2008-11-07 / Community

NOW Celebrates Seneca Falls 1868 Conference

On November 7-9, NOW-New York State (National Organization for Women) will mark the first-ever women's conference with an annual conference of their own at Seneca Falls, NY. Activists from around New York State and the country will be celebrating the work of their foremothers and strategizing to win equality for all women and girls.

On Saturday, November 8, an afternoon event will take place at the First Presbyterian Church, where Alice Paul first proposed the Equal Rights Amendment. Notable speakers will include Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Feminist Majority President Ellie Smeal, National NOW Executive VP Olga Vives, author Martha Burk (Your Money and Your Life), and author Abby Ellin (Waistland.) Feminist singer/songwriter Sandy Rapp will perform two new tribute songs.

Additionally, NOW-NYS will host a New Activist Training and Leadership Institute to teach the hows and whys of activism. At the Holiday Inn, at a special luncheon, activists will honor Muriel Fox, a Founding Mother of NOW, and NYS Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D) for their extensive feminist work.

As Seneca Falls Mayor Diane Smith recently said, "Ironically, in this hallowed place, the location of both the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Women's Rights National Historical Park, residents here have not been so quick to embrace our foremothers' ideals. Through hard work and relentlessness, I was elected the first female mayor in 2004. It took a century and a half before this could happen in Seneca Falls!" Smith's inciting words continued: "With your help, I'd like to stand up and declare that there is no better place to celebrate the contributions of women than in the birthplace of women's rights; and there is no better way to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the First Convention than to host the National Organization for Women, and to begin a new NOW Chapter in historic Seneca Falls."

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