Energize! Organize! Stop the War on Women

2012 National NOW Conference Agenda

Speakers and Honorees 

Eve Ensler

Keynote Speaker

Eve Ensler is a Tony award winning playwright, performer and activist. She is the author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries.

Ensler’s newest work, I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life Of Girls Around The World, was published in book form by Random House and made The New York Times Best Seller list. The book was recently workshopped in Johannesburg, South Africa, followed by Paris, France, and will open at Berkeley Rep in June 2012, moving toward an off-Broadway production.

She is also the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised over 85 million dollars. V-Day supports anti-violence organizations throughout the world, helping them continue and expand their core work on the ground, while drawing public attention to the larger fight.

Ensler’s play Here was filmed live by Sky Television in London, UK. Her other plays include Necessary Targets, The Treatment, and The Good Body, which she performed on Broadway, followed by a national tour. In 2006, Ensler released her book, Insecure At Last: A Political Memoir, and co-edited A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer. She is currently writing a new book In The Body of the World for Metropolitan to be published 2013.

Charon Asetoyer

Charon Asetoyer is the executive director of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center. A community activist and a Comanche herself, Asetoyer founded the center on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. For 26 years, the center has been known for its work and publications on Indigenous women’s reproductive justice at local, national and international levels.

Internationally, Asetoyer has consulted with the World Health Organization’s Global AIDS program, addressed the UN Human Rights Commission and participated in the Working Group on Indigenous Populations. In 2001, she facilitated a UN working group on The Current Status of Health of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Asetoyer is an active participant of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She was appointed and confirmed by President Clinton to the National Advisory Council for Health and Human Services and has served on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Asetyoer holds a Masters of International Administration and Management with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. She has received awards from the Ms. Foundation, the Center for Women Policy Studies and the Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. In 2005, she was selected as one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s eNews. Asetoyer’s numerous publications include the Indigenous Women’s Health Book, Within the Sacred Circle.

Krystal Ball

Krystal Ball is an MSNBC contributor, political writer, activist and former congressional candidate. She is a frequent political commenter and has appeared on programs such as The Ed Show, Good Morning America, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, To The Contrary, The O’Reilly Factor, and Hannity. Ball’s writing has appeared in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, the Atlantic and Politico.

Ball speaks regularly about women in politics and has been a featured speaker at Columbia University, Princeton, University of Mary Washington and Christopher Newport University. She has also been active combatting media misogyny and was among the first to call for a boycott of Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers following his three day smear of law student Sandra Fluke.

In 2010, with the help of an endorsement from Virginia NOW, Ball survived a tough primary to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress for the 1st District of Virginia. Although she did not successfully unseat Republican incumbent Rob Wittman, her campaign raised nearly $1 million from more than 6,000 donors.

Following her congressional campaign, Ball was named by Forbes Magazine as number 21 on the magazine’s Most Powerful Women of the Midterm Elections list. The Week magazine rated her as one of the Top Eight Political Stars of 2010.

Carol Moseley Braun

Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun is the founder and president of Good Food Organics, which represents her fourth career. She has worked as a trial lawyer, a public official in local, state and national government, and a diplomat.

From 1999 to 2001 Braun served as the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. As a consultant to the Department of Education (1998-99), she advocated for federal financial support for the rebuilding of America’s crumbling schools. From 1992 to 1998 she was a pioneer in the U.S. Senate, becoming the only female from Illinois and one of two African Americans elected to the Senate in the 20th Century.

In the Senate, Braun was a member of the Finance, Banking and Judiciary Committees. She was the lead sponsor of successful legislation concerning school construction, pensions, small business development, low-income housing and transportation. Prior to the Senate, Braun served as a county executive, state representative and an assistant U.S. attorney.

Braun is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago, and has taught undergraduate and graduate school classes in corporate and business law and political science. She 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 the Ambassadors as its team name.

Dr. Janet M. Canterbury

Dr. Janet M. Canterbury is Professor of Medicine and Deputy Dean Emeritus of the University of Miami. She retired after a distinguished career as a Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean at the UM Miller School of Medicine, where she headed a successful project to enhance the recruitment and professional development of women and minority faculty. She has authored over 100 original scientific/medical articles and is a member of many prestigious professional societies, including the National Academy of Women’s Health Education.

A committed women’s rights activist, Dr. Canterbury has worked with NOW for many years. She was twice elected president of Dade County NOW and Florida State NOW. She served two terms on the National Board as southeast regional director and currently co-chairs the Advisory Committee to National NOW. She chaired the ERA Study Committee that resulted in NOW’s adaptation of a new Constitutional Equality Amendment, co-authored NOW’s 1998 Vision Statement and serves as an adviser to the NOW political committee.

Dr. Canterbury has been repeatedly honored for her tireless work on behalf of women. Among others, she has received a May A. Brunson Faculty Award from the UM Women’s Commission, American Business Women’s Association Woman of the Year Award, American Medical Women’s Association Woman of the Year Award and a Woman of Power award from NOW.

Carroll Estes, Ph.D.

Woman of Action Honoree

Carroll Estes, the outgoing chair of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, is an esteemed researcher, teacher, mentor and leader in the study of aging policy in the U.S. Dr. Estes was an early advocate for crediting women’s unpaid care work under Social Security and has worked with NOW and other women’s organizations to develop progressive proposals to strengthen retirement security.

She is a professor emerita of sociology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the founding and former director of the UCSF Institute for Health and Aging. Her academic and professional credits are many: former chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing at UCSF; a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences; and past president of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Society on Aging, among others. She has served as consultant to the Commissioner of Social Security and the Senate and House committees on aging for more than two decades.

Dr. Estes has written more than 200 scientific articles and book chapters and co-edited or authored numerous books on aging, including The Long Term Care Crisis. A frequent public speaker and recipient of many prestigious awards, Dr. Estes was named by the League of Women voters as “A Woman Who Could Be President.”

Sandra Fluke

Woman of Courage Honoree

Sandra Fluke is completing her final semester as a Public Interest Law Scholar at Georgetown University Law Center. She is devoted to advocating for gender equity in all sectors of society. Recently, she testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on the need to provide access to contraception, which she has advocated for since arriving at Georgetown. She has spoken about this and other issues of concern to women across news outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC and CBS.

