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In the 55 years since NOW was established, we have been at the forefront of the feminist movement. We championed and stewarded landmark legislation like Title IX, the ERA, and the Violence Against Women Act; organized millions of women for the March for Women’s Lives on the National Mall, and have kept the pressure on elected officials to recognize women as equal citizens. Our organization, which started on a napkin, is now the largest grassroots network of feminist activists. On June 30, we invite you to join us virtually for a special anniversary celebration to honor our legacy of leading the feminist movement, and how we will continue the fight for the next 55 years. 

 The NOW 55th Anniversary Celebration will pay tribute to our legacy of leading change, and how we will continue the fight through intersectional feminism. With a program featuring a diverse roster of thought-leaders and changemakers, the event will tackle critical women’s rights issues through dynamic conversations and unique insights.  This special milestone celebration is open to members, prospective members, and anyone interested learning more about the feminist agenda. 

The interactive program will include a fireside chat with our National President, Christian F.  Nunes, and an engaging Q&A session. This event roster of speakers includes: 

  • Heather Booth – Civil Rights Activist and lifetime NOW member 
  • Dr. Sonora Jha – Author of How to Raise a Feminist Son 
  • Dr. Gary Ford, Jr. – Author of Constance Baker Motley: One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice Under Law 

Heather Booth

Heather Booth is one of the country’s leading strategists about progressive issue campaigns and driving issues in elections. She started organizing in the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war, and women’s movements of the 1960s. She started JANE, an underground abortion service in 1965, before Roe.

She was the founding Director and is now President of the Midwest Academy, training social change leaders and organizers. She provided training for early NOW from 1970 – about 1975 and helped design early NOW campaigns.  She was very active in women’s liberation and helped to found the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union.

She has been involved in and managed political campaigns and was the Training Director of the Democratic National Committee. In 2000, she was the Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which helped to increase African American election turnout. She was the lead consultant, directing the founding of the Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2005.

In 2008, she was the director of the Health Care Campaign for the AFL-CIO. In 2009, she directed the campaign passing President Obama’s first budget. In 2010 she was the founding director of Americans for Financial Reform, fighting to regulate the financial industry. She was the national coordinator for the coalition around marriage equality and the 2013 Supreme Court decision. She was strategic advisor to the Alliance for Citizenship (the largest coalition of the immigration reform campaign). She was the field director for the 2017 campaign to stop the tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires She directed Progressive and Seniors Outreach for the Biden/Harris campaign. She has been a consultant on many other issues and with many other organizations.

There is a film about her life in organizing, “Heather Booth: Changing the World.” It has been shown on PBS/World Channel stations around the country.

Dr. Sonora Jha

SONORA JHA, PhD, is an essayist, novelist, researcher, and professor of journalism at Seattle University. She is the author of the novel Foreign, and her op-eds and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Seattle Times, The Establishment, DAME, and in several anthologies. She grew up in Mumbai and has been chief of metropolitan bureau for the Times of India and contributing editor for East magazine in Singapore. She teaches fiction and essay writing for Hugo House, Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, and Seattle Public Library. She is an alumna and board member of Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat and has served on the jury for awards for Artist Trust, Hedgebrook, and Hugo House. 

Her latest book is How to Raise a Feminist Son: Motherhood, Masculinity, and the Making of My Family (Sasquatch Books USA and Penguin Random House India, 2021). 

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Dr. Gary L. Ford, Jr.

Dr. Gary L. Ford, Jr., assistant professor in Lehman College’s Department of Africana Studies and author of Constance Baker Motley: One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice under Law (University of Alabama Press), is among those few biographers ever to meet or become personally acquainted with their subjects.

While growing up in Connecticut, Ford was introduced through family connections to Motley, a New Haven native, who, in 1966, became the country’s first African American female federal judge. Motley’s niece and namesake, Constance Royster, even brought Ford to Motley’s house for a few visits, and the famed jurist and civil rights stalwart shared with him a scrapbook she had kept while fighting desegregation cases in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as photographs of her taken while working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Judge Motley was one of the real heroes of the civil rights movement, and I was quite fortunate to be able to get to know her some,” said Ford. “She had a slightly withdrawn personality, but once you got to know her she was warm and funny. I remember her being very tall and stern looking. I heard she did not take a lot of flak in her court room, but that may have been because she was a woman judge back when they weren’t many. What I treasured most about my time with her, though, were all of the stories she told about her work. Having these personal insights definitely propelled me to want to keep her legacy alive.”

Ford’s championing of Motley began with his doctoral dissertation at the University of Maryland, and then later as a 2012 Quinnipiac University documentary film that he produced with producer-director Michael Calia and screenwriter Susan Bailey, Justice is a Black Woman: The Life and Work of Constance Baker Motley. All along he has been aided by Motley’s son Joel, who provided Ford with access to files, books and recordings.

Constance Baker Motley: One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice under Law has just been published in paperback. Ford’s book tour, still ongoing, has taken him to television and radio stations, museums, libraries, colleges, high schools and even several federal courts.

National NOW President, Christian F. Nunes, MBA, MS, LCSW, 

Christian F. Nunes, MBA, MS, LCSW, in late August 2020, Christian became NOW President. She was previously appointed Vice President by the board in May 2019.

Christian is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Consultant, and a Woman-Minority Business Owner since 2006.  Ms. Nunes received her BSW degree from Northern Arizona University, Master of Science from Columbia University, and Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

She is an active community organizer and has spoken at events such as the March for Black Women in 2018.  Along with her activism for mental health, Nunes also has over 20 years of experience advocating for children’s and women’s issues.

Nunes is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Consultant, and Woman-Minority Business Owner. In 2006, she founded a behavioral health and consulting practice where she assists social service and behavioral health companies, as well as provide direct mental health services to individuals and families. As an advocate for social justice and mental health policy, she took up the role as Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues and co-authored a community survey on police response to crisis. Additionally, she has worked tirelessly to elect progressive candidates to school boards and local office positions. She is often featured in media outlets including EbonyBlack Enterprise magazine, AZ News Channel 3, Yahoo News, and many more.