- VIDEO FAQs
- What is the Equal Rights Amendment?
- How Does Not Having the Equal Rights Amendment Affect Me?
- Don’t Men and Women Already Have Equal Rights in America?
- Doesn’t the 14th Amendment Already Guarantee Women Equal Rights Under the Law?
- But What About the Other Laws We Have in Place to Protect Women?
- If the ERA is Ratified Will Women be Drafted?
- If the ERA is Ratified Will Women Have to Share Bathrooms with Men?
- Which Political Side is ERA On?
- ERA U
Posts by: Kamala
Kamala Lopez (Yale University BA)
Actress, Director and Political Activist
Kamala Lopez is an award-winning actress, screenwriter, director and producer. Born in New York City to an Indian mother and a Venezuelan father, Lopez lived with her parents in Caracas until age 14 when the family returned to the United States. While still in high school in Brooklyn, she was cast on Sesame Street as Mercedes, Maria’s cousin, a role she portrayed for two seasons before being accepted to Yale where she double majored in Philosophy and Theatre Studies.
Lopez has worked as an actor in over thirty feature films including Born in East L.A., Deep Cover, The Burning Season (winner of 2 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes and the Humanitas Prize), Clear and Present Danger, Lightning Jack, and I Heart Huckabees. She has starred in over sixty television shows including Medium, 24, Alias, and NYPD Blue. She also hosted the PBS series Wired Science.
Lopez formed production company Heroica Films in 1995 with the mission to write, direct and produce media for women, about women and utilizing women both in front and behind the
camera. Since then Lopez and Heroica Films have produced, directed and written many short films, several features, film festivals, podcasts and virtual internet media campaigns.
Her feature directorial debut, A Single Woman, about the life of first Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, won the 2009 Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s
Political Caucus and screened by invitation in the United States Congress, at the Smithsonian Institution, the United Nationsand National Arts Club as well as universities across the country. In 2012 her short Spanish-language film Ese Beso won the Audience Award at the Boyle Heights Latina Film Festival.Her romantic comedy feature film (writer/actress/producer) Legal Affairs goes into production the summer of 2013.
Lopez is Founder and Executive Director of The ERA Education Project, a new national media campaign to educate the public about the need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. She is the Founding Director of the Los Angeles Bureau of GlobalGirl Media, which nurtures the voices and self-expression of young girls internationally. Lopez sits on the Boards of Girls & Gangs and The Women’s International Film and Television Showcase. She served on the Board of Young Artists United and has worked with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Office in his Parnership for L.A. Schools in South Central Los Angeles as well as working with H.E.A.R.T., the L.A. Unified School District’s Gang and Crime Prevention Unit.
In 2009 she was given a retrospective at the Museum of Latin American Art for her work in film and television. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and an Aspen Institute Scholar. Lopez is a 2011 Woman of Courage award-winner (from NWPC) and was named one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s eNews in 2012.
Kah Walla (Yale World Fellow)
Entrepreneur, Activist and Elected Official of Cameroon
Kah Walla is an entrepreneur, activist and elected official from Cameroon. She is recognized internationally for her expertise in management and for her commitment to Africa, development, women and youth.
On October 9, 2011, Kah Walla ran as a candidate for the presidency of Cameroon. In a country which has only known two presidents in the last 50 years, her The Time is Now! Campaign was groundbreaking for the Cameroon political scene. Kah Walla is today one of Cameroon’s foremost political leaders and is often cited as an example of a new generation of leadership throughout Africa.
As an entrepreneur, Kah launched STRATEGIES! seventeen years ago. This African firm offers consulting services in leadership and management, meeting the highest standards of the international market. STRATEGIES! serves multinational firms as well as international development organizations. Kah is a board member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and in 2008, she was one of seven women entrepreneurs in Africa profiled in the report, Doing Business: Women in Africa, released as part of a joint effort between the Doing Business project and the World Bank’s Gender Action Plan.
For 25 years, Kah has focused on good governance, the rights of women and youth and the rule of law. She has worked with civil society in Cameroon and throughout Africa, developing policies and projects at international, national and local levels with farmers, traders, motorbike drivers, persons with disabilities, fishermen, student associations and governments.
In 2007, she campaigned and was elected to the Douala City Council. Her political leadership is known for its focus on transparency and sound budget management. In 2008, she stood up against a constitutional amendment designed to eliminate presidential term limits. She has also played a key role in advocating for overhauling the independent electoral commission. In 2009, Kah created Cameroon Ô’Bosso, a citizen movement to register voters and advocate for 11 separate criteria of electoral reform.
Ursula Burton (Yale University BA)
Council member, YaleWomen; Partner, Five Sisters Productions
Ursula Burton is a filmmaker, actor and co-founder of Five Sisters Productions. Together with her four sisters, Burton has produced commercials, PSAs, short films and feature films includingLetting Go of God (Showtime), Just Friends (AMC), Manna from Heaven (MGM) and Temps. Burton wrote and directed the award-winning comedy, The Happiest Day of His Life, which won a Viewer’s Choice Award on MTV’s LOGO Channel and qualified for the Academy Awards, and is currently being used in academic and social programs as an educational tool to promote open conversations about gender. Projects now in production include Old Guy (a comedic web series about the image of aging in the media) and Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens (a documentary on drag queens, kings, and transgender performers in Ohio). Projects in development includeMercury 13 (a feature inspired by the 13 women tested to be astronauts in 1961) and a fairy tale feature film. In addition, the specialty card decks she created, “52 Questions Before Marriage or Moving In” and “52 Questions Before Baby,” are being distributed by the acclaimed therapy and research center, The Gottman Institute.
