Member Center Conference 2004: Women's Voices Matter

Sunday, June 6, 2004 - Monday, June 7, 2004

 Women's Voices Matter: Women Elect to Speak
June 6, 2004: NCRW Member Center Day
June 7, 2004: Open to the Public
Hyatt Regency
Capitol Hill, Washington, DC



When privatization widens economic gaps and diminishes public services, women's voices matter. When Medicare, social security, and reproductive rights are under threat - and the government commissions charged with advancing women's rights are disbanded - women's voices matter. When internationally, U.S. aid commitments to women's education and health abroad are not met, women's voices matter.

Women's voices matter when it comes to the economic and political processes that shape all of our lives. But women are not being heard in political and economic arenas where they should be making a difference.

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS (in formation): Rabab Abdulhadi, Kiran Ahuja, Susan Bailey, Sarah Brewer, Carol Burger, Leslie Calman, Susan Carroll, Ewa Charkiewicz, Rhonda Chopelon, Catherine Didion, Bonnie Thornton Dill, Joan Entmacher, Sumru Erkut, Nancy Folbre, Heidi Hartmann, Angela Hooton, Fatimah Jackson, Ilene H. Lang, Julianne Malveaux, Janice Monk, Sandra Morgen, Yolanda Moses, Heather Johnston Nicholson, Judith Ramaley, Amy Richards, Judith Saidel, Margaret Simms, Eleanor Smeal, Ronnie Steinberg, Gale Summerfield, Livia Tenzer, Kristen Timothy, Anna Wadia, Debbie Walsh, Karen White, Marie Wilson, Nira Yuval-Davis, and June Zeitlin.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Join Us - Let's Together Make Our Voices Heard!



Schedule (Subject to Change)

Sunday, June 6, Member Center Day

Monday, June 7, Open to Public



9:00 a.m. 

Linda Basch (President, NCRW) and Janet Holmgren (President, Mills College ; Chair, NCRW Board)


  • Making Our Work Visible: Translation and Dissemination
    The imperative for women’s research institutions to make their work visible is now stronger than ever.  This workshop will provide the opportunity to share and develop strategies to ensure that our voices are heard. Led by members of our network who work through different types of media, and who have had successful policy experiences, the session will address the potential and challenges of various means for communicating research to broad audiences. 

 Discussion Leaders:
Janice Monk (Executive Director, Southwest Institute for Research on Women, University of Arizona )

Kirsten A. Powers and Jen Bluestein (Partners, PowersBluestein)

Beverly Guy-Sheftall (Director, Women’s Research and Resource Center , Spelman College )

Ellie Smeal (President, The Feminist Majority Foundation)

Livia Tenzer (Editorial Director, The Feminist Press at the City University of New York )

Deborah Siegel (Director of Special Projects, NCRW)

  • Building Strategic Partnerships and Alliances on College and University Campuses

    On both public and private campuses, many of us are facing political and financial challenges—some new, some all too familiar. This workshop will explore strategies for positioning our centers for long term stability and sustainability. Together we will identify stakeholders, alliances, and coalitions that contribute to the success of our centers and examine problems specific to our individual institutions or characteristic of our collective work.

Discussion Leader:
Cynthia Secor (Director, Higher Education Resource Services, Mid America , University of Denver )

  • Influencing Public Policy—Case Studies
    Public policy schools have embraced case studies as a tool for training practitioners, but research shows that less than 1% of cases feature women protagonists or explore dilemmas faced by feminist organizations. The Center on Women and Public Policy is trying to rectify this deficiency, producing cases that ask questions such as: What factors should Emily's List consider when deciding to endorse Elizabeth Holzman or Geraldine Ferraro? How did Casa Esperanza decide to be a Latina organization instead of a shelter? How did feminists in Minneapolis work together across party to elect an African-American woman mayor? Participants will be supplied with materials enabling them to teach or write cases.

