2011 National NOW Conference
Daring to Dream: Building a Feminist Future
Speakers and Honorees
Marleine Bastien is founder and executive director of Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, Inc. (FANM, Haitian Women of Miami), an important group that provides desperately-needed services to Haitian women and their families. FANM’s work includes programs to promote access to health care, breast cancer prevention and treatment, domestic violence intervention, computer and financial literacy, economic and small business development, after-school programs and more.
Bastien is considered a true leader in South Florida’s Haitian community. She is the present chair of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and vice-chair of the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition. A passionate and articulate spokesperson for Haitians, she formed the Justice Coalition for the Haitian Children of Guantánamo to advocate for children incarcerated there in the early 1990s, appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show to lend her expertise to a discussion of the devastating effect that prolonged detention at Guantánamo had on Haitian children.
Recognized with numerous honors and awards, Bastien was named one of The Miami Herald’s “Forty Special People To Watch in the Next Millennium.” She has received accolades from Amnesty International, Ms. Magazine, the Ford Foundation, Essence Magazine, the Red Cross, and the Gay and Lesbian Foundation of South Florida, among others.
A licensed clinical social worker and trained paralegal, Bastien has dedicated herself to the betterment and the benefit of others – in health, education, economic survival and social justice.
Siobhan “Sam” Bennett
Sam Bennett’s career has many facets – congressional candidate, businesswoman, community leader, and now president/CEO of the Women’s Campaign Forum. At the helm of WCF, Bennett has fostered collaboration with many sister organizations, including NOW.
In November 2008, Bennett ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s 15th district. A first-time congressional candidate, she garnered national attention with her fundraising skills and won the endorsements of more than 40 national organizations. Though ultimately losing her race to incumbent Charles Dent, she obtained more votes than any other Democratic candidate in the district’s history and raised more money than any local Democrat had ever raised for that seat.
Bennett first ran for political office in 2001. In 2004, she took the position of Lehigh Valley Regional Field Director for America Coming Together (ACT), a non-partisan voter registration group, helping lead the effort that resulted in PA-15 being the top-performing swing region in the country. Her leadership was showcased in the award-winning documentary “Hollerback” and featured in the international press.
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, the long-time national president of Cub Scouting and creator of Explorers, Bennett founded and has led for over 20 years Properties of Merit — a non-profit organization that works to spur citizen involvement and “bottom-up” private and public investment in the critical work of revitalizing communities.
Melanie Campbell is the president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable Intergenerational Public Policy Network. Campbell has served in the civil rights, social justice, youth and women’s rights movements for more than 20 years. She is a nationally recognized expert in civic engagement, black voter participation, election reform, voting rights and the census. She is known for her ability to build diverse coalitions that bring people together for the common good.
One of Campbell’s most rewarding accomplishments at the National Coalition was creating an innovative, youth-focused leadership development program, Black Youth Vote! Highly successful coalition projects enacted under Campbell’s leadership include the Voices for the Electorate Election Reform Task Force and the ReBuild Hope NOW Coalition to assist survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2007, Campbell worked with NOW and other allies to form the Women’s Coalition for Dignity and Diversity in the Media.
A native of Mims, Fla., Campbell served as the director of the Mayor’s Offices of Youth Services for the late Maynard Jackson in Atlanta, Ga., in the 1990s. She is a member of the inaugural class of the Progressive Women’s Voices at the Women’s Media Center and was a resident fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University in 2003.
During her 27 years as a Tampa Police officer, Chief Jane Castor has built a reputation for working side by side with citizens, neighborhood leaders, activists and business owners to solve crime problems and improve the community. Those partnerships are now the foundation of the department’s crime reduction strategy. Since its 2003 induction, Castor’s Focus on Four crime reduction plan has been the driving force behind Tampa’s 61.5 percent reduction in crime.
Castor was elected president of her police academy class and quickly moved through the ranks. She served in nearly every capacity within the department, including Patrol, Narcotics, Family Violence and Sex Crimes, and Criminal Intelligence. Her dedication to the community reaches far beyond the Tampa Police Department. Castor serves on numerous boards in the community and continues to work with and mentor at-risk children.
Jane attended the University of Tampa on an athletic scholarship in basketball and volleyball, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminology. In 2006, she was inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2010 was the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award. Castor also holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Troy State University and is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy. Most notably, Chief Castor was named Law Enforcement Executive of the Year by the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives.
Kate Dillon is known in the fashion industry as a groundbreaker and passionate advocate for humanitarian and environmental causes. For 20 years, she has leveraged her career in fashion to campaign for positive body images in the media, eating disorder awareness and global poverty reduction. Dillon’s work has been widely featured in the media, including on CNN, Good Morning America, and the PBS NOVA series, as well as in Vogue, Glamour and People.
Dillon began modeling as a size six, but after overcoming anorexia, she relaunched her career as a plus-size model. She quickly rose to fame, appearing on magazine covers and in advertising campaigns for the top plus-size clothing retailers. She has appeared in Vogue magazine, been photographed by world-renowned photographers, worked for clients outside of the usual plus-size industry and was a featured guest on America’s Next Top Model, talking to contestants about body image and self-esteem.
In order to be a more effective advocate, Dillon completed a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009, winning two academic awards. Now, Dillon continues to model full-time while serving as vice-president of the Komera Project, a fund that provides scholarships for secondary education to girls in Rwanda. Her experiences as a mother and wife further solidify her respect for women all over the world.
Lois Frankel is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in one of the most important congressional races in 2012 – Florida’s 22nd District. Her opponent, incumbent freshman Allen West, is a Tea Party favorite who has voted to destroy Medicare and let oil companies keep their deficit-busting tax loopholes, while cutting programs for young people to help them afford a college education, and who said that the women of Planned Parenthood and other liberal women have been “neutering American men.”
A tireless, passionate and effective advocate for South Florida’s families and seniors, Frankel was first elected mayor of West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2003, defeating incumbent Joel Daves. She was re-elected to a second and final term in 2007. As mayor, Frankel brought people together to get things done.
In 1986, Frankel was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, serving there for 14 years. She was the first Democratic woman to serve as Minority Leader in the Florida House. While in the legislature, Frankel championed efforts to help children, seniors and working families. She worked on measures to reduce family violence and fight the tobacco industry’s campaign to entice minors.