As an actor, Burton’s had recurring roles on The Office, The War at Home and the hit BBC sitcom My Family, and is currently recurring on Grey’s Anatomy and Hart of Dixie. Other TV roles includeCastle, Scandal, 2 Broke Girls, Happy Endings, The Middle, Criminal Minds, Touch, Ghost Whisperer, The Young & The Restless, The Ellen Show, The Bold & the Beautiful, Shake It Up!,Spy and The West Wing. Film roles include Sgt. Bilko, Mafia!, Death of a Saleswoman and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Voice work includes the BBC Radio 4 “The Hireling,”Doctor Who, Dark Shadows and Stargate.
Burton graduated from Yale University cum laude and now sits on the YaleWomen Council, is a board member of both YaleWomen LA and The Yale Club of LA and is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors.
Associate Professor, Professional Practice, Columbia School of Journalism; Executive Producer,MAKERS: Women Who Make America
Betsy West is an associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and executive producer of MAKERS: Women Who Make America, the online video archivewww.makers.com and PBS documentary about the women’s movement that aired nationwide in February, 2013.
Betsy began her career at ABC News where her work as co-creator and executive producer of Turning Point and senior producer at Nightline earned her 21 Emmy Awards and two duPont-Columbia Awards. As senior vice president at CBS News from 1998-2005, she oversaw 60 Minutes and 48 Hours and was executive-in-charge of the PrimeTime Emmy award-winning documentary 9/11. She joined Storyville Films in 2006, where she co-produced Oren Jacoby’s theatrical documentary Constantine’s Sword and is currently producing The Lavender Scare, a filmabout the origins of the gay rights movement.
Joanne Lipman (Yale University BA)
Journalist, Media Adviser and Co-author of Strings Attached; Member, Yale University Council
Joanne Lipman is one of the nation’s most prominent journalists and commentators. She is co-author of the upcoming book Strings Attached (Hyperion, October 2013), and an adviser to media organizations such as CNN, Yahoo and NYPR, for which she created the business programMoney Talking.
Ms. Lipman was founding Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast Portfolio magazine and portfolio.com from 2005 to 2009. The magazine won Loeb and National Magazine awards and spawned Michael Lewis’s bestseller The Big Short, based on his cover story about the financial crisis.
Previously, Ms. Lipman was a Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal, the first woman to attain that post. While at the Journal, Ms. Lipman supervised coverage that won three Pulitzer Prizes. Ms. Lipman joined the Journal in 1983 as a reporter in New York, and was the paper’s first Advertising columnist (1989), a Page One editor (1993), creator and Editor-in-Chief of Weekend Journal (1998) and creator of Personal Journal (2002). She was named Deputy Managing Editor in 2000.
Ms. Lipman is a frequent commentator on business issues, appearing on CNN, CBS, and CNBC, and also has been a contributing columnist to Newsweek. She is a member of the Yale University Council; Breastcancer.org’s advisory board; the boards of the Yale Daily News and Yale Alumni Magazine; and the Council on Foreign Relations. She received the Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications in 2001.
Ms. Lipman is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University. She and her husband live in New York with their two children, Andrew and Rebecca (’12 BA, ’13 MPH).
Jane Mayer (Yale University BA)
Writer and Journalist, The New Yorker
Jane Mayer joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in March 1995. Based in Washington, D.C., she writes about politics, culture and national security for the magazine. Recent subjects include a piece about the political influence of Charles and David Koch and coverage of the role of money in the 2012 presidential campaign.
Before joining The New Yorker, Mayer was for twelve years a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. In 1984, she became the Journal’s first female White House correspondent. She was also a war correspondent and a foreign correspondent for the paper. Among other stories, she covered the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the Persian Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the final days of Communism in the Soviet Union.
Mayer was the 2008 winner of the John Chancellor Award for Journalistic Excellence, as well as a Guggenheim Foundation Grant in 2008, and winner in 2009 of the Goldsmith Book Prize from Harvard, the 2009 Edward Weintal Prize from Georgetown University, the 2009 Ridenhour Prize, the New York Public Library’s 2009 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, the 2009 J. Anthony Lukas Prize from Columbia, the 2009 Sidney Hillman Award, the 2009 Ambassador Award from the English-Speaking Union, and the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize. She was also a 2009 finalist for the National Book Award and for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has been a finalist three times for the National Magazine award and was nominated twice by the Journal for a Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, she was the winner of the James Aronson Award for social justice journalism, and in 2012, she was awarded the Toner Prize for political reporting.
Before joining the Journal in 1982, Mayer worked as a metropolitan reporter for the WashingtonStar. She began her career in journalism as a stringer for Time magazine while still a student in college.
Mayer is the author of the best-selling 2008 book, “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War in Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals,” which was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times, the Economist Magazine, Salon, Slate and Bloomberg. In 2010 the NYU Journalism School named it one of the ten most important works of journalism of the decade. She was also the co-author of two additional best-selling books. “Strange Justice,” written with Jill Abramson, published in 1994, was a finalist for the 1994 National Book Award for nonfiction. Her first book, “Landslide: The Unmaking of the president 1984-1988,” co-authored by Doyle McManus, was an acclaimed account of the Iran-Contra affair in the Reagan Administration.