Discussion Leader:
Sally Kenney (Director, Center on Women and Public Policy, Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota )


10:45-11:15 a.m.

Women’s Leadership Matters: Expanding Diversity Across Sectors

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Women, and particularly women of color, make up well below 20% of leadership across sectors—in higher education, politics, and business. A number of centers in the NCRW network are addressing these issues through cutting-edge research on the paucity of diversity – gender and racial. Speakers will share current research at the intersections of race, class, and leadership, probing ways to effect change in current diversity scenarios and grappling with the difference women’s leadership can make to institutions, expanding diversity at all levels.

Speakers will share current research questions, issues, and approaches.

Carol Hardy-Fanta (Director, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston )

Mary Hartman (Director, Institute for Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University )

Ilene H. Lang (Director, Catalyst)

Yolanda Moses (Special Assistant for Excellence and Diversity, Office of the Chancellor, University of California , Riverside )


1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

The Power of a Network: Research, Policy, Action Followed by a Business Meeting

1:45 – 3:45 p.m. 

Linda Basch (President, NCRW)
Janet Holmgren (President, Mills College; Chair, NCRW Board) and Heather Johnston Nicholson (Director of Research, Girls Incorporated; Former Chair, NCRW Board)

Media Outreach in an Election Year
(Communications Consortium Media Center)
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

This workshop will highlight strategies for getting word out about our work, will special emphasis on the challenges and opportunities an election season presents. How do we develop messages in ways that garner media attention at a time when public discourse is ripe with politics? How might we capitalize on the season to build alliances and lasting relationships with media? What are the possibilities for collective messaging within and outside our network? Please come prepared to discuss a specific product or project you'd like to see covered during the next few months.

Workshop leaders:
Kathy Bonk, Communications Consortium Media Center Ketayoun Darvich-Kodjouri , Communications Consortium Media Center


6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

 New Member Centers:

 Women and Politics Institute, American University
Karen O’Connor, Director

 Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University
Shulamit Reinharz, Founding Director

 Ms. Foundation for Women
Sara Gould, President  

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Gloria Feldt, President  

The White House Project
Marie Wilson, President  

Center for Women’s Leadership, Babson College
Nan Langowitz, Director  

International Association For Feminist Economics (IAFFE)
Jean Shackelford, Director



7:30 – 10:00 p.m. 

There will be a separate dinner meeting for Member Centers who are working on and would like to discuss issues of Economic Security


MONDAY, June 7, Open to the Public



Linda Basch (President, NCRW) and Janet Holmgren (President, Mills College ; Chair, NCRW Board)

Taxes ARE a Women’s Issue!
9:15-11:15 a.m.

In recent decades, the U.S. tax structure has become increasingly skewed in favor of wealthy individuals and corporations, while the burden has shifted to lower- and middle- income individuals – disproportionately, women. In addition, tax cuts have meant drastic cutbacks in the cash assistance and service programs that help women of all ages, classes, and races meet their daily needs. As conservative voices seek to frame public debate around taxation by labeling “big government” feminists “dependency divas,” this plenary will examine how taxes and tax policy affect, and often disadvantage, women. Panelists will address ways to frame public debate around the necessity of a fair, equitable tax system that improves the lives of all.

Nancy Folbre (Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts ; former President, International Association for Feminist Economics)

Joan Entmacher (Vice President and Director of Family Economic Security, National Women’s Law Center )

Heidi Hartmann (Director and President, Institute for Women’s Policy Research)

Julianne Malveaux (Economist, Author, Commentator)

Bonnie Thornton Dill (Executive Director, Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity, University of Maryland , College Park )


11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

  • The Impacts of Tax Cuts on Local Communities
    Reductions in federal tax revenues can bring dire consequences for local communities. When federal program funding is cut, the burden of providing vital services shifts to state and local governments, where budgets tend to be more strained (both because of the inability to run large deficits and the smaller size of the tax pool). Participants in this session will discuss the tensions that arise when federal tax cuts hinder the ability of local communities to meet their populations’ needs.