Born in New York, Frankel graduated from Boston College and earned her law degree from Georgetown University. In 1974, she moved to West Palm Beach, where she began her family and law practice.
Latanya Mapp Frett
Latanya Mapp Frett is vice president for Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s International Division, which works to ensure that women, men and young people in some of the world’s most neglected areas have access to the health care they need to control their bodies and their futures. She has a distinguished and extensive track record in international development work, including six years with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and eight years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Most recently, Frett served as program director for USAID/Egypt, where she directed a $1.1 billion international aid portfolio in development areas – including democracy and governance, environment, health, education, policy reform, private sector partnerships, agriculture and antiquities.
Frett has lived and worked in Iraq, Pakistan and eight African countries. Throughout her career, she has maintained a special commitment to health and rights for women and young people, first as a child rights officer for UNICEF and later as USAID program director in several countries where her portfolios included health, HIV/AIDS and education.
An attorney by training, Frett began her career at the NAACP Legal and Education Fund and maintains a deep commitment to civil and human rights. She holds a bachelor of arts in government and politics, a master’s in public policy and a J.D. from the University of Maryland.
Sonia Pressman Fuentes
Sonia Pressman Fuentes was born in Germany and came to the U.S. with her family in 1934 to escape the Holocaust. She went on to serve as an attorney with the federal government for over 20 years, and was an attorney and executive with corporations for more than 10 years.
A founder of NOW, Fuentes has been involved in women’s rights since 1963, when she testified in Congress in favor of the Equal Pay bill. In 1965, she joined the General Counsel’s office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as its first female attorney. Fuentes drafted the EEOC’s first Guidelines on Pregnancy and Childbirth and its decision finding that airlines violated the law when they terminated or grounded stewardesses upon marriage or reaching the age of 32 or 35.
She is a founder of the Women’s Equity Action League and Federally Employed Women, a charter member of Veteran Feminists of America, and was one of the longest-serving members of the Board of Trustees of the National Woman’s Party. Fuentes has lectured extensively in this country and abroad on women’s rights and has written numerous articles on the subject in law reviews and other publications.
Since her retirement, Fuentes has maintained her activism and is the author of a memoir, Eat First – You Don’t Know What They’ll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter.
Girls Incorporated of Pinellas
Girl-Powered Media Award
NOW is pleased to acknowledge Girls Incorporated of Pinellas for their outstanding documentary Being Safe In Our World. Girls Inc. is a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Through a network of local affiliates, Girls Inc. empowers girls to reach their full potential and to understand, value and assert their rights. That’s exactly what the Pinellas girls did.
For several years, these girls frequently passed by an enormous billboard for a “Gentleman’s Club” that featured a provocatively-posed, nearly-naked woman – and they would ask why the woman was “up there on the sign with her butt in the air” on such a busy thoroughfare. Unsatisfied with the answers they were getting, a group of 9- and 10-year-old girls decided to expand their inquiry to find out what people in the community thought about the billboard. As part of a summer camp media program, 40 girls produced an 18-minute video.
They educated themselves about the First Amendment and about the connections between exploitative images and violence against women; they interviewed each other, parents, Girls Inc. staff and community leaders; they asked for technical assistance from local female journalists. The reception to Being Safe In Our World has been overwhelmingly positive and has even elevated adult conversations about the subject. The girls are now eager to produce other videos and online resources.
After graduating college in 2008, Detroit native Gabi Gregg created the blog Young Fat & Fabulous. Gregg wanted to pursue fashion journalism but hadn’t found a job she loved. The resulting blog has a message beyond fashion, about accepting yourself at any size and feeling stylish.
In the post Every Body is a Bikini Body, Gregg declared: “Newsflash: You don’t have to lose weight to look good in a swimsuit. I hate the message that only certain bodies are allowed to wear bikinis or be on a beach.” Gregg and her website have been featured by media outlets including The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, Seventeen Magazine, Glamour.com, The Daily Beast and The Guardian.
In the summer of 2010, Gregg hosted the first plus-size fashion blogger conference, bringing bloggers from around the world to New York City to meet with retailers, magazine editors and the public to discuss the future of plus-size fashion. She was on the cover of Black Enterprise Magazine’s December issue, in which she shares social media advice for young entrepreneurs.
Last year, MTV recruited Gregg to compete in its Follow Me web-based contest in which 20 social-media-savvy would-be stars competed to be the cable network’s first-ever Twitter-based correspondent, or “TJ.” Gregg ultimately landed the year-long gig in a live televised finale, anointing her the social media face of MTV.
Woman of Courage Honoree
Nancy Hogshead-Makar is one of the foremost proponents of gender equity in education – including sports participation, sexual harassment, employment, pregnancy and legal enforcement under Title IX. In 2009, she brought a successful legal challenge against the Florida High School Athletic Association, whose cuts to competitive seasons discriminated against female athletes. In the settlement, the competitive seasons were restored for all high school athletes throughout Florida.
A world-class swimmer for eight years, Hogshead-Makar won three Gold medals and one Silver at the 1984 Olympics. She has been inducted into 11 halls of fame for her swimming accomplishments, including the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.
During her 25-year history with the Women’s Sports Foundation, Hogshead-Makar served as president from 1992-94, legal advisor from 2003-10, and is currently senior director of advocacy. She has testified in Congress on the topic of gender equity in athletics and serves as an expert witness in Title IX cases. Since 2003 she has been co-chair of the American Bar Association Committee on the Rights of Women. In 2007, Sports Illustrated Magazine listed her as one of the most influential people in the 35-year history of Title IX.
Hogshead-Makar currently teaches sports law courses at the Florida Coastal School of Law and co-authored, with Andrew Zimbalist, the acclaimed book Equal Play, Title IX and Social Change.
Patricia Ireland has been improving women’s lives for most of her own. As the longest-serving president from 1991 to 2001, Ireland helped move NOW to the forefront of the political scene, build a strong, effective women’s movement and establish herself as a groundbreaking activist.
With a deep understanding of the connections between women’s rights and other human rights issues, Ireland forged bonds between NOW and allies in the anti-poverty, civil rights, disability rights and LGBT communities, strengthening and broadening NOW’s commitment to justice for women in all of our multiple, often overlapping, communities.
Her activism ranged from serving on the board of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition to getting arrested at the White House over the continued ban on lesbians and gays in the military. Ireland created NOW’s Elect Women for a Change campaign, which played a pivotal role in making 1992 the “Year of the Woman.” She led the 1992 Global Feminist Conference in the U.S. and represented NOW around the world.
