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The Feminist Press Turns 40

October 28, 2009

Guest post by Nadine B. Hack, President, beCause Global Consulting I often say my social activist life can be summed up by, “from Selma to Soweto with a feminist perspective.”  So, to be with friends from many decades at The Feminist Press kick-off event for their 40th anniversary was a sheer joy.  Award recipients included: Arianna Huffington, the trailblazing founder of Huffington Post; Taslina Nasrin, an extraordinarily brave Muslim physician, writer and human rights activist from Bangladesh; and Rhonda Copelon, a groundbreaking human rights attorney who worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights.  Huffington spoke of a “tribe of women” who as feminists are pioneering a way “to succeed differently than men.”  Nzarin said, “as an exile I have no home; but I have a home with you.”  Copelon said, “a new generation of activists is emerging to promote laws protecting [women’s rights].” Presenters included Ellen Chesler, director Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College; Alison Bernstein, Vice President Education, Creativity and Freedom of Expression Ford Foundation; Iris Weinshall, Vice Chancellor City University of NY and the indefatiguable Gloria Jacobs, Executive Director The Feminist Press.  I first worked with Bella Abzug as a volunteer at Women Strike for Peace in the early 1960s and, at about the same time, Shirley Chisholm when she ran for a seat in the New York State Legislature.  They informed my understanding of the interconnectedness of women’s rights, civil rights, human rights, poverty, the environment, development and peace.  With another sister/mentor/friend, Gloria Steinem, they epitomize the strength, compassion, and fierce determination on behalf of positive, sustainable change that I seek to emulate. A tradition Florence Howe championed and The Feminist Press proudly carries on.  The world is catching up on their four-decade advocacy with the recently published Gail Collins book When Everything Changed, the Shriver Report, "A Woman's Nation Changes Everything" and the Center For Global Development's new effort Start With A Girl. For those interested, I am featured in the oral history book about Bella Abzug edited by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom; and in the oral archives on Shirley Chisholm at Brooklyn College founded and directed by Barbara Winslow.

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