In 2009, Mayer was chosen as Princeton University’s Ferris Professor of the Humanities, teaching an undergraduate seminar on political reporting. She has been a speaker at Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Mount Holyoke, Northwestern, Boston College and Grinnell, among other schools.
Mayer, who was born in New York, graduated with honors from Yale in 1977 and continued her studies in history at Oxford. She lives in Washington with her husband, Bill Hamilton, and daughter, Kate.
Deborah L. Rhode (Yale University BA, Yale Law School JD)
Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, Director of the Center on the Legal Profession, and Director of the Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship, Stanford University; Former Fellow, Yale Corporation
Deborah L. Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, the director of the Center on the Legal Profession, and the director of the Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. She is the founding president of the International Association of Legal Ethics, the former president of the Association of American Law Schools, the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, the former founding director of Stanford’s Center on Ethics, a former trustee of Yale University, and the former director of Stanford’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender.
She also served as senior counsel to the minority members of the Judiciary Committee, the United States House of Representatives, on presidential impeachment issues during the Clinton administration. She is the most frequently cited scholar on legal ethics. She has received the American Bar Association’s Michael Franck award for contributions to the field of professional responsibility; the American Bar Foundation’s W. M. Keck Foundation Award for distinguished scholarship on legal ethics, the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for her work on expanding public service opportunities in law schools, and the White House’s Champion of Change award for a lifetime’s work in increasing access to justice. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and vice chair of the board of Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund).
Professor Rhode graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Yale College and received her legal training from Yale Law School. After clerking for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, she joined the Stanford faculty. She is the author or coauthor of over twenty books and over 250 articles. She also serves as a columnist for the National Law Journal and has also published editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe and Slate. Recent publications include The Beauty Bias, Women and Leadership, Legal Ethics, Gender and Law, Moral Leadership and Access to Justice.
Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Honorary Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London
Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where she teaches about federalism, procedure, courts, equality and citizenship. She also holds a term appointment as an Honorary Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London.
Professor Resnik’s books include Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (with Dennis Curtis, Yale University Press, 2011); Federal Courts Stories (co-edited with Vicki C. Jackson, Foundation Press 2010); and Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender (co-edited with Seyla Benhabib, NYU, 2009). Recent articles include Globalization(s), Privatization(s), Constitutionalization, and Statization: Icons and Experiences of Sovereignty in the 21st century (International Journal of Constitutional Law, forthcoming); Comparative (In) Equalities: CEDAW, the Jurisdiction of Gender, and the Heterogeneity of Transnational Law Production (International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2012);Fairness in Numbers (Harvard Law Review, 2011); Detention, The War on Terror, and the Federal Courts (Columbia Law Journal, 2010); and Interdependent Federal Judiciaries: Puzzling about Why and How to Value the Independence of Which Judges (Daedalus, 2008).
Professor Resnik has chaired the Sections on Procedure, on Federal Courts and on Women in Legal Education of the American Association of Law Schools. She is a Managerial Trustee of the International Association of Women Judges and the founding director of Yale’s Arthur Liman Public Interest Program, which supports fellowships for Yale Law School graduates; summer fellowships at Yale, Princeton, Spelman, Brown, Harvard and Barnard; and colloquia on the civil and criminal justice systems. She served as a co-chair of Yale’s Women’s Faculty Forum. She is currently the chair of Yale’s Global Constitutional Seminar, a part of the Gruber Program on Global Justice and Women’s Rights. Professor Resnik is also an occasional litigator and argued Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter, decided in 2009 by the United States Supreme Court. Professor Resnik has testified before Congress, before rulemaking committees of the federal judiciary, and before the House of Commons of Canada.
In 1998, Professor Resnik was the recipient of the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the Commission on Women of the American Bar Association. In 2001, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2002, a member of the American Philosophical Society, where she delivered the Henry LaBarre Jayne Lecture in 2005. In 2008, Professor Resnik received the Outstanding Scholar of the Year Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. In 2010, she was named a recipient of the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Prize, awarded to outstanding faculty in higher education in the fields of psychology or law. That year, Professor Resnik also had a cameo role in the Doug Liman film, Fair Game. In 2012, her book, Representing Justice (with Dennis Curtis) was selected by the American Publishers Association as the recipient of two PROSE awards for excellence, in social sciences and in law/legal studies, and was selected by the American Society of Legal Writers for the 2012 SCRIBES award.
Margaret H. Marshall ’76 JD, ’12 LLDH
Senior Counsel, Choate Hall & Stewart, LLP; Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, Harvard Law School; Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts; Fellow, Yale Corporation
Margaret H. Marshall is Senior Counsel, Choate Hall & Stewart, LLP, and a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Harvard Law School. Until her retirement in December 2010, she was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
Born and educated in South Africa, she earned a B.A. from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. After graduating from Yale Law School, she practiced law for sixteen years in Boston, becoming a partner at Choate Hall & Stewart, before her appointment as Vice President and General Counsel of Harvard University in1992.
She was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court in 1996 and appointed Chief Justice in 1999, the first woman to hold that position. During her fourteen years on the Court, Chief Justice Marshall wrote more than 300 opinions, many of them groundbreaking, including the 2003 decision inGoodridge v. Department of Public Health, which declared that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits the state from denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage. The ruling made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage. Her tenure as Chief Justice was marked by her many efforts to improve the administration of justice, making the Massachusetts judiciary more transparent, efficient and accountable, as well as improving access to justice throughout the court system.