Today Ireland continues fighting for social justice, in her professional work – as a labor attorney in Miami, she represents unions and their members – and in her volunteer activism. She co-chairs the National NOW Board Advisory Committee and is a key adviser to the NOW/PAC. In Florida, she is leading the women’s community in support of NOW leader Lois Frankel’s congressional campaign.
Dr. Nancy Klimas
The NOW Foundation will present it’s second annual Victoria J. Mastrobuono Women’s Health Award to Nancy Klimas, M.D., at the 2011 National NOW Conference. A Professor of Medicine, Psychology, and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Klimas has worked on behalf of women and women’s health care for more than a quarter of a century.
After years spent in HIV/AIDS research and clinical care, Dr. Klimas was drawn to care for patients with an often maligned and misunderstood illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). One female patient after another described to her the humiliating and demeaning interactions they experienced with doctors as they sought answers for this painful and debilitating condition.
Since she began treating these early patients, Dr. Klimas has worked tirelessly to advance the understanding of diseases predominately affecting women and to improve women’s access to health care. A national and international leader in the treatment and research of CFS/ME, she heads a large interdisciplinary research program and has published over 150 scientific articles, 18 book chapters and three books on the disease. Dr. Klimas strives to educate the public by writing about CFS/ME for the lay media, including articles for Ms. Magazine and The New York Times health blog.
Dr. Klimas served two terms as president of the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME and has been repeatedly honored for her work. Currently she serves as an adviser to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and has influenced health care policy in Europe and Canada as well as the U.S. Through her work, she brings a feminist perspective to clinical access, to quality care and to a better understanding of women’s health issues. Dr. Klimas has been an active member of NOW for 30 years, and has served NOW as an adviser on health care policy issues.
Celinda Lake is a prominent pollster and political strategist for Democrats and progressives. She currently serves as president of Lake Research Partners, which is known for its cutting-edge research on issues including the economy, health care, the environment and education.
Lake is one of the nation’s foremost experts on electing women candidates and on framing issues to women voters. She is renowned for her groundbreaking research on single women voters and has helped elect numerous female candidates, including Nancy Pelosi, the first woman speaker of the House; Barbara Mikulski, the “dean” of women senators; former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano; Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city; Patricia Madrid, the first Hispanic woman attorney general in New Mexico, and Carol Moseley-Braun, in her historic victory to become the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
In 2008, Lake polled in California to beat parental notification initiatives three times in a row. In 2006, she helped with successful minimum wage campaigns in five states and was the pollster on the first successful effort to defeat an anti-gay marriage initiative in Arizona. Lake co-authored the 2005 book What Women Really Want, which examines the way women are changing the political landscape in America. Her earlier experiences include serving as Political Director of the Women’s Campaign Fund.
Katie Makkai’s first poetry reading was in a neighbor’s basement at the age of seven, where she performed profoundly moving works about puppies and kittens for her Girl Scout troupe. Makkai is now a veteran slam poet who has garnered attention for her performance of “Pretty” at the 2002 National Poetry Slam. This work, as well as other pieces in her two books of collected poems, chronicle Makkai’s own struggle for self-worth and identity in a culture that often seems enslaved to what she calls “the Aesthetic Beast.”
Makkai co-founded the Denver poetry slam in 2000, the same year she graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Writing. She has performed in poetry venues throughout the U.S. and competed at the National Poetry Slam every year from 2000-2005; she was voted champion for the city of Denver in 2000 and Albuquerque, N.M., in 2002.
In addition to poetry, Makkai also writes humorous short stories about her experiences as a woman navigating the social and political terrain of civil service. This includes a 10-year career as an EMT and paramedic, as well as her more recent appointment as a deputy medical examiner in Oregon. However, Makkai asserts that no competition or professional work compares with helping to teach poetry to juvenile criminal offenders through “Art from Ashes” from 2000-2004.
In 2010, Sara Manzano-Díaz was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as director of the Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor. Created in 1920, the Women’s Bureau is the only federal agency exclusively mandated to serve and promote the interests of working women.
As director, Manzano-Díaz’ vision is to empower working women nationwide to achieve economic security by focusing the agency’s efforts on four priority areas: equal pay, workplace flexibility, higher-paying jobs for women and support for homeless female veterans.
Manzano-Díaz has spent her career in public service advocating on behalf of working class families, women and girls. She has more than 25 years of federal, state and judicial experience. Previously, Manzano-Díaz was appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell as deputy secretary of State for Regulatory Programs at the Pennsylvania Department of State. She was also a member of Rendell’s STEM Initiative Team, supporting the development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and workforce development programs.
From 1995 to 2002, Manzano-Díaz worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development as deputy general counsel for Civil Rights and Litigation. Previously, she served as an assistant attorney general in New York. Manzano-Díaz also served as co-chair of The Forum of Executive Women’s Mentoring Committee, which mentors young professional women, and participated in Madrinas, a program that provides mentors for at-risk Latina girls.
Dr. Sheila Overton
Sheila Overton, M.D., a board certified OB/GYN, co-founded a teen pregnancy and STD prevention program in Los Angeles in 1997 and served as its chairperson for over a decade. Her new book, Before It’s Too Late: What Parents Need to Know About Teen Pregnancy and STD Prevention, has been hailed by experts from leading national organizations, including The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Healthy Teen Network, and Girls Incorporated.
Through her seminars and in her practice, Dr. Overton has worked with hundreds of teens and their parents to transform the way they think and talk about sex, and about the consequences of unintended teen pregnancy and STDs. She has also reached diverse audiences throughout the country through her lectures, articles, and radio and television appearances.
Dr. Overton has a passionate commitment to stemming the tide of teen pregnancy and STDs. She continues to work tirelessly to reach out to parents, educators, health care professionals and community leaders to inform and motivate them about their role in helping to decrease teen pregnancy and STDs in the U.S., particularly in minority communities, which are impacted at significantly higher rates and experience lingering public health and socioeconomic problems as a result.
A graduate of UCLA Medical School, Dr. Overton received The Los Angeles Commendation for Excellence in Women’s Health in Los Angeles County in 2000.
