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Women's Media Center Announces First Class of 2010 Progressive Women's Voices

April 1, 2010




March 31, 2010 (New York) - Women’s Media Center is thrilled to announce the first class of its 2010 Progressive Women's Voices (PWV) media and leadership training program. Now in its third year, PWV continues to be one of the most elite programs in the country, training and mentoring emerging political commentators. “Media is a fundamental element of our democracy, yet women make up just 19% of experts in the news media. With the 2010 elections just around the corner, the Women’s Media Center is working to ensure that broadcast and print commentators represent the diversity of our nation,” said WMC President Jehmu Greene. “By amplifying the voices of the extraordinarily accomplished thought leaders selected for the program we are changing the conversation in the media. Participants in the first class of 2010 include experts in voter mobilization, human rights, race politics, immigrant/refugee issues, family/workplace policies, military experience, labor issues, and feminism. These women are organizers, journalists, and academics, and reflect a diversity generally absent from mainstream media coverage. These women join more than 60 Progressive Women’s Voices alumnae, forming a roster of media-trained progressive women who are visibly and powerfully commenting on the important issues of the day. With Progressive Women’s Voices and SheSource – a database of more than 500 progressive women experts – WMC has become the go-to resource for editors, reporters, producers, and bookers seeking expert sources and commentators. PWV alumnae have achieved more than 5,000 media hits in national media outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC, and hundreds more. To learn more about Progressive Women’s Voices, please visit: Progressive Women’s Voices 2010 Class 1: Aimee Allison, Page Gardner, Jehan Harney, Shelby Knox, Sharon Lerner, Mac McClelland, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Imani Perry, Christine Trujillo, and Erica Williams. PWV 2010 Class 1 bios: Aimee Allison Aimee Allison is a Bay Area KPFA radio host/producer, activist and author, with special expertise in the fields of social justice, environmental issues, and militarism. As an Army veteran and conscientious objector, Allison has a unique perspective on war and peace. Her book, Army of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War, and Build a Better World was published in 2007. Allison’s work combines deep understanding of local and national politics, and she has hosted broadcast segments everywhere from community radio to CNN. Aimee holds a BA in history and MA in education from Stanford University. Jehan Harney Jehan S. Harney is an award-winning Egyptian-American TV journalist and filmmaker. Her films have explored issues of immigrant communities, human trafficking, forced sterilization, interfaith issues and more. Currently, Harney is finishing a documentary for national broadcast on PBS called “Dream of America”. The film reveals the plight of Iraqi refugees in the U.S. Her short documentary on American-Muslim women, The Colors of Veil, recently won the LinkTV/One Nation Many Voices award. Jehan has also worked in TV news, including at NBC and ABC affiliates, and most recently covering Iranian issues for WashingtonTV. She has earned the Writers Guild of America-East’s John Merriman Award, among others. Harney has an MA in International Journalism & Public Affairs from American University in Washington, DC. Shelby Knox Shelby Knox is a prominent feminist organizer, nationally known as the subject of the Sundance award-winning film, The Education of Shelby Knox, a 2005 documentary chronicling her teenage activism for comprehensive sex education and gay rights in her Southern Baptist community. After the film’s release, Shelby became a national advocate for comprehensive sex education, testifying before Congress and many other local and regional civic bodies about the failure of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. A widely-sought after speaker and prominent media commentator on feminism and reproductive rights, Shelby lives in New York City, where she is working on a book about the next generation of feminist activism. Sally Kohn Sally Kohn is the Chief Agitation Officer of the Movement Vision Lab, an online exchange about grassroots movement building and transformative ideas for the future. Sally is a blogger with the Huffington Post and her writing regularly appears in AlterNet, Common Dreams and other news sources online and off. Her op-eds have been published by the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Sun Times and the Orange County Register, and Sally is a regular guest on national talk radio shows and the online video series GritTV. Sally is a frequent speaker at progressive conferences and gatherings on the topics of movement building and the need for big picture vision. Sharon Lerner A leading national voice on family/workplace issues and moms’ rights, Sharon Lerner is the author of The War on Moms: On Life in a Family-Unfriendly Nation, due out in May. She is a journalist who has covered a wide range of issues of concern to women for more than a decade. An award-winning journalist, Lerner has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice, The American Prospect, and other publications. Sharon has also received a National Headliner Award for her radio feature reporting and was a Senior Fellow at the New School. She has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Masters of Public Health degree from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young sons. Mac McClelland A rising star of progressive media, Mac is an expert on human rights, refugee populations and Burma. McClelland is on staff at Mother Jones as their human rights reporter, with other work published in The Nation, GQ The Daily Beast, The National Post, the Anderson Cooper 360 blog, Orion, AlterNet, as well as various literary journals and anthologies. Author of For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question: A Story from Burma's Never-Ending War, called "truly stunning" by the Fund for Investigative Journalism's Sandy Bergo, Mac has reported from locations across Asia and the US on wide-ranging subjects. She has been profiled by publications including The Advocate and is, most importantly and according to The American Prospect, "a total bad-ass." Samhita Mukhopadhyay Samhita is the Executive Editor of Feministing, the highest-traffic site for progressive young women on the web. A veteran writer, whose work has been featured in New American Media, Wiretap, Colorlines, the Nation, The American Prospect, and elsewhere, Samhita’s expertise is also widely sought as a speaker. In addition to being a prominent writer/blogger, Mukhopadhyay is also a leading digital strategist, with a background at the Center for Media Justice, providing media strategy for grass-roots organizing groups. Mukhopadhyay has a Bachelors degree in Sociology and Women's Studies from SUNY Albany and a Masters in Women's Studies from San Francisco State She is at work on her first book tackling what she terms the romantic industrial complex, addressing romance and dating from a feminist perspective. Imani Perry Imani Perry is a Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies race and African American culture using the tools provided by various disciplines including: law, literary and cultural studies, music, and the social sciences. She is the author of the forthcoming book More Terrible, More Beautiful, The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the U.S as well as 2004’s Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop and has published numerous articles in the areas of law, cultural studies, and African American studies. Perry holds degrees from Yale, Harvard, and Georgetown universities. Christine Trujillo A national leader on labor and employment issues, twenty year veteran teacher and labor activist Christine Trujillo is the President of New Mexico Federation of Labor-AFL-CIO, one of three women in the labor movement to hold such a high office. She is also President of the American Federation of Teachers, New Mexico; and a former elected official and Democratic party leader. Winner of numerous awards, Trujillo’s expertise also includes public bilingual education and health care issues. Christine is one of the country’s most prominent Hispanic leaders. Erica Williams Listed by as one of Top 50 Politicos to Watch, Erica Williams is a dynamic young organizer and expert in issues of youth political participation and the increasingly racially & ethnically diverse electorate. In her work with the Center for American Progress, Williams has worked with both the organization’s youth-based arm, Campus Progress, as well as Progress 2050, a project that develops new ideas for an increasingly diverse America. Before joining CAP, Erica worked at the Leadership Conference on Civil Right to coordinate grassroots activity in nearly 45 states to advance effective civil and human rights legislation at the federal level. She is a past participant of the American University Women and Political Leadership Training Program, a 2008 O Magazine Women Rule Leadership winner, and a 2008 Aspen Institute IDEAS fellow. To speak with Women’s Media Center President Jehmu Greene about Progressive Women’s Voices, please contact Rebekah Spicuglia, (212) 563-0680, The application deadline for the next class is May 3, with trainings to be held June 18-20 and July 16-18 in New York City. For more information, or to apply for the program, visit our website: Watch a video of our new class here!