Chief Justice Marshall served as an Alumni Fellow of the Yale Corporation from 2004 to 2010; she was appointed a Successor Fellow in September 2012. She is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Committee on Science, Technology and Law of the National Academy of Sciences. The recipient of numerous professional awards, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Yale in 2012.
Ellen Gibson McGinnis (Yale University BA)
Chair, YaleWomen; Partner, Haynes and Boone LLP
Ellen Gibson McGinnis is the Chair of YaleWomen. Together with Nancy Stratford ’77 B.A., Ellen led the effort to focus the energy of Yale women alums to form YaleWomen, which was formally launched in December 2011. For eleven years, ending in June 2012, she served on the Board of Governors of the Yale Alumni Association (AYA) as a Board member, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chair, Chair and Immediate-Past Chair. She has also served in the past as Treasurer for the Yale Class of 1982, in various officer positions in the Yale Club of Dallas and the Yale Alumni Association of Maryland, as a delegate to the AYA Assembly and as a Class Agent for the Yale Alumni Fund. Ellen is currently a member of the Council of Women’s Health Research at Yale. Ellen received the Class of 1982 Distinguished Service Award in 1997 and the Yale Medal in November 2012.
Ellen graduated cum laude from Yale in 1982 with a degree in American Studies and earned her J.D. at New York University School of Law in 1985. She is married to her Yale classmate, David, and lives in Baltimore with their children, Anna (15) and Patrick (almost 13).
In her professional life, Ellen is a partner with Haynes and Boone, LLP, a law firm known for its culture of teamwork and client-centric focus. Ellen works with financial institutions on complex loans to private equity funds for major U.S. and foreign lenders. Her practice centers on the representation of lead agents in subscription facility lending, a practice for which the firm is recognized as an industry leader. She has served on many firm committees and is currently a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, co-chair of the Admission to Partnership Committee, and Chair of the Retirement Committee.
Chair, President and Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington is the chair, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of thirteen books.
In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
In 2006, and again in 2011, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in Economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.
President, The Women’s Campaign School at Yale
Patricia Russo is a social activist and fund raising entrepreneur focused on improving the quality of life for women in Connecticut and the United States. For over twenty five years she has held numerous leadership positions in public, private and not for profit sector arenas centered on women’s rights. She has also held leadership positions in federal, state and local political campaigns.
Currently, Patricia serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. She is also a member of the Council of Women’s Health Research at Yale University and co chairs its Philanthropy and Communications Committee.
After twenty three years as a member of Connecticut’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), including eight years as its Chair, she is now Commissioner Emerita on behalf of the agency. She is a member of the PCSW’s Fourth Congressional District Advisory Council and is an honorary member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Patricia lived in Tokyo, Japan for three years. During that time she served as a member of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad-Japan, leading voter registration and fund raising initiatives. She also co-chaired the U.S. State Department’s mentoring program for Japanese women attending graduate school in the United States.
Patricia was the founder of the Connecticut Women’s Agenda, a state-wide advocacy coalition comprised of women leaders. She is also a founder of the Women’s Business Development Council of Connecticut, which assists women entrepreneurs. She is a founder of the Connecticut NARAL Foundation, which educates and protects women’s reproductive rights. She also served on the Board of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.
Professionally, Patricia served as the Director of Southern Fairfield County’s Centers for Planned Parenthood of Connecticut. She also served as Executive Director of the Middlesex County Sexual Assault Crisis Center and as Development Director for the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
She has received numerous awards and citations for her leadership in the area of women’s rights. She has been named “Woman of the Year” by the Connecticut Chapters of both the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Business and Professional Women (BPW). She was also the recipient of the prestigious Hannah G. Solomon award, given by the National Council of Jewish Women. She also received the National Abortion Rights Action League of Connecticut’s Catherine Roraback Leadership award. She has been frequently interviewed and quoted in national, state and local newspapers and magazines. She speaks extensively on a panoply of issues of importance to women before many national women’s organizations and is a regular guest speaker at the Clinton Foundation.
Patricia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the George Washington University and a certificate in health care and non-profit management from the Yale University School of Management.
While an undergraduate student, Patricia served as an intern to U.S. Congresswoman Bella S. Abzug (D-NY), who’s indomitable spirit inspires her to this day.
Carolyn M. Mazure
Director, Women’s Health Research at Yale; Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology; Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Yale School of Medicine
Carolyn M. Mazure is a professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at Yale School of Medicine, and Director of Women’s Health Research at Yale, the nation’s leading research center focused on women’s health and gender differences in health. She is noted for her research on depression and gender differences in this illness, the interplay between stress and depression, and behaviors such as smoking that co-occur with depression. She was the first to recognize that severe stress is a more potent pathway to depression in women than men.
Recognizing that data on gender differences were lacking across many fields of research, she established Women’s Health Research at Yale in 1998 to focus on the full gamut of women’s health concerns and lead efforts to integrate the study of gender differences and gender-specific medicine into the wider biomedical landscape.