Dr. Maya Rockeymoore
Dr. Maya Rockeymoore is president and CEO of Global Policy Solutions, a social change strategy firm based in Washington, D.C. Rockeymoore previously served as vice president of research and programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, senior resident scholar for health and income security at the National Urban League, and chief of staff to Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), among other positions.
Rockeymoore’s areas of expertise include health, social insurance, income security, education, women’s issues and youth civic participation. She is the author of The Political Action Handbook: A How to Guide for the Hip-Hop Generation and co-editor of Strengthening Community: Social Insurance in a Diverse America, among other publications. Rockeymoore serves on the board of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; she is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, and the Insight Experts of Color Network. The recipient of many honors, she was named an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow in 2004 and is the recipient of Running Start’s 2007 Young Women to Watch Award.
A regular guest on radio and television, Rockeymoore has appeared on NPR, CNN, BET, ABC World News Tonight and C-SPAN. Her opinions have been quoted by the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, L.A. Times, Boston Globe, Black America Web, and other prominent news sources.
A Harvard Law graduate and glass ceiling breaker, Pat Schroeder decided to run for Congress from Denver, Colo., in 1972, when she was the mother of two young children. After winning her election, Schroeder requested a seat on the all-male Armed Services Committee. Despite the upheaval this created in the House, Schroeder went on to serve 24 years on the committee.
In 1984 and 1988, she co-chaired Gary Hart’s campaigns for president. When Hart left the race in 1988, Schroeder explored running herself and discovered the country wasn’t yet ready for a woman president. Back in Congress, she was a co-founder of the Congressional Women’s Caucus; chair of the Children, Youth and Families Committee; a whip and a member on the Judiciary Committee.
Retiring in 1997 after 12 terms, Schroeder taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She then became president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, representing the U.S. book publishing industry for more than 12 years.
Currently Schroeder chairs the English-Speaking Union – both it’s U.S. and international entities. She is the vice chair of the Marguerite Casey Foundation and on the boards of Common Cause and the Communications Consortium. Schroeder is the author of two books, “Champion of the Great American Family” and “Twenty Four years of Housework and the Place is Still a Mess.”
Pam Spaulding is the editor and publisher of Pam’s House Blend, honored as “Best LGBT Blog” in the 2005 and 2006 Weblog Awards. The Blend – which ranks in the top-50 progressive political blogs – was launched in July 2004 as a personal response to the anti-gay state of the political landscape.
A regular contributor to the progressive blog Pandagon.net, Spaulding has also guest posted/contributed to Americablog, Firedoglake, The Rude Pundit, Glenn Greenwald’s Unclaimed Territory on Salon, and written for The Independent Weekly.
With roots in North Carolina and New York City, Spaulding considers herself to have “dual citizenship” status as a Southerner and a Yankee – and brings that perspective and voice to her blog, which focuses on current political events, LGBT and women’s rights, the influence of the far right and race relations.
Spaulding provided commentary on CNN during the 2008 presidential election cycle and performed the first-ever live-blogging events for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s annual dinner in May 2006 and the National Black Justice Coalition’s Second Annual Black Church Summit in March 2007.
Spaulding has a B.A. in Media Studies from Fordham University and serves as Information Technology Manager at Duke University Press. She is a board member of The Institute of Southern Studies, which publishes the award-winning investigative journalism publication Southern Exposure, and the blog Facing South.
Founder and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), Eleanor Smeal has been on the frontlines fighting for women’s equality for 40 years.
She has been at the forefront of almost every major women’s rights victory – from the integration of Little League, newspaper help-wanted ads and police departments, to the passage of landmark legislation, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Equal Credit Act, Violence Against Women Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
During her three terms as NOW president, Smeal led the drive to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. She was the first to identify the “gender gap” – the difference in the way women and men vote – and popularized its usage in election and polling analyses to enhance women’s voting clout. Smeal has pushed to make Social Security and pensions more equitable for women, and to realign federal priorities by developing a feminist budget. She has campaigned to close the wage gap and achieve pay equity for the vast majority of women who are segregated in low-paying jobs.
Smeal and FMF were the first to draw world attention to the Taliban’s brutal treatment of women in Afghanistan. In the 1990s, Smeal led the campaign to win FDA approval of mifepristone (the early option abortion medication). Currently FMF conducts the nation’s largest clinic defense program. In 2001, her organization became the sole publisher of Ms. magazine.
Woman of Action Honoree
An outspoken leader in the feminist movement for decades, Olga Vives served as NOW’s executive vice president from 2005-2009 and action vice president from 2001-2005. During her tenure at the National NOW Action Center, Vives took the lead on major events and issues, such as the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, naming Wal-Mart a Merchant of Shame, advocating for equal marriage and promoting justice for immigrant women.
Originally from Cuba, Vives joined NOW in the early 1980s to participate in the drive to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and went on to serve in chapter, state and regional positions in Illinois. Vives worked on campaigns to elect women’s rights supporters to all levels of government, including the campaign that elected Carol Moseley-Braun as the first African-American woman in the Senate. She also participated in efforts to block the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Vives is a coalition builder, dedicated to expanding NOW’s reach to more women of color, lesbians and young feminists.
For 30 years, Vives worked in training, management and marketing, successfully managing a large sales organization. Before her election to national NOW, Vives served as vice president of an Internet company that connected large corporations with smaller minority- and women-owned businesses. Vives is a mother of three and now resides in Arizona, where she continues her activism at the grassroots level.
Breakout Session I – Friday 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Unfinished Business: Women in Public Office and on Corporate Boards
Women’s equality is unfinished business. We hear reports about the progress women are making in leaps and bounds. However, the numbers don’t add up to equality. Who would have thought that in 2011, there would still only be 15 women CEOs in the Fortune 500. Could it be true that only 16% of the U.S. Congress is women, placing the U.S. at a dismal number 72, behind Rwanda, Uganda, Estonia and El Salvador? This session traces women’s progress in politics and business, highlighting our struggles to succeed in what is still very much a man’s world. How can feminists accelerate the process to reach gender balance in the boardrooms and in Congress?
Moderator: Christine Jacobs
Panelists: Janet Walkow, Vanessa Briggs, Mayra Uribe
Engaging and Mentoring a New Generation of Feminists
The most important challenge facing feminists is to assure that our movement continues in future generations. Young feminists across the nation are doing great work in attracting fresh faces and new energy. This workshop will share tips, tactics and insights in educating and mobilizing new activists, specifically from the experiences of the National and New York State Young Feminist Task Forces. Suggestions on types of campaigns, actions and issues that appeal to the next generations will be covered. In addition, panelists will talk about the NOW feminist mentorship pilot program intended to bridge generational gaps, share knowledge and provide mutual support. Accomplishments of YFTF leaders, such as passing ground-breaking legislation about phony crisis pregnancy centers and promotion of better campus sexual assault policies, will be highlighted.
