The Veteran Feminists of America (VFA) will hold a major event – “Empowering Women: A Tale of Two Generations” – on Saturday, September 15, 2012, at Alverno College in Milwaukee. The event is open to the public, but attendees must register in advance. A limited number of college students who pre-register are invited to attend the event, including lunch, at no cost.
Students who wish to register for the event should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 7. Provide name and email address and indicate if you will be attending lunch.
The full-day event will celebrate the achievements of the women’s movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s, evaluate the status of women today and discuss how the feminists of yesterday and today can move forward together to continue the struggle for women’s rights. This event is particularly timely given the focus on gender in the upcoming elections.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) will welcome attendees to the event.
The first panel discussion of the day is titled, “Are We There Yet?” It will feature two women who worked at Newsweek 40 years apart. Lynn Povich was one of the 46 Newsweek female employees who sued the publication for sex discrimination in 1970. Jesse Ellison is one of the current young writers at Newsweek who wrote a ground-breaking feature story on women’s equality at the publication in 2010. They will discuss what has changed and what hasn’t for women in the last 40 years from the perspective of two different generations. Povich is the author of The Good Girls Revolt, the story of the Newsweek suit, which will be published in September, 2012.
In the panel discussion titled “Learning from the Past,” participants will take a historical view of the women’s movement: what women faced in the ‘60s and ‘70s and what they were able to accomplish. Panelists will share real front-line stories about how they fought against sex-segregated want ads, male-only restaurants, pay discrimination, lack of credit and much more. Panelists include Muriel Fox, a NOW founder; Mary Jean Collins, a founder of Milwaukee NOW; Kathleen Falk, two-time candidate for Wisconsin Governor; Katherine Turk, award-winning historian; and Heather Booth, a founder of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union.
“Examining the Present” will focus on where women are today, 40 years later. Has the promise of the movement been fulfilled? Women now earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. Is there a new attack on women’s rights? Participants include Anne Ladky, director of Women Employed; Sheila Tobias, author of Overcoming Math Anxiety; Mary Anne Sedey, employment attorney; Bernell Hooker, CEO of Images of Us Sports; and Lois Herr, author of Women, Power and AT&T.
In “Shaping the Future,” a group of young feminists examine where we go from here. How do veteran feminists and today’s young women work together to ensure women’s equality? What does a new movement look like? Participants are Lindsey Horvath, president of Hollywood NOW; Betsy Hoody of FRIDA-The Young Feminist Fund; Elizabeth Coppola, Alverno Student Government; Kat Barr, Ultra Violet; and Wendy Strout, director of Emerge Wisconsin.
At a special luncheon, VFA will honor Alverno College for its history of providing innovative higher education for women. Alverno President Mary Meehan will accept the VFA Recognition Award. Sr. Kathleen O’Brien, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, will provide a brief history of Alverno .
VFA is a non-profit organization for those who pioneered the second wave of the feminist movement in the 1960s and ‘70s. Its goals are to document the history of the movement; to rekindle the spark and spirit of the feminist revolution; and to ensure that the ideals of feminism continue to reverberate and influence others, including younger generations.
More event details and a registration form are available on the event website, www.vfa-midwest.org.
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