Since inception, Women’s Health Research at Yalehas awarded more than $4 million for innovative, highly relevant studies of women’s health. Under Dr. Mazure’s direction, the center has become a national model, building interdisciplinary research collaborations, training and launching the careers of new women’s health researchers, and connecting with the community. S
he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Stephen Fleck Clinician and Teacher Award from Yale, and national awards including the Marion Spencer Fay Award from the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership and the American Psychological Association Distinguished Leadership Award from the Committee on Women in Psychology. She was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame as the creator of Women’s Health Research at Yale. She publishes extensively on her research, and has provided testimony to the U.S. Congress, appeared on national television, and been a guest on NPR.
Donna Dubinsky BA
Board Chair, Numenta; Fellow, Yale Corporation
Donna Dubinsky is cofounder and board chair of Numenta, Inc., a software company creating a cloud computing prediction service based on a new approach to machine intelligence. After graduating from Yale and earning an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, she worked at Apple Computer and then as a founder of Claris Corporation. In 1992, she joined Jeff Hawkins at Palm Computing, serving as president and chief executive officer. The handheld computer, the PalmPilot, introduced four years later, became the fastest-selling computer and consumer electronics product in history at the time. In 1998, Ms. Dubinsky and Mr. Hawkins founded Handspring, Inc., creator of the Treo Smartphone, which set the standard for next-generation phones. Handspring merged in 2003 with Palm, for which Ms. Dubinsky served as a director until early 2009. She and Mr. Hawkins founded Numenta in 2005. Ms. Dubinsky is a trustee of the Computer History Museum and the Peninsula Open Space Trust. At Yale, she served as a member of the University Council. Ms. Dubinsky was named Successor Trustee in 2006.
Executive Vice President, Unilever North America; Member, Yale University Council
Gina Boswell has been leading the $5 billion Personal Care portfolio for Unilever North America, which is made up of hair care, skin and deodorant categories, since mid-2011.
Formerly as President Global Brands for Alberto Culver, Ms. Boswell oversaw all global brands, such as TRESemmé, NeXXus and St. Ives for this $3.7 billion market cap company, until acquired by Unilever. Prior to Alberto Culver, she was Chief Operating Officer of Avon North America, and held senior positions at Ford Motor Company and the Estee Lauder Companies, following years as a consultant with Marakon Associates and Arthur Andersen.
Ms. Boswell currently serves on the boards of Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN), YMCA USA, Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) and the Personal Care Products Council, where she also serves on the Executive Committee. Ms. Boswell was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute in 2005. She is a member of the Chicago Network, the Executives’ Club of Chicago, the CMO Executive Summit’s Board of Governors and the Yale University President’s Council.
In 2012, Gina was recognized as a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age and “Marketer of the Year” by Women’s Wear Daily. Ms. Boswell was CEW’s Achiever of the Year in 2011, earning the only industry award recognizing the achievements of women in the cosmetics industry. In 2012, she was named a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age, an annual list of 25 women in advertising, marketing and media whose accomplishments and future business potential have made them truly outstanding in their industries. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston University and received her MBA from Yale University. Ms Boswell and her husband live with their two daughters in Chicago’s Western Suburbs.
Margaret Warner (Yale University BA)
Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour; Former Fellow of Yale Corporation
Margaret Warner is a senior correspondent and on-air anchor of public television’s PBS NewsHour, interviewing newsmakers and top experts in every field from politics and foreign affairs, to the economy and the courts. She is also chief correspondent for the NewsHour’s overseas reporting unit, reporting from hot spots around the world. She’s covered the revolution in Egypt and the growth of terrorism in Yemen; the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria; and economic and political developments in Iran, Middle East, China, Russia, most major countries of Europe, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil. Her coverage of turmoil in Pakistan won her an Emmy Award in 2008 and the Edward Weintal Prize for International Reporting from Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. She joined what was then The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour in 1993 after a decade at Newsweek as political correspondent, White House reporter and chief diplomatic correspondent. She previously reported for The Wall Street Journal, The San Diego Union, and The Concord [N.H.] Monitor. A trustee of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former trustee of Yale University, she lives in Washington, DC.
Hon. Sonia Sotomayor (Yale Law School JD)
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university’s highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979-1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984-1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992-1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998-2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role on August 8, 2009.
World Fellow, United Kingdom; Ocean Rower and Environmental Campaigner; National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010.
Roz Savage is an ocean rower, environmental campaigner, author and speaker. She holds four world records for ocean rowing, including first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. She has rowed over 15,000 miles, taken around 5 million oarstrokes, and spent cumulatively over 500 days of her life at sea in a 23-foot rowboat. Her first book, “Rowing The Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean”, was published in 2009.
She is a United Nations Climate Hero, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, and has been listed amongst the Top Twenty Great British Adventurers by the Daily Telegraph. In 2010 she was named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic. In 2102 she was selected to be a Yale World Fellow.
Susan Rose is a former Santa Barbara County Supervisor and served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women. She was a founding member of the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, an organization dedicated to helping women achieve elected and appointive office.Susan Rose is also one of the wonderful women in Santa Barbara who have been early supporters of the ERA Education Project. Below is a portion of Susan’s recent article about the ERA:
We need the Equal Rights Amendment.
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
I first read those words 40 years ago and believed the message was so simple that it would be added to the constitution in a few months. How naïve I was.
The Equal Rights Amendment was written by Alice Paul in 1921 and was first introduced in Congress in 1923 by two Republican congressmen, Sen. Charles Curtis and Rep. Daniel Anthony Jr., Susan B. Anthony’s nephew. It took 49 years but it finally passed both houses in 1972. Ten years later, in 1982, the amendment was three states short of the 38 states needed for ratification.
