Feminist activist Gloria Steinem to speak about equality and feminism March 4 at MCLA


NORTH ADAMS -- Gloria Steinem, the iconic activist that brought the drive for equal rights for women into the hearts and minds of millions, will be speaking at MCLA.

Ever since the announcement of her scheduled appearance at the Church Street Center, reactions of excitement from around the region and beyond have been heard by college staff, said Cindy Brown, MCLA vice president of academic affairs.

Funded by the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust, Steinem's lecture, "The Progression of Feminism: Where are we going?" will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Brown said Steinem was a perfect fit for a series of lectures the college is presenting that address equality and social justice.

"Her experience and her insights are invaluable in that regard," Brown said. "Throughout the years, she keeps speaking and writing and working in the field -- all experiences she can bring to the table."

Steinem's energy seems endless, as do her accomplishments. She was a leading voice of the feminist movement when the prevailing culture was resisting that and many other dramatic social changes. As such, she became lightning rod for critics of the feminist movement.

In 1968, she helped to found New York magazine, where she was a political columnist and wrote feature articles. In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine, remained one of its editors for 15 years, and still works with the magazine as a consulting editor.

She produced a documentary on child abuse for HBO and a feature film about the death penalty for Lifetime.

Her books include the bestsellers "Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts," and "Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words."

She was an editor of Houghton Mifflin's "The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History." Steinem helped establish the Women's Action Alliance and the National Women's Political Caucus.

She was co-founder of Voters for Choice (VFC), a pro-choice political action committee, and served as its president for 25 years.

Steinem also co-founded -- and serves on the board -- of Choice USA, a national organization that works to preserve comprehensive sex education in schools.

She was founding president of the Ms. Foundation for Women, a national fund that supports projects to empower women and girls, and was a founder of its "Take Our Daughters to Work Day," the first national day devoted to girls that has now become an institution here and in other countries.

"I'll be very interested to hear her talking about national and international women's movements and the repercussions beyond the U.S.," Brown said.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Brown noted that there will likely be a full house, with a live monitor set up in another room for spectators that are too late to get a seat in the auditorium.

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