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The Four Legends of Feminism, April 26, 2009


The Four Legends of Feminism, Sunday April 26, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
UC Berkeley
Valley Life Sciences Building Auditorium
Berkeley, California
7:00 - 9:00 pm

Click to purchase tickets

Speaker Bios

Gloria Steinem is a feminist activist, organizer, writer and lecturer.  Steinem co-founded New York Magazine and Ms. Magazine where she continues to serve as a consulting editor. She helped to found the Women's Action Alliance, the National Women's Political Caucus, and Choice USA. She was the founding president of the Ms. Foundation for Women and helped create Take Our Daughters to Work Day. She recently co-founded the Women's Media Center and GreenStone Media. She has served on the board of trustees of Smith College, and was a member of the Beyond Racism Initiative. Ms. Steinem has received numerous awards and is the author of multiple books including the bestsellers Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe.  Parenting magazine selected her for its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 for her work in promoting girls' self-esteem, and Biography magazine listed her as one of the 25 most influential women in America.  In 1993, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.  She is currently at work on Road to the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered, a book about her more than thirty years on the road as a feminist organizer.

Dolores Huerta is President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation for Community Organizing.  She co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar E. Chavez and holds the emeritus positions of the UFW as Secretary Treasurer and First Vice President.  She is also an active member of the Fund for the Feminist Majority.  As the legislative advocate for the United Farm Workers Union, she was instrumental in passing historic legislation including disability insurance for farm workers, voting ballots in the Spanish language, driver's licenses in the driver's ethnic language and legalization for 1 million farm workers.  More recently, she held a six month position as a University of California Regent and is currently a Professor at the University of Southern California on Community Organizing.  There are four elementary schools in California, one in Fort Worth, Texas, and a high school in Pueblo, Colorado named after Dolores Huerta.  She has received numerous awards among them the Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in 1998, Ms. Magazine's one of the three most important women of 1997, Ladies Home Journal's 100 most important woman of the 20th Century, and the Ohtli award from the Mexican Government.

Aileen Hernandez is a noted activist, leader and speaker in the areas of race and gender relations, human rights and civic activism. Her long career includes working as a union organizer, serving Governor Edmund G.“Pat” Brown, as Assistant Chief of the California Division of Fair Employment Practices.  With the passage of the national Civil Rights Act of 1964, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed her as the only woman member of the new United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Hernandez was the second national president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and a Board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women.  She helped found the California Women’s Agenda (CAWA), a network of 600+ California organizations serving women and girls and is the coordinator for Black Women Stirring the Waters.  She found her own urban consulting firm which works with major companies, governmental agencies and community-based organization on a wide variety of issues facing cities.  She has received numerous awards for her over five decades of work for human rights.  In 2006 the National Women’s History Project selected Ms. Hernandez as a “Builder of Dreams and Communities”.

A human rights advocate and political activist, Yuri Kochiyama has campaigned on issues of social justice from the rights of international political prisoners, nuclear disarmament, and redress for Japanese American interned during World War II and redress for African Americans. She has worked to build alliances between all cultural groups and fight against racism and for workers’ rights.  During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, she became a close friend of Malcolm X and was by his side when he was assassinated in 1965.  Born Mary Nakahara in San Pedro, California, her parents were both Japanese immigrants.  At the outbreak of World War II, her father was imprisoned at a federal penitentiary and died shortly after his release.  Her family was forcibly removed and incarcerated at a detention camp at Jerome, Arkansas throughout the war.  Experiencing the fear and ignorance caused by racism, she saw this as a direct parallel to the way African Americans were treated in the segregated South.  Her commitment to eliminating racism became a driving force for the rest of her life.  Married shortly after leaving camp, her husband Bill Kochiyama was a veteran of the 442 Regimental Combat Team.  They moved to New York City and in 1960, with their six children, chose to settle in the Harlem projects among the Latino and Black families.  In these new surroundings, at the age of 40, she joined neighborhood parents in a grassroots movement for safer streets. In 1963, she was arrested while demonstrating for construction jobs for African Americans and Puerto Ricans.  While in court, she had the opportunity to meet Malcolm X.  She later joined his Organization for Afro-American Unity and became a follower of his internationalist concept of human rights and nationalism based on self-determination and self-reliance.  His murder in 1965 intensified her commitment to work for the dignity and equality of all people of color.

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