Previously, Fluke created and led the Program Evaluation Initiative for Sanctuary for Families in New York City, ensuring high quality services to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. She also served on the Manhattan Borough President’s Taskforce on Domestic Violence and co-founded the New York Statewide Coalition for Fair Access to Family Court, which successfully lobbied for legislation allowing LGBTQ, teen, and other victims of intimate partner violence to access civil orders of protection. During law school, Fluke has represented numerous victims of domestic violence and human trafficking and has engaged in human rights advocacy in Kenya on behalf of child victims of domestic human trafficking.

Fluke earned her B.S. in 2003 from Cornell University, majoring in Policy Analysis and Management, as well as Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Julie Greene

Julie Greene is deputy director of the AFL-CIO’s political department, which empowers working families with opportunities to make their voices heard in the political arena, educates voters about candidates’ positions, and conducts registration and get-out-the-vote activities. As deputy director, Greene works to develop and execute programs for nonpartisan voter registration, voter mobilization, member organizing and political community organizing. She is also responsible for coordinating AFL-CIO’s voter rights program, which includes voter registration and protection.

Prior to her current role, Greene served as assistant director for the political department and before that, as an AFL-CIO campaign operations analyst, during which time she was responsible for national and local political communication outreach, including the development of strategic programs for direct mail, telemarketing and targeting.

With a career rooted in progressive politics, Greene has served in many different capacities, including field director for Bill Green for Philadelphia City Council At-Large and account executive with MSHC Partners, Inc. Greene is a graduate of American University and a founder of The Next Step, a non-profit bipartisan program focused on the professional development of the next generation of young female political leaders. Greene was recognized as one of Campaigns & Elections Magazine’s Rising Stars of 2009 and recently received the Women’s Information Network 2012 Young Woman of Achievement award for Labor and Community Organizing.

Linda D. Hallman

As the executive director and CEO of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Linda D. Hallman, CAE, is a nationally respected leader with more than 20 years of executive-level experience.

Now in her fourth year at the helm of the 130-year-old membership organization, Hallman has guided AAUW through the financial recession and has increased its levels of funding to meet an ever-growing need. Under her leadership, AAUW ramped up its fellowships and grants program by an extra half-million dollars annually, allowing the organization to continue its primary commitment to break through barriers for women and girls at a time when many women have flocked back to graduate school because of the dismal job market.

Other highlights of Hallman’s extensive nonprofit experience include leadership positions with the National Alliance for Health Information Technology, the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Horticultural Society, and the American College of Health Care Administrators. Hallman also served in the U.S. Army as a soprano soloist with the U.S. Army Band and Chorus for nine years.

Today, Hallman lives with her husband in Washington, D.C., where she maintains a personal commitment to what close friends call her “exquisite” garden.

Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D.

Woman of Vision Honoree

Heidi Hartmann is the president of the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a scientific research organization she founded in 1987 to meet the need for women-centered, policy-oriented research. Dr. Hartmann is also a research professor at The George Washington University. Her areas of expertise include women and the economy, workforce participation, employment, pay equity, and retirement security.

Dr. Hartmann is a co-author of Still A Man’s Labor Market: The Long-Term Earnings Gap; Unnecessary Losses: Costs to Americans of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave; Equal Pay for Working Families; and Survival at the Bottom: The Income Packages of Low-Income Families with Children. She has published numerous articles in journals and books, and her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She lectures widely on women, economics, and public policy, frequently testifies before Congress, and is often cited as an authority in various media outlets.

Prior to founding IWPR, Dr. Hartmann was on the faculties of Rutgers University and the New School for Social Research and worked at the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences. In 1994, Dr. Hartmann was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship Award for her work in the field of women and economics. She is vice-chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations and co-editor of the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy.

Patricia Ireland

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 advisor to the NOW/PAC. In Florida, she is leading the women’s community in support of NOW leader Lois Frankel’s congressional campaign.

Rick Johnson

Rick Johnson is a senior vice president at Lake Research Partners (LRP). Rick joined LRP in 2004 and has helped get women elected to office at all levels of government from city councils to U.S. Senate, and worked on key issues such as a woman’s right to choose, immigration reform, domestic violence, health care reform, and capital punishment. He is also a professor at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, where he teaches political polling and qualitative research methods.

A native Chicagoan, he received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was recognized as one of the top 100 graduating students, was the commencement speaker and was awarded Amnesty International’s Ralph J. Bunche Fellowship. He did his graduate work in public policy at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, and did additional graduate work at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School as a Wilson Fellow.

Rick served on the Minnesota Chicano/Latino Affairs Council by appointment from Gov. Jesse Ventura, was elected to the Illinois District 65 School Board, and currently serves on the Board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the Board of Casa de Esperanza, a national leader in ending domestic violence in the Latino community.

Tamika Mallory

Tamika D. Mallory is the national executive director of one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations, National Action Network (NAN), which was founded by renowned preacher and activist Reverend Al Sharpton. Just 31-years-old, Mallory has been a member of NAN since its 1991 inception and is the youngest national executive director in the group’s history.

Mallory was introduced to the world of civil rights at a young age by her parents, who were founding members of NAN. Currently making headlines around the country for her tireless activism and strong stance on women’s issues, anti-violence, and voter registration, Mallory was chosen by Ebony Magazine as one of the 30 most influential national leaders under 30, and she was publicly applauded as a “leader of tomorrow” by Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama. She has worked closely with the Obama administration on civil rights issues, including education, equal rights for women, health care reform, gun violence and police misconduct. Recently, Mallory was named one of thegrio.com’s 100 future leaders.

Mallory has been featured on CNN, FOX, TV One, MSNBC and other media outlets. She sits on News Corp’s Diversity Advisory Council and is a board member of Youth-in-Action. Mallory holds a B.S. in Communications from the College of New Rochelle, and resides in New York City with her 13-year-old son Tarique.

Carolyn B. Maloney

Woman of Impact Honoree

First elected to Congress in 1992, Carolyn B. Maloney is a national leader who has accomplished many firsts. She is the first woman to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District; the first woman to represent the New York City Council’s 7th District (where she was the first woman to give birth while in office); and was the first woman to chair the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. House and Senate. Only 18 women in history have chaired congressional committees.

As the former co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, Maloney is a nationally-recognized advocate for women’s and family issues, with special emphasis on funding for women’s health needs, reproductive freedom and international family planning. Maloney helped pass legislation that targets the “demand” side of sex trafficking; provides annual mammograms for women on Medicare; and increases funding for law enforcement to process DNA rape kits, a bill that was termed “the most important anti-rape legislation in history.”