Does it really matter if we have an ERA? Unquestionably.
For women, full citizenship has not yet been achieved.
Since we attained the right to vote in 1920, issues affecting women have polarized the nation.
Decade after decade we are faced with a see-saw battle over most of the issues that define or affect women’s lives: health care, reproductive freedom, contraception, rape, domestic violence, equal pay, paid family leave, childcare, gender balance in office, gay marriage and lesbian rights. The fight for women’s equality is ongoing.
In September 2010, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated “the Constitution does not protect against sex discrimination.” For 40 years, case law has implied that the 14th Amendment prohibits discrimination based on sex, but it has not translated to the daily lives of women. With Scalia sitting on the Supreme Court, it is more imperative than ever that women obtain a constitutional guarantee of equal treatment; one written proactively to affirm women’s rights.
An equal rights amendment would “provide a fundamental legal remedy against sex discrimination and ……would clarify the legal status of sex discrimination for the courts.” Women would have a legal path to equal rights ending the need to fight issues on a case-by-case basis.
Across the nation, attacks on women’s rights continue. We are social and political targets in Congress and in state legislatures. It seems to reach new heights during presidential campaigns.
Rush Limbaugh denigrates a young female law student testifying before Congress on the need for access to contraception;
the Komen Foundation denies funding to Planned Parenthood, an organization that offers free breast cancer screening to women, but it backfires;
Republicans oppose the reauthorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act unless there are local matching funds;
Georgia passes a bill that criminalizes abortion after 20 weeks gestation with no exception for rape or incest, joining six other states with similar restrictions;
the Supreme Court stands poised to invalidate the Affordable Care Act which provides women with preventive health care, well-visits, contraception, and counseling for domestic violence with no co-payments.
American women remain far behind the rest of the world when it comes to equality. The U.S. Senate has refused to approve the treaty known as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination on all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.) Adopted in 1979 by the United Nations, CEDAW is the only international instrument that comprehensively addresses women’s rights, politically, culturally, economically and socially.
Throughout the world, this treaty is used to empower women and enforce their rights. The United States is one of four countries that have not passed the treaty. They include Iran, Somalia and Sudan; each known for their violations of international human rights principles.
Forty years ago, passage of the ERA failed for reasons both cultural and political. The ERA contest transformed “the ratification from the politics of sex into the politics of gender” differences. To the opponents of the ERA, equality for women would mean the loss of “womanhood.” Those cultural and political wars continue today. The Republican candidates for president have focused on women’s health and made contraception and eliminating Planned Parenthood part of the current political debate.
Is the political climate any better now for the ERA? Filmmaker Kamala Lopez has created a video PSA to educate voters and especially young people who are unaware of the need for an ERA. Lopez’s video reveals that three-quarters of Americans believe women have a constitutional guarantee of equality despite the fact they do not.
On June 22, 2011, ERA ratification bills were submitted to Congress by lead sponsors Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Sen. Robert Menendez. Previously in March, 2011, Representative Tammy Baldwin submitted a resolution that would remove the ERA deadline and make it part of the Constitution when three more states ratify it. These proposals remain bottled up in committees.
Women continue to be second-class citizens. Since we represent only 17 percent of the members of Congress, our voices are rarely heard.
With the U.S. Senate’s refusal to approve the CEDAW treaty, American women and men must pass a national ERA to ensure equality for all women. It will send a signal that women have a written guarantee to equal treatment in the law, once and for all.
But how do we get there? For years women have been put on the defensive. Fighting both rhetoric and action, we are diverted trying to simply hold our ground. What we need is an American Spring like our sisters in the Arab world. Let’s go to the squares, town halls and legislatures of our communities and end these rants and attacks that have continued since women won the right to vote.
We must organize to pass the ERA. Use the internet, Facebook and Twitter like activists did in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Let’s make the ERA an issue for the 2012 presidential election.
I call on all women to join forces, collaborate, and work for the advancement of our mothers, sisters and daughters. Women differ on many issues but we share the belief of equality, the basic tenet of our democracy.
It’s time for the ERA. 2012 is our year. I will be there. Join me!
I’m sorry that I haven’t been keeping this blog up – it’s hard to find a moment with everything that’s been going on!
Since I wrote last I have been doing some speaking about women’s rights: on March 12th I gave a speech about the need for ERA at the Woman of the Year lunch given by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women…
…and on March 10th I joined Lindsey Horvath, President of Hollywood NOW, on a panel about the state of hospitality workers in Los Angeles, most of whom are women of color: Women Pave the Way to Equality in the Tourism Industry.
Aymeric Montouchet, a brilliant cinematographer I was introduced to by Paul Dektor, has been shooting footage for us: first at Santa Monica College in the classroom of Professor Melanie Klein where we are piloting a class about women’s equality and the need for ERA. It will soon have an entire dedicated portion of this website; the students are doing research and shooting video, blogging and developing curriculum. It’s pretty impressive.
I’ve also been working with Gini Sikes on finishing the script adaptation of Helen Benedict’s powerful novel, Sand Queen and my short film, “Ese Beso” won the Boyle Heights Latina Film Festival Audience Award on March 4th!
All of this while in pre-production on the documentary film about the state of women in America today. Which leads me to the title of this post: pre-production on the DC shoot. Gini, Jennifer and I fly out to DC on Tuesday to prep for Thursday’s shoot where we will be interviewing Congresswoman Maloney, Senator Menendez as well as covering the press conference and panel discussion about the 40th Anniversary of the ERA’s passage in Congress in 1972.