Moderators: Erin Matson, N. Jerin Arifa
Panelists: Elisabeth Crum, Micah Bochart, Dominique Gelin
Mobilizing Women for Real Health Care for All: Making Single Payer Universal Health Care a Reality
NOW and our allies who support the most efficient and economical universal health care system were disappointed last year when Congress refused to give the single-payer approach (like Canada’s successful program) serious consideration. The power of the for-profit health insurance industry is such that the Affordable Care Act retains our existing costly structure. Although Medicaid will be expanded, covering many of the uninsured, millions will still go without; abortion coverage will be virtually eliminated from insurance plans; and spiraling health care costs will be weakly regulated. One state, Vermont, is moving forward with a single-payer system, and we need to get the movement going in all states. In this interactive workshop, participants will become knowledgeable advocates in the effort to extend health care to everyone.
Moderator: Katie Robinson
Panelists: Donna Smith, Jewel Crawford, Natalie Maxwell
Eco-Feminism & Racial Justice: A Necessary Intersectional Frame
Environmental discrimination and climate change have disproportionate impacts on women in general, and women of color in particular. This injustice is rooted in systems of patriarchy and colonialism that downplay women’s involvement in decision-making and neglect the needs of communities of color. As a result, women and communities of color experience vulnerability to violence, food and water insecurity, poor access to health care and other serious consequences – many associated with climate change-driven disasters, shifts in agricultural yields and sea level rise. In this workshop, facilitated by experts with different perspectives and experiences, panelists will explore how feminist and racial justice framing and action agendas must combine to address these issues, which create double jeopardy for women of color.
Moderator: Jacqueline Patterson
Panelists: Nova Strachan, Sharon Hanshaw
The Straight Ally: Calls to Action for Sexual Diversity Acceptance
This workshop will facilitate conversations around acceptance of diversity related to sexual orientation within various cultural paradigms and expectations. The session will begin with a talk by one panelist whose own true story about her son’s coming out will inspire narratives from within the group. Goals consist of enabling comfortable and comforting disclosure, easing out of preconceived notions of sexual “correctness,” and connecting participants through their experiences of what is acceptable versus non-acceptable. Finally, the workshop will offer participants a new perspective of NOW by demonstrating that the organization is not only devoted to feminism by and for women, but is also a place where people of all gender identities, sexual orientations and races can come together to speak and organize.
Moderators: Amy Discepolo, Brooklynn Welden
Panelist: Eric Henninger
Sex Discrimination in Employment – Issues Impacting Today’s Working Women
A panel of experts from the Tampa field office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will discuss issues that impact women in today’s workplace. Topics will include harassment and unlawful treatment based on sex, unequal pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual bias, sexual harassment, caregiver discrimination, retaliation, and more. Participants will learn what their rights are under the laws enforced by the EEOC (including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act) and what they can do when their rights are violated. Also, an attorney who has represented women in a wide variety of discrimination cases will discuss current trends in employment discrimination law.
Moderator: Elaine McArthur
Panelists: Georgia Marchbanks, Gregory McClinton, Carla VonGrieff, Marcia S. Cohen
Gender Inequality Worldwide Perpetuated by Conservative U.S. Policies
Of the 200 million pregnancies in the world every year, 20 percent end in abortion – half of them illegal and unsafe, causing untold misery. Reproductive health (along with education) is at the core of women’s empowerment. Without reproductive health care, girls and women cannot be educated, earn income, participate in their communities or become leaders and peace builders. In addition, the low status of women and girls often leads to gender-based violence against them. Reduced access to contraception will continue to fuel uncontrolled population growth in an already crowded planet of 6.9 billion. There is a linkage between the harmful Hyde Amendment affecting domestic programs and U.S. funding restrictions on abortion services internationally. The world is paying a huge toll for gender inequality, and feminists must recommit to fighting these destructive policies.
Moderator: Jane Roberts
Panelist: Jes Kelley
Breakout Session II – Friday 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
When Women Run, Women Win: Filling the Pipeline with Feminists
There’s a war on women. Is it any wonder that the feminist agenda is under attack when women make up less than 17 percent of the U.S. Congress? It’s critical that we increase the number of female legislators. How? We ask them to run. Comparatively few women run, but when they do run, they win at the same rate as men. In this workshop, presenters will talk about why it’s important for women to run. You’ll learn how to identify possible candidates and how to spot (or even develop) opportunities for strong feminists to run. You’ll also learn how you can help candidates get started. Candidates themselves will discuss what they considered when deciding and preparing to run – and how you can too!
Moderator: Janet Canterbury
Panelists: Sam Bennett, Andrea Miller, Michelle Paccione, Allen Thomas
What the “#@*!”?: Understanding and Using Social Media to Frame Your Message
This workshop is all about social media, including Twitter, Facebook and blogs. We will start with the basics, including terminology for the main social media programs and ways that chapters and activists can use these tools to spread their message. The goal is to learn how to improve your chapter’s familiarity with online social media networks while positively presenting your organization in virtual space. You’ll learn how to build and maintain a Facebook fan page and how to create a video and post it online. We’ll also discuss the shaping of effective messages, utilizing research, expanding your reach and setting a long term strategy for your chapter’s messaging goals around NOW’s priorities.
Moderators: Meredith Ockman, Lacey Maffetone
Panelists: Anna Vishkaee Eskamani, Dominique Gelin, Erin Matson, Erin Murphy, Alexa Nelen
Feminism and Unionism: A Winning Combination to Stop Attacks on Workers’ Rights
On March 21, NOW’s website declared, “We Are One: NOW Stands in Solidarity with Workers’ Rights and Human Dignity.” NOW activists demonstrated with thousands of state employees and their allies against Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to kill some public unions. This attempt to dismantle unions in Wisconsin by way of dubious legislative tricks was more than an assault on workers rights: it was an attack on women’s economic well-being as well. Revoking collective bargaining rights for public nurses, teachers, home health care providers and child care workers while leaving intact those same rights for local police, firefighters and state troopers is selective union-busting – a major element in the broader war on women. This timely workshop discusses who is behind these attacks in Wisconsin and many other states and how we can stop them.