Maloney’s efforts also created women’s health offices in five federal agencies, and she has been an outspoken authority against the persistent problem of sexual assault in the military. She has worked to increase public awareness of social inequalities between women and men that still exist in the U.S., particularly the wage gap, and she has reintroduced legislation to amend the Constitution and guarantee equal rights for women.

Jo Paoletti

Jo B. Paoletti is an associate professor in the American Studies Department at the University of Maryland in College Park, where she teaches courses related to everyday American life, including popular culture, fashion and consumerism, and material culture.

Paoletti’s training is in the history of clothing and fashion. She has spent more than 30 years researching and writing about children’s clothing in the United States, particularly the development of gender differences. Most of her research has concentrated on two main questions: How does consumer culture shape identity, and how does “identity work” influence consumer culture? This work began with Paoletti’s 1980 dissertation, Changes in the masculine image in the United States, 1880-1910, and continues through her work today, which draws on primary sources ranging from cartoons and paper dolls to vintage clothing and baby books.

Her first book is Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America, published this year by Indiana University Press. Next up is a book about unisex fashion during the period of 1965-1985, and then one on “age-appropriate” styles for older women, including old lady clothes, mother-of-the-bride dresses, cougars and other such nonsense.

Paoletti earned a B.S. in apparel design from Syracuse University, an M.S. in textiles from the University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in textiles from the University of Maryland.

Miriam Zoila Pérez

Miriam Zoila Pérez is a Cuban-American writer, activist and consultant. She has been working in the reproductive justice movement for over seven years, both online and off, including more than five years working with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Pérez is trained as a birth and abortion doula, and in 2007 she founded Radical Doula, a blog that covers the intersections of birth activism and social justice from a doula’s perspective. She was an editor at Feministing.com for four years, during which time the site was awarded the Hillman Prize for Blog Journalism.

Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Colorlines, and The American Prospect, and she is a columnist at RH Reality Check. She has received various awards and recognitions for her work, including a 2010 Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women’s Health from the National Women’s Health Network and a 2010 Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voice Award in Non-Fiction.

Pérez, who graduated from Swarthmore College in 2006 with High Honors and a B.A. in Anthropology, frequently visits colleges and universities around the country to speak about feminism and reproductive justice. A North Carolina native, Pérez currently lives in New York, and is currently serving as secretary of the Board of Directors of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.

Dr. Vivian Pinn

NOW Foundation Victoria J. Mastrobuono Women’s Health Award Honoree

Dr. Vivian W. Pinn’s contributions to women’s health and the field of women in science and medicine are truly extraordinary. As the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, she dedicated two decades to ensuring that women’s health was a high priority at NIH.

Dr. Pinn played a key role in putting gender, racial and ethnic disparities in medical research and health care policy on the national agenda. One of her primary objectives was to increase the number of women in leadership roles in research and academic institutions. Dr. Pinn helped develop a re-entry program to assist scientists in re-establishing themselves in their fields after interruptions in their careers due to reasons such as family responsibilities.

Among Dr. Pinn’s many firsts, she was the only African American and the only woman in her class to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1967, and in 1982 she became the first African-American woman to chair an academic pathology department in the United States, at Howard University College of Medicine.

Dr. Pinn has received numerous honors. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, received the Elizabeth Blackwell Award from the American Medical Women’s Association, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Karren Pope-Onwukwe

Karren Pope-Onwukwe is a prominent elder law attorney, bar leader and community activist. Her practice centers around helping clients plan for aging, disability and wealth transfer. She is a past president of both the Elder Law Section Council of the Maryland State Bar and her local chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of Maryland, as well as a co-founder and past co-chair of the Elder Law Section of the Prince George’s County Bar Association.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley appointed Pope-Onwukwe to the State Advisory Council on Quality Care at the End of Life. She has also chaired the Prince George’s County Executive’s Aging Advisory Committee since 2003. She is an active member of Psi Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) and has served on a variety of community boards and the Board of J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association.

Pope-Onwukwe represents Maryland on the Democratic National Committee and leads the local Women for Obama. The Baltimore Daily Record named her as one of the 100 Top Women in Maryland for 2004. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), the Governor’s Leadership in Aging 2012 Trailblazer Award and the North Atlantic Region of AKA 2012 Good Citizenship Award. Pope-Onwukwe earned a B.A. from Eastern Kentucky University, a B.S. from UMUC and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Sarah E. Reece

Sarah E. Reece is the director of the Academy for Leadership and Action at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. For nearly 20 years Reece has been learning, teaching, training and speaking to people about tested campaign strategies and organizing models gained from her work in the trenches of LGBT and progressive candidate and issue campaigns.

In addition to working with volunteer leaders and staff to build big teams of people to organize effectively and realize the power of collective action, Reece is also passionate about racial justice, is proud to be from the South, has been wearing ties since the second grade and can eat sushi for every meal.

Reece’s two biggest leadership roles in the LGBT movement were being the campaign manager for the 2004 KY NO on the Amendment (marriage) campaign and as the statewide field director for the 2008 CA NO on Proposition 8 (marriage) campaign. Under her leadership those efforts collectively raised over $2 million, mobilized more than 50K volunteers and identified nearly 200K pro-LGBT voters.

Prior to joining the Task Force in 2002, Sarah worked for Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (Louisville, Ky.) and was a program manager for the political consulting firm, The Clinton Group (Louisville, Ky.)

Reece lives in Washington, D.C., with her wife and their two daschund-chihuahuas.

Dr. Bernice “Bunny” Sandler

Woman of Action Honoree

Lifelong gender equity activist Dr. Bernice R. “Bunny” Sandler is known as the “godmother of Title IX” for the major role she played in helping pass the landmark law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funds. A true pioneer, Dr. Sandler filed sex discrimination complaints against more than 250 universities when there were no laws prohibiting sex discrimination in education. In 1970, she was the first person to testify before Congress about sex discrimination in education and worked with Rep. Edith Green, prime sponsor of Title IX, to organize hearings that documented sex discrimination in employment and education.

Dr. Sandler wrote the first-ever reports on campus sexual harassment, gang rape, campus peer harassment, and the “chilly climate” on campus for women, especially Latinas and African American women. She has given thousands of presentations, written several important guide books and more than 100 articles, and served as an expert witness in discrimination and sexual harassment cases.

Educated at Brooklyn College, the College of the City of New York and the University of Maryland, Dr. Sandler holds multiple degrees in psychology and counseling. Now a senior scholar at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, D.C., she has served on more than 30 boards and received multiple honorary doctorates in addition to numerous other awards.

Janice Lynch Schuster

Janice Lynch Schuster, MFA, is an award-winning nonfiction writer, essayist and poet. She is a senior writer for Altarum Institute and its new Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, where she works with researchers and advocates to “make it safe to grow old.”

With Dr. Joanne Lynn, Schuster has co-authored several books on improving care for the end of life; most recently, Oxford University Press published their Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness. She blogs about aging-related issues for medicaring.org, Altarum Institute’s Health Policy Forum, and the blog Disruptive Women in Health Care.

Since joining Altarum in 2008, Schuster has worked on a variety of projects, including a global initiative on decent care values, which was co-sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. A two-time recipient of the National Institutes of Health Plain Language Award, she has also been honored by the National Association of Government Communicators and the Society for Technical Communication.

Schuster’s essays on family life and culture appear regularly in The Washington Post; she has also been featured in the Motherlode blog of The New York Times and in Washingtonian Magazine. Her poetry collection, Saturday at the Gym, is a celebration of women at midlife. A mother of six, Schuster lives near Annapolis, Md.

Eleanor “Ellie” Smeal

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.



Breakout Session I – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Modernizing NOW’s Structure

Built for the 21st Century: National Board and Officers

Selecting the national leaders of NOW is critical. Currently national board members are elected at regional conferences at which all members can vote. Electing board members at regional caucuses during the national conference has been suggested as an alternative. Chapter delegates elect national officers at national conferences. Technology exists to allow members to vote whether they can attend conferences or not. Would that be an improvement? Affirmative action, accountability and conflict management are topics sure to come up.

Facilitators: Eleanor Smeal, Elisabeth Crum

Mothers and Caregivers Summit

Making Life Easier for Parents and Children

This is the initial workshop in a series presented by NOW Foundation and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research for our 2012 Issues Summit. Balancing work and family needs is a fundamental challenge of daily life for working parents. IWPR experts will advance several policy initiatives that could make life easier for parents and children: providing for paid medical and family leave, expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover smaller employers and meeting child care needs for student parents. A discussion of workplace flexibility policies around the world will also be presented.

Moderator: Jeff Hayes

Panelists: Claudia Williams,Vicky Shabo, Kevin Miller, Ariane Hegewisch, Helen Luryi

Women Workers of the World: Unite to Fight for Our Dignity and Our Rights!

We will be examining women’s roles and rights in the economy from both a national and international perspective. Women who work at Wal-Mart will teach us about their experiences organizing for change from within, while we will also discuss the triumph of living- wage, union- apparel in the college market and its impact on manufacturing in developing countries. We will then discuss how and why we must support domestic worker organizing in the United States in order to protect women from unjust conditions. Participants will also hear about how the Hyatt hotel company is abusing women in the service economy and how women can fight for dignity and justice on the job.

Moderators: MacKenzie Baris, Rachel Taber

Panelists: Lisa McGowan, Brenda Carter, Silvia Fabela, Maritza Vargas, Neha Misra, Claudette Evans

Reproductive Justice: Messaging, Mobilizing and Building a Stronger Movement

Reproductive Justice will be achieved when we have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality and reproduction for ourselves, our families and our communities. In order to achieve this vision, we need to incorporate effective, evidence based messages and creative, grassroots driven strategies. This workshop will provide some of the resources and tools to help you network and strategize in order to continue to build a stronger movement that respects, acknowledges and celebrates the unique circumstances of our lives, our issues and our identities.

Moderators: Elizabeth Barajas-Roman, Lani Blechman

Panelists: Lauren Casey, Yasmine El-Baggari, Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Angela Sutton

Nuts & Bolts of Working with an Election Campaign

Learn ways that your state or chapter can help make 2012 the Year of the Women! This workshop will address some of the “nuts” and “bolts” of how to provide invaluable work for an election campaign. If you don’t have a Political Action Committee (PAC), learn how to get started, and learn rules for election-related activities that you can do with and without a PAC. We’ll talk about how to make or recommend sought-after NOW endorsements; write an effective script and run a phone bank; and choose tactics and use online tools for organizing.

Moderator: Bonnie Grabenhofer

Panelists: Linda Berg, Abby Levine, Pat Reuss, Shirley Rawls, Erin Matson

Queers in Feminism: Promoting Queer and Trans-Friendly Feminist Spaces

This workshop will discuss how to work to create queer and trans-positive spaces within traditionally feminist ones. As examples, the panelists will discuss the sexual and domestic violence movement and the field of women’s health as opportunities for expansion of competency within these communities. The workshop will largely consist of group dialogue and training activities on both sensitivity and inclusivity for queer and trans people.

Moderator: Dana Beyer

Panelists: Erin Clark, Christina Dragon

How to Fight Hate Crimes and Other Forms of Racism

Recently, there has been an increased focus on hate crimes, with the recent murders of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi. The racism experienced by different minority groups is interrelated: racists often hate more than just one minority group and tend to be misogynists as well. Racism is learned and taught in families and in communities. Communication and education are key to ending racism and stopping hate crimes. Panelists will report on hate crimes being committed against several minority groups and offer possible solutions, including proposed legislation and a list of resources.

Moderator: Jerin Arifa

Panelists: Jocelyn Morris, Kathleen Sloan, Laila Abdelaziz

Issue Hearing

Disability Rights


Breakout Session II – Friday 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Modernizing NOW’s Structure

Built for the 21st Century: Membership

NOW is a member-driven organization. Members initiate action campaigns, set policy and elect officers. Members also carry out actions and support NOW financially. In this workshop members will examine how we recruit and retain members in our current structure, and what adjustments in the structure we could make to attract more members and a more diverse membership. Conflict management, technology and leadership skills development will be part of the discussion of how to make NOW larger, stronger and more representative.

Facilitators: Linda Berg, China Fortson

Mothers and Caregivers Summit

Women at Work

This workshop presented by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) will delve into a variety of topics related to women’s employment in the paid workforce. We will hear from experts about the unfair occupational segregation of “green jobs” that involve male-dominated fields, as well as discuss the gender discrepancy in job recovery since the Great Recession. Presenters will also discuss what New Mexico is doing to ensure fairness through their Pay Equity Initiative in state contracting, as their approach can serve as a successful model for addressing pay equity without legislation in other states.

Moderator: Jocelyn Fischer

Panelists: Ariane Hegewisch, Heidi Hartmann, Martha Burk

The Violence Against Women Act — Holding the Line and Addressing Unmet Needs

The Violence Against Women Act is up for reauthorization and is being attacked from several fronts. The panel’s experts will provide an update on the status of VAWA legislation in Congress and outline the importance of addressing violence in the lives of immigrant women, Native American women and the LGBTQ community. The discussion will foster a deeper understanding of violence as it occurs in various communities. This session will include tips on how to lobby your member of Congress to support passage of the “real” VAWA.

Moderator: Tralonne Shorter

Panelists: Rocio Molina, Sharon Stapel, Charon Asetoyer

Title IX at 40 – Breaking Barriers, Challenging Limitations and Strengthening Advocacy Networks

While 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX, far more is needed to implement the law’s requirements prohibiting sex discrimination in educational programs receiving federal financial assistance. Single-sex education in public schools is one particularly dangerous trend that is spreading across the nation, but without proper Title IX coordinators and school regulatory policies, it is difficult to slow its growth. Presenters will share various strategies and tactics that are being used by allies to advocate for comprehensive and effective Title IX compliance. We will discuss why Title IX is still relevant today for advancing gender equity and how you can help keep it alive and robust.

Moderator: Erin Prangley

Panelists: Christina Vogt, Jennifer Martin, Sue Klein, Stephanie Ortoleva

Engaging Labor and Women in Your Community: Voter Education, Ballot Box Access and Your Issues in 2012

The focus of this workshop is engaging the women’s community and labor community to work together to recognize and fight voter suppression, insure access to the ballot box for all qualified voters and engage new as well as old community allies in this election and beyond. At the end of this session, participants will be able to identify at least one labor, community or women’s group that they want to involve in the 2012 election efforts and to be able to work together on issues related to NOW’s priority issues in the future.

Moderator: Connie Cordovilla

Panelists: Carol Rosenblatt, Cynthia Smalls

Launching a Nationwide CEDAW Awareness Campaign

The long-overdue and urgent need for the U.S. to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) will be discussed, and will include an analysis of the failure of ratification efforts to date. Benefits of this women’s treaty in other countries and the positive impact on the lives of women and girls in the U.S. will be explored. The relationship between CEDAW and a U.S. Constitutional equality amendment will be analyzed. Panelists will suggest innovative strategies to achieve ratification and prepare activists to conduct awareness training and workshops for local NOW chapters.

Moderator: Emine Dilek

Panelists: Bree Romero, Patricia Pego-Guerra (Invited)

Choice in Birth: A Woman’s Fundamental Human Right

In the context of birth, reproductive justice encompasses the legal right to accept or refuse any type of maternity care, as well as meaningful access to such care from respectful and culturally-appropriate providers. It also relates to the economic and social support necessary so that women may autonomously choose maternity services that are in accordance with their own values and make decisions on behalf of themselves and their families. Panelists will discuss attempts to treat fetuses as though there were not inside a woman’s body and the consequences of undermining the rights of birthing women. They will also review challenges and barriers to women’s legal right to make maternity care decisions that some courts have derived from landmark abortion cases. Finally, an update will be provided on state ballot initiatives establishing personhood that will be before voters this fall.

Moderator: Farah Diaz-Tello

Panelists: Rebecca Spence, Ariana Kelly, Megan Darby

Challenging Undergraduate Women’s Complex of Negotiation of “Kinda Sorta Slutty”

Over-sexualized expectations in society and college men’s expectations inform young women that they should be “kinda sorta slutty” — at the disposal of an interested partner or person. They are not expected to have developed a deep and personal relationship with their own sexuality and, as a result, many of their sexual experiences in college have been unsatisfying and, at times, dangerous. This workshop will suggest how to: empower undergraduate women to better understand their sexual rights; address race, sexual orientation and other factors that contribute to notions of “appropriate” sexuality on college campuses; deconstruct the myth that female sexuality can be bought or sold.

Moderator: Scott Richardson

Panelists: Lorien Gilbert, Katie Schickman, Imtiaz Alam

Issue Hearing

Economic Justice


Breakout Session III – Friday 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Modernizing NOW’s Structure

Built for the 21st Century: Money

This workshop is designed to stimulate creative ideas for optimizing NOW’s money at all levels of our organization. While money and membership go hand-in-hand, our fundraising and distribution are worthy of a separate workshop. What is NOW doing well in money matters, and how do we strengthen the areas that can be improved? NOW’s board is an activist board; do we need a second board that focuses on fundraising? Participants will consider these topics along with NOW’s dues structure, accountability, technology and more.

Facilitators: Patricia Ireland, Sonia Ossorio

Mothers and Caregivers Summit

Family Economic Security and Social Insurance

This Institute for Women’s Policy Research workshop focuses on the long term financial security of your family and teaches about legislation that has had important impacts on social and unemployment insurance. We will learn about necessary changes to Social Security that would increase security for women, including care-giving credits for who raise children and giving higher minimum benefits to low-income women. Experts will also discuss how women can build their financial assets to become economically secure.

Moderator: Heidi Hartmann

Panelists: Webster Phillips, Youngmin Yi, Jeff Hayes

Skills Building Roundup – A series of three shorter workshops in one session, all in the same room

1) Activists of the Same Feather Tweet Together! How to Use Twitter and Unite Generations to Stop the War on Women

Stopping the War on Women requires that feminist activists use every tool available, including social media. With the ever-increasing influence of Twitter as an online organizing tool, it is imperative that feminists across the spectrum utilize the micro-blogging platform to make our diverse voices heard. NOW Chapters can use Twitter to engage with decision-makers and like-minded or adversarial organizations, create and support more effective campaigns, increase membership and make a bigger impact at local, state and national levels.

Moderator: Rachel Piazza

Panelists: Katherine Mullen, Jeffrey Lunnen, Ruken Isik

2) Lessons from Her Story: How to Share the Torch

We will explore the past advocacy approaches of the suffrage, civil rights, ERA and class movements in order to better understand what tools and campaign efforts were the most successful. By combining the inspiring successes of influential movements with modern day technology like the Internet and social media, we will discuss new ideas for how we can best advocate for our mission. Participants will also learn about how to better document their NOW chapter’s success stories as a guide for future generations.

Moderator: Elisabeth Crum

Panelist: Chitra Panjabi

3) Community-Based Women’s Empowerment

To empower a community of advocates for gender equality, individuals must first empower themselves. Fem-ex (The Female Experience) is a community organization dedicated to creating a safe space for women to engage in honest discussion, challenge each other and themslves, and learn about their female identity. Classes are designed to raise consciousness about such topics as anatomy, sex, gender, sexual orientation, power and privilege, women’s health, body image and many other important aspects of being a woman. This program was pioneered as FemSex, a peer-led course at the University of California, Berkeley, and has spread to other campuses and communities as Fem-ex. Adaptable to different audiences, the curriculum can be used by feminist activists to reach out to certain groups of women, especially those at risk of violence, oppression and poverty.

