Thursday, March 30
Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, Duke University Campus
Welcome Reception - Holsti-Anderson Room, first floor of Rubenstein Library
9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, March 31 - Hilton Durham Hotel
Historians and Feminists: An Intergenerational Conversation
A dialogue between Second Wave activists and young historians will ensure that the full story of the women’s movement is told to current day historians who are researching, writing and teaching about women’s history. Each panel will feature three feminist activists and three historians.
Keynote speaker: Dr. Nancy MacLean
Dr. MacLean is a leading historian of the U.S. in the 20th century. She is William H. Chafe Professor of History, Public Policy and Women's Studies at Duke University, where she teaches courses on American social movement and public policy history. Her award-winning scholarship focuses on the role of social movements in changing American culture and policy. She produced The American Women’s Movement, 1945-2000: A Brief History with Documents
Panel one: Grassroots Organizing
A lifelong progressive organizer, Heather started “Jane” in 1965. Jane performed 11,000 abortions until Roe vs. Wade became the law. She helped to found the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and its work group ACDC: Action Committee for Decent Childcare. She also started the Midwest Academy, a training center for organizers, which has trained a number of women’s movement activists.
Media expert Kathy Bonk was coordinator of NOW's Women's Media Task Force; in that role she tried to get the Federal Communication Commission policy changed to stop gender discrimination and raise awareness of women’s issues. From 1978 to 1987, she directed the Media Project for the National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Mandy Carter is a leading African-American LGBTQ activist. She is a former Executive Director and co-founder of Southerners On New Ground (SONG), which integrates work against homophobia into freedom struggles in the South. She has been involved in countless political action campaigns. Carter also sits on the board of Ladyslipper Music.
Melissa Estes Blair
Assistant Professor of History, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Author, Revolutionizing Expectations: Women’s Organizations, Feminism, and American Politics, 1965-1980
Assistant Professor of History, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia
Author, “Organizing Breadmakers: Kathryn Dunaway and the Georgia STOP ERA Campaign" in Entering the Fray: Gender, Politics, and Culture in the New South
Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies, University of Mississippi
Author, Where Movements Meet: From the War on Poverty to Grassroots Feminism in the Appalachian
Panel two: Law and Government
Attorney Roxanne Conlin was the 1982 Democratic candidate for governor of Iowa, and was narrowly defeated. She was the first female Assistant Attorney General for Iowa and also served as a U.S. Attorney. Conlin wrote the first law in the country protecting the privacy of rape victims. She is founder and first chair of the Iowa Women’s Political Caucus.
Holly Knox was the founder and director of PEER – the Project on Equal Education Rights. She was instrumental in getting the newly passed Title IX enforced in elementary and high schools to assure equal opportunity for girls at all levels of education.
Mary Anne Sedey
Mary Anne Sedey is a nationally recognized attorney who has represented plaintiffs in employment litigation for more than 30 years. She is a former President of the National Employment Lawyers Association. She has successfully represented women in major class action sex discrimination suits. She has also won cases in the Supreme Court of the U.S. Sedey is a former Midwest regional director of NOW.
PhD Candidate in History, Duke University, Durham, NC
Law and Social Sciences Dissertation Fellow - American Bar Foundation
Assistant Professor of History, University of Houston, Texas
Author, Passionate Politics: Bella Abzug and the Promise and Peril of the American Left
Stearns Weaver Miller Professor, Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee
Author, After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate
Panel three: Employment Activism
Mary Jean Collins
Mary Jean Collins was President of Chicago NOW, Midwest Regional Director and Board member of NOW in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. She served as Chair of Task Forces reporting to the NOW National President. She co-chaired the Sears Task Force, a major national NOW initiative targeting Sears for discriminatory employment practices. She was elected national Vice-President of NOW in 1982.
Noreen Connell is a feminist organizer and writer/editor. She was a co-organizer of New York Radical Feminists. She co-founded New York Women Office Workers. She served as Assistant Commissioner for the New York State Department of Labor. Connell has been a leader within NOW nationally and locally and served as president of NOW-New York State.
Anne has been Executive Director of Women Employed since 1985. She is a nationally recognized expert on women’s employment issues, equal opportunity, workforce development and career advancement. She was president of the Chicago chapter of NOW from 1973 to 1975 and was a founding Board member of Chicago Women in Publishing.
Visiting Assistant Professor of History, High Point University, North Carolina
Author, “Crystal Lee Sutton: ‘I Was Doing Something I Didn’t Even Think I Could Do,’” in North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies
Author, Equality on Trial: Gender and Rights in the Modern American Workplace
Associate Director, Programs for the Center for Civic Leadership, Rice University, Texas
Author, Reverend Addie Wyatt: Faith and the Fight for Labor, Gender, and Racial Equality
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
A VFA Salute to Southern Feminists: Reception and Awards Dinner
Second Wave feminists from Southern states will be honored at a celebratory reception and awards dinner. Deceased feminists will be honored in memoriam. States include North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.