Today was a great day – worked with Mitch Dorf (re-recording mixer) and Rob Weiss (recordist) to re-record some of the voiceover lines and mix the sound. It sounds great now and both Mitch and Rob helped out by reading a couple of lines for me
After we were done at POP we dropped the drive off at Beast L.A. for the great Spencer to finish up when he gets back on Tuesday.
Next I have to go over the website, page by page, and give Joel any notes I have before we take the site live!
Since I came back from San Francisco I have identified ten cities that are potential stops on the March tour:
New Orleans (9th Ward), Louisisana; Seminole, Florida; Missoula, Montana; San Francisco, California; District of Columbia, Washington; New York City, New York; Peoria, Illinois; Ennis, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Utah, Salt Lake City; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts.
Once voiceover re-recording and sound mixing are complete (I worked on color correction with Shawn at Company 3 yesterday), the videos should be final. That means that Joel can post the video FAQ’s and theoretically make the site live. I still have to go over the site page by page and vet the text and video before giving the password out but we are finally getting close (!)
I spent this evening going over the VoiceOver lines that need to be re-recorded in the morning (due to my horribly nasal voice when I recorded them at home). Have to leave at 8am to go pick up the drive before going to POP. We will also need to mix the sound with the great score that Jason Chang created for us (we had been working with a temp track by Florence and the Machine and Spencer found us the wonderful Jason) so we may be there until noon. Then I will speak with Paul and let him know that I need a camera and sound on Feb 21st for the first class at Santa Monica College, the women’s studies Practicum taught by the fantastic Melanie Klein. We will have between 30 and 44 students working for us for the next semester researching, collecting video, developing curriculum and working on social media campaigning.
As I think about the shape of the film, I’d like to address a host of issues that, at first glance may seem unconnected, yet ultimately all adversely and unfairly affect women. It would be excellent to expose the systemic and pervasive lack of parity and fairness in a variety of industries, geographical areas and socio-economic environments in America today — as well as highlighting unlikely heroines throughout the nation.
The film should make the argument that the inherent cross cultural bias against women has real, measurable, tangible effects on their lives and is a direct violation of her civil and human rights. From domestic violence to the gender pay gap. From a lack of maternal leave and childcare provisions to paying 47% more for healthcare. From an inexplicable and inexorable 30% disparity between the assessed economic value of the male and the female in American society to the media images and sexualization of women and the pervasive problem of widespread rape. Across the board and from a multitude of angles, the American woman is under attack. The film should prove the need for full federal equality under the law and the necessity of the ERA as the inarguable first step towards justice for women.
The film will make very clear that the American woman is presently oppressed but the beauty is that it will also demonstrate how she doesn’t have to remain that way. The film will highlight individuals, groups, organizations and communities that are working to fight this situation and seek to connect them; exposing the divisions as arbitrary. The collective power of the American woman, should it be harnessed, organized and deployed in the service of simple and commonsense fairness will prevail. Young women and men will be galvanized by their new knowledge and unwilling to accept the status quo. It really is simply a matter of educating the public on the matter. Hopefully the film will start the ball rolling in that direction.
The meeting at Citizen Group was scheduled for 3 o’clock Friday afternoon which allowed me and Mom a leisurely morning and breakfast. We stayed at the Chancellor Hotel, right off the main square in downtown San Francisco. Joel and I had stayed there the last time we came to meet with Robin Raj and his team.
I met Robin through my good friend Paul Dektor, a director/actor/producer whose family company Dektor Film (AKA Cartel) has made some of the most consistently excellent commercials and PSAs of our time; his father Leslie Dektor is a multiple award-winning director as well and the entire family is very special, both artistically and spiritually. Paul and Robin had worked together on Amnesty International’s campaigns and they both were committed to social justice and making media that matters. In fact, Robin, who had a mile long list of corporate clients, had decided to create an advertising agency where he could not only apply his brilliance in messaging/marketing/advertising but also his values and purpose – this new agency is Citizen Group.
I was deeply honored that Robin had agreed to guide the E.R.A. Education Project, I had met with him twice before; once in Los Angeles in November and once on December 15th in San Francisco. The last time we met, I was introduced to the startlingly bright Molly Tsongas, Citizen Group’s Engagement Strategist, who, while clearly on board in terms of the mission of the women’s equality project, was ruthless in her dissection of our areas of weakness: lack of organization, strategy and clear messaging. I had returned to L.A. with an armful of material to study and a slightly panicked sense that maybe the task was greater than my abilities.
I ordered a few textbooks including Sex, Gender and The Politics of ERA by Donald G. Mathews and Jane Sherron De Hart (on the recommendation of Susan Rose, an extremely well-educated and active member of the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee and early supporter of E.R.A. Education Project) and Why We Lost the E.R.A. by Jane J. Mansbridge. I poured over the planning guide and manual Discovering The Activation Point that Molly had printed out for me.
Gini (Sikes – my writing partner), Jennifer (Geeslin – ERA Education Project intern), Mom and I had begun to brainstorm strategy, getting as far as the first 3 Steps of the planning guide which included: Confirming A Campaign is Possible; Setting a Clear Measurable Goal that is Achievable; and Charting Your Course. Now we needed help. We had reached the limit of what we all fully understood and needed to know whether we were on the right track. Orchestrating a campaign like this clearly was going to take a lot more than the four of us sitting in my office coming up with ideas for funny, informative PSAs. Or even producing said PSA’s. It was going to take some crazy support and a lot of knowledge and people power that we didn’t yet have.