Sandra Morgen (Director, Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon )

Margaret Simms (Senior Vice President for Programs, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies)

Ronnie Steinberg (Professor of Sociology, Vanderbilt University)

  • Crises of Care Across the Lifespan: Women, Taxes, and Care Work in the Public and Private Sectors
    The care needs of children, the elderly, and the ill continue to strain families and limit women’s opportunities in the workplace. The collective provision of care services, supported by taxes, would ease burdens on families, enable more women to participate in the labor force, and increase the well-being of children and the elderly. Participants will have the opportunity to examine various issues surrounding care work, including how federal and state funding can be used to enhance public systems of supports for families.

Susan Bailey (Executive Director, The Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College )

Leslie Calman (Executive Vice President, Legal Momentum)

Anna Wadia (Director of Program, Economic Security, Ms. Foundation)

  • Access to Healthcare, Medicare, and Social Security as Women’s Issues
    Tax cuts for corporations and the rich inevitably erode large-scale programs like Social Security and Medicare, which are essential to the well-being of countless women. These programs are disproportionately relied on by women, who are less likely to be or to have been employed, who generally fall lower on the income scale, who live longer, and who have a higher prevalence of chronic conditions. This session will discuss the particular effect on women of cuts in social security and public health care provision.

Joan Entmacher (Vice President and Director of Family Economic Security, National Women’s Law Center )

Angela Hooton ( Legislative Staff Attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)

  • The Impact of Taxes Across Race, Class, and Citizenship
    Shrinking tax revenues have differential effects across the population. People of low-income and people of color disproportionately depend on the public programs made possible by taxes. As a result, tax cuts mean the cutting off of opportunities and support for low-income individuals and people of color. Immigrants are also disadvantaged by our tax system – they pay income and sales taxes but aren’t eligible for many of the public benefits that taxes are designed to support. Participants will address the impact of the tax system on people across race, class, and citizenship, and discuss the intersections of these factors.

Kiran Ahuja (National Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum)

Marjorie Lightman (Senior Fellow, Women’s Research & Education Institute)

Gale Summerfield (Director, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • How Taxes and Public Funding Affect Education and Girls Programs: Some Examples
    Tax cuts also shortchange youth. Publicly funded kindergarten, high-quality elementary and secondary education, and affordable higher education are dependent on tax revenues. Tax cuts also have a particularly negative impact on the vast number of girls who benefit from the publicly funded girls programs designed to build independence, strength, and leadership. Participants will have the opportunity to address the impact of our tax system on education and girls programs.

Sumru Erkut (Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Research on Women, Wellesley College)

Heather Johnston Nicholson ( Director of Research, Girls Incorporated)


12:45 p.m. – Lunch Served

1:15-2:45 p.m. – Luncheon Plenary

Politics Are a Women’s Issue: Women in the 2004 Elections

 Women voters have outnumbered men in every election since 1964, yet worldwide, the U.S. ranks 57th in the world in the percentage of elected offices held by women. The “gender gap” has come to refer to gender differences not only in voting but in the decision to run for office.  Join researchers, pollsters, and commentators for a lunchtime conversation about women as candidates and as voters, exploring why fewer women candidates run for office, how blocks of female voters get defined, the impact of the women’s vote, the impact of women who serve, and what this knowledge can mean for the upcoming election.

Keynote Speakers :
Maxine Waters (Congresswoman, 35th District, California)

Marie Wilson ( President, Ms. Foundation; Co-Founder and President, White House Project)

Sue Carroll (Senior Scholar, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University )

Kellyanne Conway (President and CEO, The Polling Company Inc./ WomanTrend)

Amy Richards (Co-author, ManifestA: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future and the forthcoming Recipe-tested: An Idea Bank for Real Activism )

Gail Schneider (Executive Director, The WISH List)

Eleanor Smeal (President, The Feminist Majority Foundation)

Debbie Walsh (Director, Center for American Woman and Politics, Rutgers University )

Karen White (Political Director, EMILY’s List)

Bonnie Erbe, (Host, PBS’s “To The Contrary;” CEO, Persephone Productions, Inc.)