Moderator: Lisa Molinaro

Panelists: Lauren Gutman, Sabrina Scandar, Hannah Cutts

Voter Suppression: Un-American and Unnecessary

Conservatives are trying to disenfranchise millions of law-abiding Americans in order to win the election. This workshop will cover three main points in response to the current attempt by the right wing to suppress votes. First, this workshop will explain and discuss the movement for voter suppression laws. This workshop will also review and explain selected states’ voter ID laws and the impact they have on eligible voters. At the end of this workshop, the speakers will review available resources to help stop voter suppression tactics.

Moderator: Shirley Ann Rawls

Panelists: Cynthia Smalls, Joanne Sterner

Stop Bullies and Harassers at Work, at School, on the Street and Online

Harassment is a global human rights issue in that it is a simple human right to attend school or work, or to engage in other daily activities without being subject to harassment. This workshop will advise you how to react if you are harassed and how to help others if you are a bystander witnessing abuse. This workshop will also identify the different types of “textual harassment” that countless employees experience and explain what you can do if you experience “textual harassment”. Lastly, the workshop will identify workplace bullying as a form of interpersonal violence.

Moderators: Marty Langelen, Amber Trzinski

Panelists: Esque Walker, Holly Kearl, Chaitra Shenoy

Faith and Feminism – Can a Religious or Spiritual Woman be Feminist … and an Activist for Reproductive Rights?

How does your religion or spirituality affect or inspire your work with reproductive health, rights or justice? Given the broad spectrum of belief, in what ways does your faith influence your beliefs or passion about the important social justice themes of our time? We will discuss the intersection of race/class and religion and learn how to engage feminists of diverse faiths to work together towards our common goals. We will break down myths and misconceptions among allies about feminists of faith in order to become better advocates in our communities.

Moderators: Allendra Letsome, Marissa Valeri

Panelists: Jerin Arifa, Kathleen Sloan, Jacqueline Steingold, Mona Lisa Wallace

For Humanity and Our Sisters: End the U.S. Wars of Occupation

From the unjust occupation of Afghanistan, to the covert drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, to the aggression underway against Iran, those of us who care about ending violence against women must expand our horizons to include our sisters on the other side of the planet, particularly those who face violence carried out in our names. This workshop will cover information usually kept from mainstream debates, and certainly not present as an issue in the 2012 elections. The nature of the U.S. military as fundamentally hostile to women will be discussed, with an in-depth look at conditions of life for women under occupation as well as for female soldiers, who suffer from high rates of sexual assault. Group discussion will brainstorm about ways to end these unjust wars.

Moderator: Debra Sweet

Panelists: Leila Zand, Ann Wright, Elaine Brower

Issue Hearing

Ending Racism/Promoting Diversity

Issue Hearing

Lesbian Rights


After-Workshops – Friday 7:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Let the Drama Queens in Your Chapter Shine: Using Staged Readings for Educating, Fundraising and Fun

Staged readings can be very influential; they can educate the public about issues and raise funds for chapters. For instance, “The Vagina Monologues” has done wonders in raising awareness about anti-violence over the years. This workshop will teach you how to put on a successful staged reading of “Before Roe v. Wade,” based on the 2010 book by Pulitzer-prize winning author Linda Greenhouse and Reva B. Siegel.

Moderator: Linda Stephens

Panelists: Barbara Moore, Jaclyn Richard

Study A Broad – A Musical Interactive and Introspective Experience

Part of the After-Workshops evening program is this hilarious musical introduction to inspire your “inner” actress and artist as well as your activist self. Reflect on common stereotypes that hold women hostage and rid yourself of emotional debris by accepting your own diversity. Re-claim your femininity as DIVINE! Join professor and playwright Janet Scaglione, with Nancy Schwartz, counselor and activist, and teacher Leah Kline in this intense and enlightening experience.

Moderator: Janet Scaglione

Panelists: Nancy Schwartz, Leah Kline

Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation

Author Christine Stark reads from her 2011 Lambda Literary Finalist novel

This bildungsroman novel follows Little Miss So And So, a biracial girl, from age 4 into adulthood. This reading will help the audience understand the process of surviving chronic childhood trauma, the connections between family violence and homophobia directed towards lesbian girls, and the importance of embracing marginalized racial identity when one is biracial.

Reading by author Christine Stark, introduced by Toni Van Pelt

Feminist Flicks: Friday 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Times approximate)

Finding Dawn, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 

With the support of Women Make Movies (www.wmm.com), indigenous filmmaker Christine Welsh has produced a harrowing documentary on indigenous femicide in North America. Finding Dawn puts a human face on a tragedy that has received virtually no attention – and one which is strikingly similar to the situation in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on the southern side of the U.S. border. Acclaimed Metis filmmaker Christine Welsh embarks on an epic journey to shed light on the murders and disappearances of over 500 indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past 30 years. These murders remain unresolved to this day. This engrossing film explores the disturbing global culture of impunity that allows murders of women – especially those who are poor and indigenous – to go unsolved and unpunished.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell, 9:00p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Pray the Devil back to Hell is the extraordinary story of a small band of Liberian women who came together in the midst of a bloody civil war, took on the violent warlords and corrupt Charles Taylor regime, and won a long-awaited peace for their shattered country in 2003. Thousands of women — ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim – staged a silent protest outside of the Presidential Palace. Armed only with their white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, they demanded a resolution to the country’s civil war. Their demonstrations culminated in the exile of Charles Taylor and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female head of state, marking the vanguard of a new wave of women taking control of their political destiny around the world.


Breakout Session IV – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Modernizing NOW’s Structure

Built for the 21st Century: Grassroots Organizing

NOW is committed to the power of grassroots activism. Participants in this workshop will explore how our current structure makes us exceptionally good at grassroots action on issues we face, what aspects of our structure hold us back from being even better and, importantly, how we might change our structure to optimize what is working for action organizing and improve what is not working so well. Technology, inclusion, leadership development and their impact on action organizing are on the agenda.

