politician, academic, adventurer, mother and friend. One other extraordinary thing she did during her lifetime was to put a bequest to NOW in her will. We are very grateful that Lora had the foresight to make this last and very special gift to support NOW's future work on behalf of women and girls.

You can join Lora Liss and the many other women and men who have decided to invest in a feminist future by including NOW and the NOW Foundation in their wills or other estate plans. For more information, please contact Liz Gilchrist by email, or at 202-628-8669, extension 112.

If you have already included NOW or the NOW Foundation in your estate plan, please let us know! We would like to recognize your special commitment to women's rights with membership in NOW's Visionary Circle. For more information, you can contact Liz at the email or phone number listed above.

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