Moderator: Patty White
Panelists: Lorraine Tuliano, Debra Booth, Phyllis Hancock, Howard Simon, Cheryl Schroeder
Using Title IX Action Networks to Promote Gender Equality through Education
Title IX of the 1972 education amendments has led to many triumphs benefiting girls and boys, women and men. But more attention to its broad coverage and recent challenges is essential. NOW activists can better utilize the Title IX Coordinators in their districts to identify and stop all types of overt and subtle sex discrimination and to greatly decrease sex stereotyping, which limits the achievement of all. Recommended actions: advocacy for expanding the Women’s Educational Equity Act (currently on the chopping block) and for rescission of the Bush administration’s 2007 Title IX regulation allowing sex segregation in public education without adequate protections against sex discrimination. NOW leaders in MI and WV will describe how they are establishing Title IX Action Networks. Panelists will also hold a Special Constituency Caucus on Title IX Action Networks.
Moderator: Kim Gandy
Panelists: Sue Klein, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Jennifer Martin, Christina Vogt
Anti-Immigrant Sentiment, Domestic Violence and Families: A Narrative of Liberation
This multi-faceted workshop will address a series of urgent problems confronting women immigrants and their feminist allies. Panelists will review the extent of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. and related laws, such as the harsh new Arizona law, SB 1070. They will also comment on the DREAM Act, Violence Against Women Act and the U Visa for battered immigrant women. Panelists will then discuss barriers that battered immigrant women face with abusers’ threats, language differences and fears of deportation. Additional topics will cover stressors affecting Latinas and counseling strategies for empowerment. Finally, speakers will describe Project Speak Out being used by Asian-American agencies in New York to prevent domestic violence.
Moderator: Jeanette Ocasio
Panelists: Maria del C. Rodriquez, Jessica Moreno, N. Jerin Arifa
Creating a Global Feminist Future for Women’s Health, Reproductive Rights and Justice
Members of NOW’s Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee have been working in solidarity with women’s non-governmental organizations, the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and international human rights organizations to build sisterhood around the world. They have crossed borders to advance the status of all women’s human rights by advocating for enactment of the International Violence Against Women Act, for U.S. ratification of CEDAW, for achieving reproductive rights victories in Mexico and Cuba, and for implementing U.N. Security Resolutions 1325 and 1800 to increase women’s rights, peace and security. They’ve also advocated for women with disabilities in conflict and post-conflict environments. This workshop will serve as a template for future methods to inspire NOW activists in building a global feminist future.
Moderator: Jan Strout
Panelists: Stephanie Ortoleva, Kathleen Sloan
Abortion, Morality and the Liberation of Women: Building a Winning Narrative into Our History
Attacks on the fundamental right to control our own reproduction are at the most acute level ever since Roe v. Wade. From the congressional effort to defund Planned Parenthood’s health clinics to the more than 370 state bills restricting access to birth control and abortion – many in direct challenge to Roe – the threat is unprecedented. This culture war is not about fetuses – it’s about nothing less than the role of women in our society. Feminists must reclaim from our opponents the language of human rights and civil rights to defend women. Attendees will learn how to anticipate and effectively respond to that rhetoric, creating a positive abortion rights narrative that re-defines abortion as a basic human right and challenges the underlying anti-woman agenda of the anti-choice movement.
Panelists: JoAnn D. Carpenter, Marcella Washington, Debra Sweet, Heather Ault
Structure & Process
Breakout Session III – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Selecting the Best Feminist Candidates
This workshop will begin by demystifying the decennial process of redistricting and how you can participate. Then we’ll discuss how to make the most of electoral opportunities by selecting the best feminist candidates to endorse and those to focus your campaign efforts on. A key tool is the interview. Interviews are invaluable for determining candidates’ positions and commitment to NOW’s issues. Find out more about the endorsement process and tips for using interviews not only to select the strongest feminist candidates, but, when needed, move a candidate toward being more supportive of NOW’s issues.
Moderator: Bonnie Grabenhofer
Panelists: Alice Cohan, Robin Davis, Patricia Ireland
What are the New Rules that Affect Non-Profit Advocacy?
The 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizen’s United v. Federal Elections Commission opened the floodgates to massive corporate financing of elections, shaking our political world. New rules that apply to (c)(4) non-profit organizations, redefine permissible activities. Can nonprofits like NOW use general funds to engage in direct advocacy in elections, such as endorsing candidates, encouraging the public to vote for particular candidates or comparing candidates’ voting records and positions on women’s issues? Election Year 2012 promises to present new challenges for candidates and supporters alike. Come to this workshop to learn more about how feminist activists can be successful in a changed political environment.
Moderator: Allendra Letsome
Panelists: April Carson, Beth Corbin
More Than a Pretty Face … The Face of Diversity
Promoting diversity and ending racism is one of NOW’s priority issues. Feminists know that racism inflicts a double burden of race and sex discrimination on women of color. This workshop will be a wide-ranging interactive roundtable discussion that will elicit participation from the attendees. Among the topics explored: How do we/can we promote diversity at home, work, socially and within our extended families? What’s working and what’s not working, and, most importantly, what can we do to make a difference? Goals of the discussion: To raise the awareness that racial discrimination still exists and to have participants share their positive experiences living in a racially diverse environment and the difference it has made for them.
Moderator: Norma Rixter
Panelists: Kathleen Weber, Ellen Burton, Jessica Grant
“Power Up” Bullying Prevention – Strategies to Stop Relational Harassment
More attention is being paid to the harm caused by bullying – the federal government recently held a summit to urge more effective prevention measures. This workshop demonstrates “Power Up,” which encourages bystanders (rather than targets or bullies) to intervene when they see something wrong. Power Up is focused on preventing the unique verbal and relational bullying prevalent among girls. Most people and programs ignore relational bullying, the systematic diminishment of a child’s sense of self-worth through exclusion, shunning and gossip. Stopping relational bullying is especially important for equality and inclusion for LGBTIQ girls, girls of minority races, of low socio-economic status, and of all religions. Participants will be shown how to successfully intervene and to explore ways to prevent relational bullying within the community.
Moderator: Cathy Millon
Panelists: Lisa Scott, Holly Kearl
A New Tack: Model Legislation for Reproductive Rights as Civil Rights
Panelists will present model state-level legislation defining reproductive rights and health as a civil rights issue, making it possible for women to challenge actual and threatened violations of their rights across the reproductive spectrum, including issues of birth control, sterilization, abortion, fertility treatment, pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, hysterectomy and menopause. The legislation prohibits coercing any woman to accept any particular reproductive treatment option – such as childbearing, cesarean delivery, or sterilization – or denying her any options in treatment. It prohibits discrimination in treatment based on race, a leading cause of high maternal mortality rates among women of color. Learn about this new strategy to put the other side on the defensive as we respond to attacks on women’s reproductive rights.
Moderator: Jessica Clements
Panelists: Lisa Pratt, Marj Signer, Erin Matson, Dionne Bensonsmith
Raising the Bar for Feminist Men: How to Promote Equality in Relationships
Being a productive member of the feminist movement often requires more conscious effort from men than it does from women. Our male allies get enormous credit for simply showing up, and while that’s nice, they sometimes create problems while trying to be helpful. The urge to rescue a “damsel in distress” is still deeply ingrained in our male-dominated culture. The idea of male feminism still remains, at best, a novelty. This multi-media workshop will cover several distinctions: the best ways to live with, support and nurture a powerful woman; identifying the “box” men are in and enabling them to finally think outside of it; and using “partnership” instead of “domination” techniques in a relationship. Come join this interactive and stimulating workshop.
Moderator: N. Jerin Arifa
Panelists: Ken Gruberman, Ben Atherton-Zeman, Micah Bochart
Improve Social Security: Increase Benefits, Credit Caregiving and Lower the Retirement Age
Surveys show that only one in ten workers is financially prepared for retirement. Worse, conservative politicians are trying to cut our already modest Social Security benefits, increase the retirement age to 69, end Medicare and slash Medicaid (which funds a large percentage of nursing homes in the U.S.) Women’s monthly Social Security checks average only $1,000, and many older women live close to poverty, especially women of color. In this workshop, you’ll learn what you can do to protect these programs and improve benefits – from scrapping the cap on income subject to the payroll tax so that the rich pay their fair share, to granting caregiver credits and actually lowering the retirement age. Disability benefits also need to be improved. A rich nation like the U.S. can do better for its seniors, persons with disabilities and others whose Social Security check is a lifeline.
Moderator: Anita Lederer
Panelists: Janet Witt, Jan Erickson, Heidi Case
Reproductive Rights/Women’s Health
Breakout Session IV – Saturday, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Making a Difference in a Campaign: It Takes a Team
Did you ever wonder how a campaign really works and what it will take to win? Find out in this workshop from a candidate, campaign manager, staff member, and NOW leaders and volunteers — including you — who share what it’s like to work on a campaign. Learn about the special considerations in the 2012 elections, like redistricting and new voting restrictions. Learn how to get people involved, create a structure that works and reach out with social media. And learn how, when everyone works together and contributes their skills, we can create a victory for all of us!
Moderator: Bonnie Grabenhofer
Panelists: Emily Eng, Gay E. Bruhn, Rachel Piazza, Shirley Rawls, Joanne Sterner
Building Resiliency and Economic Empowerment for Survivors of Domestic Violence
One out of three women experiences domestic abuse in their lifetimes, and their healing depends on having their emotional, mental and psychological needs met. Motivational techniques for healing will be shared. In addition, workshop participants will learn why economic security is a safety issue for survivors of intimate violence and the linkage between poverty and violence. A key set of tools has been developed to measure income adequacy: one for different family types, a second for elders, and a third about the costs of making ends meet to plan for future needs like emergencies or retirement. This workshop will explain how you can apply these tools when working with survivors. Also, learn how to assist survivors in career planning by providing them with resources on higher-paying nontraditional jobs and opportunities in the green economy.
Moderator: Emily Wilson
Panelists: Donna Addkison, Allen Thomas, Lyn Twyman
Activism Skills that Create Change — Great Examples from the NOW Disability Rights Committee
Joanne Tosti-Vasey, Pennsylvania NOW president, and Heidi Case, NOW Disability Rights Committee co-chair, will share the activist skills they used to stop the shackling of pregnant prisoners and tasering of pregnant women in Pennsylvania. They also were successful in having a city government move construction scaffolding to prevent the repeat of a mugging of a disabled woman near accessible public transportation. Additionally, committee members were able to get a major hotel chain to stop its legal fight against a rape victim whose rape occurred on the hotel’s property. Workshop participants in small groups will create “activism plans” on a current issue. Groups will then share the plans with all workshop participants to seek feedback and support.
Moderator: Rosezella Canty-Letsome
Panelists: Heidi Case, Joanne Tosti-Vasey
Making the Connection: Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Clinic Violence
Since the 1970s, anti-abortion extremists have targeted abortion clinics and women’s health care providers as part of an orchestrated campaign of violence and intimidation. In the early 2000s, “crisis pregnancy centers” multiplied with millions of dollars of federal funding for abstinence-only education programs from the Bush administration. Meanwhile, state-level attacks on women’s reproductive rights are accelerating, including new laws designed to both overturn Roe v. Wade and to prosecute as murderers women who obtain abortions. In this educational presentation and activist training, you will learn more about the connections between these pregnancy centers and clinic violence and harassment, and get the tools you need to defend clinics in your community.
Moderator: Meghan Shalvoy
Panelists: Sarah Shanks, Kari Ross
Behind the Veil: Islam and Women’s Rights
With the recent burqa ban in France, there has been much talk about the role of women in Islam. Is Islam inherently sexist? Can a woman actually choose to cover herself? As feminists, should we have a goal of helping to liberate Muslim women? What is the role of women in the recent Arab Spring? Workshop panelists include a human rights activist who has traveled extensively in conflict regions; an American of Palestinian and Egyptian descent outspoken on feminism and the Middle East and North African uprisings; and a civil rights legal fellow at the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa. Come to an honest and eye-opening dialogue about the role of women in Islam, and learn how both Muslim and non-Muslim feminists can work together to further feminism.
Moderator: N. Jerin Arifa
Panelists: Amala M. Abdur-Rahman, Neveen Nawawy, Laila M. Abdelaziz
Getting to ERA Ratification The Fastest Way Possible — The Three State Strategy
NOW activists worked heroically from 1972 to 1982 to gain ratification in 38 states for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), only to see the deadline pass with 35 states ratified and only three more to go. Since then, advocates in a handful of states have tried repeatedly to achieve passage in their legislatures (with partial successes) and our friends in Congress have faithfully introduced several different bills to get women’s equality into the constitution. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently declared that the Constitution doesn’t protect women or the LGBT community from discrimination. That’s reason enough to press again for the ERA. This workshop will cover why the ERA is still needed, what’s happening in the unratified states and Congress, and how you can help win ratification.
Moderator: Diana Egozcue
Panelists: Sandy Oestreich, Berta Seitz
Not Your Mama’s Feminism: Youth Panel on Reproductive Rights
As young people, we get asked why we don’t identify as feminist even though we are passionate about feminist issues. For many of us, the traditional analysis around abortion, LGBT issues and race doesn’t fit. Not Your Mama’s Feminism brings together young reproductive justice activists to speak about their experience and perspectives on some of the hottest topics in the movement. We want to challenge and update thinking on reproductive justice by placing young people at the center of the conversation. Three takeaways from this workshop are a deeper engagement with issues facing young feminists, an ability to engage and organize around feminist issues in an inclusive way, and strategies for bringing a reproductive justice framework into feminist organizing.
Moderator: Kelley Robinson
Panelists: Julia Reticker-Flynn, Sakeena Gohagen, Francesca Witcher
Breakout Session V – Saturday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Now That They’re Elected, What’s Next?
The election is over, we did our job helping candidates get elected, and now they’ll carry on until the next election, voting exactly the way we want to support the feminist agenda. Don’t we wish! Come to this workshop to hear experienced panelists who have been on both sides of the equation discuss the pressures on elected officials and how activists can help support legislators on controversial votes. We’ll also talk about how to hold legislators accountable without being punishing.
Moderator: Marion Wagner
Panelists: Sue Errington, Lois Frankel, Janice Rocco, Eleanor Smeal
Building Our Movement for a Feminist Future
In this workshop, panelists will apply their professional knowledge, experience and skills to the question of how to build a movement for a feminist future. Participants will learn how to articulate a clear vision, identify and find the resources needed to achieve it, deliver a clear and effective message, and identify allies and activists and effectively mobilize them for social change. Each participant will receive an organizer’s toolkit that will include specific strategies for building an activist base that is committed, energized and focused on a common vision. Participants will be challenged to: share power to build leadership and diversity; reach out across a variety of demographics to bring change-makers together for movement building; and use the Invite-Support-Feedback-Invite loop to build a strong activist base.
Moderator: Markey Read
Panelists: Amy Shollenberger, Kate Paine
Not Just Fairy Tales: Telling Our Stories for Effective Change
All too often the issues that matter most to us are discussed and debated in a vacuum, divorced from the everyday lives of the people most affected. In the absence of our personal stories, our opponents are able to politicize the issue and stigmatize our experiences. Yet, we’ve seen that through telling our stories, we have the potential to shift this discourse and build a narrative for change. In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of creating a public narrative that articulates our values and affirms our humanity. Facilitators will draw examples from a new campaign to de-stigmatize abortion through personal interviews. When our stories are voiced, they can serve as a catalyst to move people to take collective action.
Moderator: Meredith Ockman
Panelists: Julia Reticker-Flynn, Kelley Robinson, Mindi Fetterman
Historical Women Need Equal Visibility Everywhere and a National Museum
Nearly 70 years after the beginning of the modern women’s rights movement, women’s important contributions remain a submerged history. This panel will discuss the Equal Visibility Everywhere (EVE) campaign to promote women’s images in the public space, including Maryland NOW’s efforts to place a statue of Harriet Tubman in the U.S. Capitol. Also, women’s history activists have pushed for a bill allowing construction of a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall. While everyone agrees that this is an important advancement, not all agree about the process, which does not assure full representation of women’s history, including efforts to secure abortion rights. Learn also about the National Woman’s Party and promotion of a women’s history tour in Washington, D.C.
Moderator: Beth Corbin
Panelists: Denise Baer, Linda Mahoney, Elisabeth Crum
Campus Activism to End Domestic and Dating Violence
With recent high-profile cases about prestigious universities failing to maintain effective sexual assault and relational violence policies, it is more critical than ever for feminists to take action. From pressuring university administrators to adopt better prevention, reporting and disciplinary policies to training bystanders for intervention and best practices for supporting survivors, much can be done. Learn about model sexual assault policies, the No Woman Left Behind primary prevention program, and the Obama administration’s new guidelines on how schools and colleges should respond to allegations of sexual assault, including a detailed explanation of institutions’ responsibilities under Title IX when dealing with complaints of sexual harassment and violence.
Moderator: Jessica Hewkin
Panelists: Myhosi “Josie” Ashton, Stephanie Wong, Kelly Addington, Holly Kearl
NOMAS, The National Organization for Men Against Sexism: NOW and NOMAS Working Together
Should men be included in the vital work for women’s equality? The National Organization for Men Against Sexism has felt this was important since its inception almost 40 years ago. NOMAS is a predominantly-men’s network that is pro-feminist, LGBT-affirmative, anti-racist and concerned with enhancing men’s lives through the recognition of human rights for everyone (www.nomas.org). In this interactive workshop, some of the wide-ranging activities of NOMAS will be discussed, including child custody for protective mothers, human trafficking, domestic violence, batterers’ programs and homophobia. NOMAS’ feminist-inspired “Empowerment Process” and “Process Guidelines for Constructive Criticism & Self-Criticism” will be examined. Panelists will encourage lots of questions and comments.
Moderator: Phyllis B. Frank
Panelists: Michael Kimmel, Verne McClean, Robert Brannon
Building the Healthiest Generation Ever — At Home and Abroad
Globally, this generation of young people is the largest in history — and they are coming of age at a time when sexual and reproductive rights in the United States and abroad are under some of the fiercest attacks in decades. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) works to advance women and young people’s health both in the U.S. and internationally. During this session, we will discuss PPFA’s international work, as well as recent and upcoming efforts in the U.S. to restrict women’s and young people’s access to reproductive health care. Workshop participants will identify actions that activists in the U.S. can take to advance women’s rights here and abroad, through contacting elected officials, organizing in their communities and connecting with activists overseas.
Moderator: Allendra Letsome
Panelists: Chloe Cooney, Diana Santana
Stopping Violence Against Women