3:00-4:30 p.m.

  • Women’s Leadership and U.S. Politics
     This session offers an in-depth look at research issues, questions, and approaches to the study of women as voters, candidates, electeds, and appointeds – expanding on the discussion the luncheon plenary began, and probing in more depth the generation gap in women's participating as candidates and voters, and across racial, ethnic, and class differences .

Sarah Brewer (Associate Director, Women and Politics Institute, American University )

Susan Carroll (Senior Scholar, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University )

Dianne Pinderhughes (Professor of Political Science and Afro-American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Judith Saidel (Executive Director, Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, State University of New York at Albany )

Hon. Linda Tarr-Whelan (Managing Partner, Tarr-Whelan & Associates, Inc.)

  • Powering the Future: Advancing Women and Girls in Science and Technology
     Significant advances have been made for women and girls in the sciences, with much of the impetus coming from the focus on inequities and search for solutions provided by the NSF. This panel will explore present directions to advance women and girls in science and technology—particularly women and girls of color—and to promote innovative directions and research, but also to confront areas of continuing challenge. The absence of concerns about gender and race that still dominates much scientific research will also be addressed, as will the negative consequences of this neglect for society, for people’s lives and livelihoods, and for knowledge.

Carol Burger (Director, The Science and Gender Equity Program, Virginia Tech)

Catherine Didion (Executive Director, Association for Women in Science)

Fatimah Jackson (Professor of Applied Biological Anthropology, University of Maryland at College Park )

Judith Ramaley (Assistant Director, Education and Human Resources, The National Science Foundation)

Cecily Cannan Selby (Affiliated scholar and co-chair of the Research Advisory Council, Program in Science, Society and Gender at Radcliffe's Public Policy Center)

  • Issues for Global Feminism: Globalization and the Changing Discourses of Human Rights and Security
    Globalization, and the heightening privatization, myriad conflict situations, and shifting state and international power relations, has posed a number of challenges to feminist organizing nationally, regionally, and transnationally. Feminist scholars and activists will probe these challenges, raising a number of salient questions. What is the value of a human rights or human security framework to feminist organizing? Where are the appropriate sites for feminist intervention – the United Nations, other international organizations, the World Social Forum, nation states? How can feminist organizations work productively with state and non-state actors, yet resist becoming subsumed within frameworks of power that can subvert their agendas? And what kinds of coalitions do we now need to help build?

Charlotte Bunch (Executive Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership) (invited)

Ewa Charkiewicz (Fellow, Facing Global Capital, Finding Human Security: A Gendered Critique, NCRW)

Nira Yuval-Davis (Fellow, Facing Global Capital, Finding Human Security: A Gendered Critique, NCRW)

June Zeitlin (Executive Director, Women’s Environment and Development Organization)

Kristen Timothy (Research Scholar, NCRW)

War Is a Women’s Issue: Lessons from Iraq

A narrowing of public space has left many struggling to freely interrogate the war and its attendant atrocities and raise questions that need to be asked. What are the roles of appointed judiciary and legislative bodies, and where are the voices of women in these processes? The recently unveiled torture in prisons raises questions about the handling not only of prisoners, but also of women and diverse groups in Iraq , and about US women in the military. How do we speak to the intersections of gender, race, and sexuality in these contexts? And how do we raise these important questions and ensure that our voices are heard - loudly, clearly, and in public?

Rabab Abdulhadi (Professor of Gender and Sexuality, New York University )

Rhonda Copelon (Professor of Law, CUNY Law School )

Zainab Salbi (Founder and President, Women for Women International)

Linda Basch (President, NCRW)

Associated Issues & Expertise: