This past weekend, more than 500 women’s rights activists descended on Baltimore, Md., for the 2012 National NOW Conference. After an exciting weekend that featured a moving address from Eve Ensler, Tony award-winning playwright of the Vagina Monologues, conference attendees left the event informed, empowered and ready to make an impact in their communities.
“The 2012 National NOW Conference brought feminists from across the nation together for three days of political strategizing and grassroots organizing that will strengthen our resolve and influence the 2012 elections,” said NOW President Terry O’Neill. “The conference theme, Energize! Organize! Stop the War on Women, reflected the fact that this year’s elections mark a critical point for the future of women, and that activists can affect the outcome.”
This year’s conference was marked by unforgettable speakers addressing the critical issues of concern for women today. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), accepted NOW’s first-ever Woman of Impact Award and spoke about her ongoing efforts to champion women’s rights on Capitol Hill. Other inspiring speakers and honorees included Dr. Vivian Pinn, the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bernice Sandler, the “Godmother of Title IX,” and voting rights advocate Julie Greene.
On the closing day, NOW delegates adopted a policy agenda for the year ahead, discussing and passing 11 resolutions that will guide the organization’s work on a broad range of issues.
The resolutions called for NOW leaders and members to: organize to defeat state legislation propagated by right-wing groups like ALEC; support “Plan B” emergency contraception access for Native American women; join the “One Billion Rising” campaign to end violence against women and girls; lobby for congressional legislation to remove the time limit for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment; and call on federal, state and territorial courts to implement all court procedures and policies in a non-sexist, non-discriminatory manner.
“The 2012 NOW Conference was an extraordinary gathering of remarkable activists, and lived up to its energize and organize theme,” stated O’Neill. “The women and men who attended the conference returned home inspired to work even harder and smarter for women’s equality.”
NOW’s conference in Baltimore was a smashing success! Visit our wrap-up page.