So when we sat down to that meeting at 3pm on Friday afternoon, I was frankly concerned. I knew I wanted to do this; I knew it had (and has) to be done – we need women’s full equality in America. But I was losing faith in knowing how best to get it done. I felt lost. Completely out of my depth.
The meeting started with me showing Robin and Molly the fruits of our intense labor since the last meeting: Gini, Jen and I had slaved over the FAQ scripts and the web copy. We had only received the final cuts of the video FAQ’s from Spencer Seibert at Beast the day before, and Joel had been up for two days straight building the website. The urgency was due to the fact that Robin and I had discussed the possibility of partnering with Rock the Vote and we needed something to show them, to give them a hint of what we wanted to do. Robin was pleased with what we had accomplished but as the meeting went on, and mom tried to get the next steps nailed down I felt more and more despairing that I would be able to pull everything off with the resources I had.
Suddenly Molly, who had been staring at me as I spoke about my concerns, came up with a Big Idea. You want to go she said. I can see that. You want to get going – you’ve got the message, you’ve got the passion. I nodded. Why don’t you just start going, across America, talking to women about these issues, marching and finding out the stories of real women and how inequity affects them, interviewing them, and covering your journey with a film crew. You could raise awareness and make a movie that can broaden that message. I thought about it. You know it’s women’s history month in March, I said. March 8th is the International Day of Woman. And the 22nd of March is the 40th Anniversary of the passage of E.R.A. in Congress. We all looked at each other. There wasn’t much time but we all realized: THAT is an excellent idea. Let’s do THAT.
So THAT IS THE PLAN.
We arrived in San Francisco to attend the California reception for the 2012 21 Leaders of the 21st Century held at the Women Donors Network offices on Commercial Street, which was really more like an alley. The taxi driver had no idea where he was going and kept asking Mom and me for directions. He finally turned off the meter when it was clear he was going in circles. Later, when we left the building with Berkeley Professor Karen Jacobs and were searching for a cab, she scoffed– apparently our hotel was about four blocks away. She was going to have to walk farther to catch the BART back to Berkeley.
That night, Women’s eNews Editor in Chief, Rita Henley Jensen, introduced us to a battery of incredible women and their work on behalf of women and girls worldwide. The modest offices where the reception was held belied the rich and deep palette of real power in the room :
- Powerhouse Elizabeth Colton and her beautiful, gregarious Executive Director Clare Winterton, who run The International Museum of Women, providing tools for expression and spark engagement on behalf of global women’s issues through multimedia online exhibitions and temporary physical events and installations;
- Stunning and calm Deborah Santana whose pro-active yet balanced approach is exemplified in her Do A Little Foundation focused on women’s health, education and happiness;
- The always impressive Cristi Hegranes whose kick-ass Global Press Institute trained the first wave of GlobalGirl Media trainers back in 2009 before we began the Kick It Up! Project between Soweto, South Africa and East Los Angeles;
- Trailblazer Margarita Quihuis whose work as director of the Women’s Technology Cluster led to 67M in venture capital and technology funding and who is now working at Stanford University directing projects like the Peace Innovation Lab where they are exploring the potential of social networks to change society for the better.
- Betsy Cotton and Laurie Kretchmar (representing Mary Hughes) from the 2012 Project at Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics who are focused on increasing the number of women in Congress and state legislatures by taking advantage of the once-in-a-decade opportunities of 2012, when they say there are more open seats up for grabs than there will be again until the mid 2030′s (gulp).
- Christine Bronstein, whose Band of Wives posits a new paradigm for sisterhood based on a social media community that provides virtual and direct support for women to connect, nurture one another and promote their businesses, talents and passions.
- Karen Middleton, the new president of Emerge America whose goal is to increase the number of Democratic women in public office through inspiring women to run and training them to win.
- Musimbi Kanyoro President and CEO and her lovely Director of Development Christine Switzer of the Global Fund for Women bringing grantees and donors together in an international network that promotes women’s action for social change, equality, peace, and justice worldwide.
It was such a great time; I felt like there was so much energy, smarts and creativity in the area of women’s rights that there could be way the status quo could remain in place for much longer. It’s not the first time I’ve felt that way either; whether at the NWPC Conference in DC or the NCMR in Boston, from Digital Hollywood to the Aspen Institute, everywhere I’ve been in the past few years there has been an uncontainable bubbling up of new power out of the women’s movement.
And yet… with all these puzzle pieces doing their part, and exceptionally well, why is the overall picture still not coming into view?
I think that may be what I should be working on. Developing the overall narrative, refining the message– making it clear. Women’s equality is not just right or fair or long overdue – everyone from Sheryl WuDunn & Nicholas Kristof (Half The Sky) to President Obama knows that fully empowering women within the legal and social construct IS the solution for the 21st century. So why is this “no brainer” giving us all migraines?
Could it be that it’s about coming up with the shape, the color, the “front of the box” on the Movement 2.0? Maybe it’s about creating the vehicle that is inclusive enough, relevant enough, makes the argument simply and indisputably enough to convince the all the puzzle pieces to come together and ride on the same bus – come together and make that unified picture. I’m going to try to do that. Come up with what that is.