Lehigh Valley Women's Summit
Feminist Icon Gloria Steinem to lecture at
Cedar Crest on June 7, 2012
Gloria Steinem, an icon of feminism for half a century, will present a talk titled, “The Longest Revolution,” at Cedar Crest College on June 7, 1:30-2:30 p.m., during the Lehigh Valley Women’s Summit hosted by the College’s Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI), the Women’s Business Council of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Women’s Leadership Initiative of United Way. Many more activities are planned on campus throughout the Summit, held in Lee’s Gymnasium from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, editor, and feminist activist. She travels in the United States and other countries as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice. She now lives in New York City, and is currently at work on Road to the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered, a book about her more than 30 years on the road as a feminist organizer.
Steinem’s visit is an ideal fit for the new Women’s Leadership Institute at Cedar Crest College, which provides educational programming and mentoring to prepare women to take a greater leadership role in their careers and their lives.
“The Women’s Leadership Institute is thrilled to be hosting Ms. Gloria Steinem to our campus,” said Arlene Peltola, coordinator of the WLI. “There is particular relevance at Cedar Crest, an all women’s college, to hearing her voice in 2012. We gratefully remember the debut of Ms. Magazine and continue to listen to her words to effectively unite women globally as we focus on our college mission to education future leaders for success in an increasingly global society.”
Here are more highlights of Steinem’s career:
- In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine, and remained one of its editors for 15 years. She has also been published in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and other women’s magazines.
- She has produced a documentary on child abuse for HBO, a feature film about the death penalty for Lifetime, and been the subject of profiles on Lifetime and Showtime.
- Her books include the bestsellers Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe.
- She was one of the founders of the Women’s Action Alliance, a pioneering national information center that specialized in nonsexist, multiracial children’s education, and the National Women’s Political Caucus, a group that continues to work to advance the numbers of pro-equality women in elected and appointed office at a national and state level.
- She also co-founded the Women’s Media Center in 2004. She was president and co-founder of Voters for Choice, a pro-choice political action committee for 25 years, then with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund when it merged with VFC for the 2004 elections.
- She was the founding president of the Ms. Foundation for Women, a national multi-racial, multi-issue fund that supports grassroots projects to empower women and girls, and also a founder of its Take Our Daughters to Work Day.
- She was a member of the Beyond Racism Initiative, a three-year effort on the part of activists and experts from South Africa, Brazil and the United States to compare the racial patterns of those three countries and to learn cross-nationally.
- As a writer, she has received the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award, the Front Page and Clarion awards, National Magazine awards, an Emmy Citation for excellence in television writing, the Women’s Sports Journalism Award, and more.
Steinem graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College in 1956, and then spent two years in India on a Chester Bowles Fellowship. She wrote for Indian publications, and was influenced by Gandhian activism.
She also received the first Doctorate of Human Justice awarded by Simmons College, the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the National Gay Rights Advocates Award, the Liberty Award of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Ceres Medal from the United Nations, and a number of honorary degrees. Parenting magazine selected her for its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 for her work in promoting girls’ self-esteem, and Biography magazine listed her as one of the 25 most influential women in America. In 1993, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.
In 1993, her concern with child abuse led her to co-produce and narrate an Emmy Award-winning TV documentary for HBO, Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories. With Rosilyn Heller, she also co-produced an original 1993 TV movie for Lifetime, Better off Dead, which examined the parallel forces that both oppose abortion and support the death penalty.
In addition to the address from Gloria Steinem, the day-long Women’s Summit features workshops led by top business professionals including the chief knowledge officer of Catalyst and representatives from Vision 2020. Cost is $125 for Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce members, and $175 for others.