Facilitators: Carol Moseley Braun, Elisabeth Crum

Mothers and Caregivers Summit

Improving Employment and Opportunities for Low Wage Workers and Women of Color

Organized by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, this workshop examines how to improve opportunities for women who are often ignored in employment debates. Experts will discuss such topics as raising the sub-minimum wage for tipped employees, promoting care-work career ladders for immigrant women, and expanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to encourage success for young women. An expert from Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) will also present the Basic Economic Security Tables (BEST) Index, which measures the needs and savings workers will require for financial security, and explain how to use it to inform policy.

Moderator: Claudia Williams

Panelists: Jeff Hayes, Jane Henrici, Cynthia Costello, Matt Unrath

Skills Building Roundup – A series of three shorter workshops in one session, all in the same room

1) Websites and Social Media: From Creation to Content

This workshop focuses on how your NOW chapter can run its own website in order to better spread information and keep your members updated on news and activities. We will discuss the importance of maintaining a chapter blog to which your members can contribute. The presenters will also highlight the significance of social media like Twitter and Facebook. The discussion will make using Internet resources easily understandable and will enhance your chapter’s ability to attract new young feminists.

Moderator: Raven Palomera

Panelists: Sierra Tavasolian, Kyle Calvert

2) How to Boost Your Chapter’s Mail and Online Fundraising Results

We will teach chapter members how to develop their fundraising capabilities by expanding opportunities for people to donate. By explaining to participants how to integrate online and mail donation opportunities, we hope to be able to optimize the giving potential of our friends and allies. We will also teach about the importance of tracking the results of donations in order to emphasize the most successful donation methods. Presenters will discuss past successful techniques for boosting fundraising and how you can adapt a similar strategy for your own chapter.

Moderator: Valerie Lambert

3) Making Your Message Heard Far and Wide

HEY YOU! Want to learn how to get people’s attention quickly? Come to this workshop to learn about how you can craft the perfect message that not only draws people’s notice but also makes them care about what you’re saying. We will discuss how you can create a meaningful and impactful statement that includes important keywords to express your thoughts. You will leave knowing what you need to say or write in order to be noticed and make a difference for your cause.

Moderator: Myles Miller

Panelist: Jason Verdelli

No Lawyer, No Justice: How a Civil Right to Counsel Could Advance Key Rights for Women

In 2006, the American Bar Association called for a right to counsel in civil cases involving basic human needs, which it listed as shelter, safety, sustenance, health and child custody. Yet most states do not provide a right to counsel in these areas, nor is there a federal constitutional right to counsel due to the Supreme Court’s continued narrowing of the U.S. Constitution. Women have particularly strong interests in a number of these basic human rights proceedings, such as safety (protective orders), sustenance (child support orders), health (judicial bypass procedures to dispense with parental consent to obtain an abortion) and child custody (given that women are more often the primary caregivers for children). Additionally, women typically face off against an opponent who has more resources and can afford to be represented by counsel. This panel will discuss how a right to counsel in civil cases can assure justice for women.

Moderator: Debra Gardner

Panelists: Stephanie Troyer, Bobbie Steyer

The “Inconceivable” Struggle for Reproductive Rights: An Overview of the Past with Strategies for Future Activism

Panelists will provide a brief overview of the recent history of the struggle for women’s reproductive rights, with a more extensive review of the frightening escalation of attacks at state and federal levels, including litigation aimed at bringing a fetal rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Of particular interest will be discussion of the current campaign of Catholic bishops to prevent requiring insurance coverage of contraception under the Affordable Care Act. Panelists will suggest ways to get the bishops to back off! Finally, there will be a discussion about specific strategies and frameworks for activists to permanently secure reproductive and sexual rights for all.

Moderator: Erin Matson

Panelists: Nancy Pietroforte, Beth Corbin, Marissa Valeri

Issues Confronting Native American Women and How You Can Help

Native American women confront overwhelming threats to their human rights, dignity and quality of life. From sexual violence to health needs, crushing poverty and employment, environmental destruction and decrepit housing, the devastation is exacerbated by national invisibility. Nonetheless, Native American women are making their voices heard. NOW joined with indigenous women in a taskforce to conduct a panel at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meeting this year, advocate for protection under VAWA and petition to obtain Plan B emergency contraception on Indian reservations.

Moderator: Kathy Sloan

Panelists: Charon Asetoyer, Marcella Giles

Impact of Health Reform on Women’s Health and the Need for Single-Payer National Health Insurance Now!

Panelists from the Physicians for a National Health Plan will discuss provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that specifically impact women’s reproductive health care as well as assess the impact of the ACA on women’s health care and economic security. The ACA will leave at least 26 million people uninsured, and those with coverage will face significant financial barriers to care. In light of this ongoing crisis, panelists will describe a better plan: single-payer (Medicare for all) national health insurance. The single-payer movement is growing in various states and the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act may give new impetus to this universal, cost-effective approach.

Moderator: Elizabeth Ben-Ishai

Panelists: Deborah Schumann, Jeffrey Kaplan.

Issue Hearing

Stopping Violence Against Women

Issue Hearing

Structure and Process


Just For Fun Sessions – Saturday 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. 

We Did It for You! Interactive Musical About Women’s History

Get involved with this play about how women got rights, told by the women who were there! You’ll get to wear a costume and read aloud a script from the perspective of various female historical figures as you learn more about the significant accomplishments of women leaders in U.S. history. After the script reading, there will be a discussion about women’s leadership and education, as well as about the cultural assumptions that women face. This workshop is limited to a maximum of 22 participants.

Playwright: Thea Iberall

Producer: Shirley Riga

Using Interactive Theater to Educate About Domestic Violence – The Jen and Steve Skit

This skit, adapted from the Spruce Run domestic violence project in Bangor, Maine, uses the audience as community members interacting with an abused woman and her abusive husband. The actors will then dispel some of the common myths relating to domestic violence. Participants can adapt and perform the skit for their own communities. This skit includes cursing and simulated violence; it is not recommended for small children and adults may leave during the performance if necessary.

Performers: Ben Atherton-Zeman, Jerin Arifa, Micah Bochart

Using Creativity to Promote Reproductive Justice

This fun workshop will teach you about creative, non-traditional ways to convey the importance of and necessity for reproductive justice for all women. By helping participants explore their thoughts and emotions about the many aspects of reproductive justice, presenters will guide you towards discovering how to expand your outreach and messaging though expressive methods. The workshop will also discuss how to enliven public speaking and activities promoting reproductive justice using artistic approaches.

Moderator: Susan Elizabeth Davis

Panelists: Cindy Cooper, Angie Young, Abigail Ramsay

Getting Our Voice Back and Keeping it — With Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga is a revolution in body-mind medicine that teaches the body to laugh without depending on jokes or humor. It is non-political, non-religious, non-competitive. There are no fancy stretches, no need for any particular items of clothing or equipment. It is a body-mind approach to wellness that aims to promote peace in the workplace, at home and in the world through laughter. Certified Massage Therapist Ramana Lailah Heyman of Shenandoah Laughter Yoga will show us how to use Laughter Yoga, not only for relaxation, but to better enjoy our lives.

Instructor: Ramanah Lailah Heyman


Breakout Session V – Saturday 4:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Modernizing NOW’s Structure

Built for the 21st Century: Chapters and States

So much has changed since NOW’s states and chapters were designed in the seventies, yet they have not been re-considered in a comprehensive way since then. In structured exercises, participants will explore the role of NOW’s states and chapters in the 21st Century. Some have suggested reconceiving chapters to focus on action without administrative burdens. Others are trying to balance accountability and preserving chapter and state independence, paid staff and protecting the member-driven nature of NOW. Come join the discussion.

Facilitators: Janet Canterbury, Janice Rocco

Mothers and Caregivers Summit

Coping, Changing and Succeeding

This last workshop of the NOW Foundation’s Institute for Women’s Policy Research Issues Summit covers a range of topics that have become part of a growing national discussion on parenting and caregiving. Panelists will cover the motherhood penalty, education and training needs of low-income mothers, single mothers and single mother poverty, reforming welfare “reform,” improving access to prenatal care, pregnancy discrimination, LGBTQ parenting, expanding paid leave for parents and caregivers, child care quality and funding needs. NOW’s Mothers and Caregivers Economic Bill of Rights will be cited as a fundamental statement that recognizes the tremendous value that mothers and caregivers provide for society. The session will close with advocacy suggestions aimed at advocating for government and corporate initiatives that better support mothers and caregivers.

Moderator: Allendra Letsome

Panelists: Lisalyn Jacobs, Lisa Weiner-Mahfus, Dakia Davis and Rachel Lyons

Skills Building Roundup – A series of three shorter workshops in one session, all in the same room

1) How to Make Every Day Love Your Body Day

At NOW, we understand better than anyone the problems of self-image concerns among women. We will discuss how negative body image issues can go beyond eating disorders to engulf our entire beings and how they can harmfully affect women of different races in unique ways. NOW’s Love Your Body Day (LYBD) campaign will be introduced so we can discuss tips on how to love yourself more and increase your self-esteem every day.

Moderator: Erin Matson

Panelists: Chitra Panjabi, Esty Stein, Jerin Arifa

2) Social Media for Social Change

Did you miss one of the earlier skills-buildings sessions about how to actually use social media? Come to this workshop to learn about how to use Internet resources to amplify your message, build organizational capacity and mobilize supporters. Learn more about online tools like Twitter and Facebook as we teach you about the basics of these fantastic resources. Having social media accounts is absolutely necessary for the continued success and growth of your NOW chapter, especially if you want to reach younger feminist audiences. We welcome participants of all levels of experience!

Moderator: Annemarie Strassel

Panelist: Sarah Burris

3) Ensuring Justice for Women and How to Work in Coalition

Human rights violations are a major contributor to poverty and have no place in an equitable and free society where all persons would ideally have access to jobs, housing, education and health. We must learn how to effectively organize to end poverty and fight human rights violations against all people. This workshop will teach participants how to use the legislative process to fight for an end of poverty. We will learn how to work effectively in coalitions with other groups to strengthen the message and pool resources.

Moderator: Zenaida Mendez

Panelists: Sonia Dueno, Barbara Glasser

Marriage Equality Victories and Challenges in 2012

We have seen significant victories for equal marriage this year with two more states legalizing equal marriage. But we now face ballot initiatives coming up in November. In this workshop we’ll look at the current state of marriage equality and why it’s important. We’ll discuss messaging for conversations with persuadable voters and how to build broad-based coalitions that include communities of faith and communities of color. We’ll learn about strategies and actions we can take to achieve victories in the state legislatures, on ballot initiatives and at the federal level.

Moderator: Bonnie Grabenhofer

Panelists: Gay Bruhn, Carrie Evans, Gordy Gustafson, Lisbeth Melendez Rivera

Why We Still Need an Equal Rights Amendment

As the War on Women continues unabated, feminists return to the fundamentals: we must have a guarantee of equality in the U.S. Constitution. Women came so close to seeing the ERA ratified by the deadline of June 30, 1982, with only three more states needed for ratification. This compelling workshop will frame the issue with NOW’s 40-plus years of advocacy, laying out the essentials of an argument about how the ERA could positively impact women’s lives, economic policies, criminal justice practices and women’s reproductive health needs. The features of the “Start-Over” approach and the “Three State Strategy” will be weighed. A power point presentation will recommend the best tools to use in pressing the case with state legislators.

Moderator: Jan Erickson

Panelists: Roberta Francis, Bettina Hager, Asafu Suzuki, Diana Egozcue

Sex Trafficking – A Growing Criminal Industry that Harms Women, Children

Human trafficking — the illegal trade of humans for reproductive slavery, sexual exploitation and/or forced labor — is the horrific modern-day form of slavery. Sex trafficking is one of the most rapidly-growing criminal industries around the world, involving the abduction and abuse of women and children especially. This workshop will educate participants about this global and domestic crime, help them to identify victims, and provide them with additional resources for education and action.

Moderator: Jocelyn Morris

Panelists: Tina Frundt, Christine Stark, Rachel Durchslag, Joan Johnson

Making Women Visible: In Iconography and In Life

Our nation’s symbols and icons systematically omit women from our historical narrative, which has a devastating impact on the aspirations of girls and young women. There are no images of women on our paper currency, just 25 percent of postage stamps feature women, and only nine of the 100 statues in National Statuary Hall are women. Images of women as leaders are critical to ending sex discrimination; we must make making women visible in order to gain power and equality in society. The successful effort in Maryland to honor abolitionist Harriet Tubman with a statue will be shared. Workshop participants will strategize ideas and actions to help stop the generally demeaning attitude and behavior towards women and girls. Smaller group discussion will suggest ways to help make women more visible and respected so that widespread sexist attacks on women can be effectively countered. This work is essential for the ultimate elimination of sex discrimination.

Moderator: Linda Mahoney

Panelists: Lynette Long

Issue Hearing

Reproductive Rights/Women’s Health

Issue Hearing

Emerging and Other Issues