WASHINGTON - July 11 - Borrowing inspiration from the rise of powerful women in politics, this year the National Organization for Women's national conference is honoring the super woman in all of us. Our theme this year - "No Capes, No Masks, No Boundaries: Feminist Super-Women Unite!" - celebrates the breakthroughs that women are making: our power, our progress, and the strength that women exhibit every day in the face of adversity. We need not be superhuman heroes who fly or dodge bullets -- our pride, passion and resilience make us extraordinary.
Feminist superheroes include both famous and not so famous women. Hillary Clinton, for running the most successful presidential campaign ever for a U.S. woman, while under attack from the sexist media, is definitely a superhero. But so are all the mothers and caregivers who juggle multiple responsibilities every day, and the millions of women around the globe who survive under brutally oppressive circumstances.
"This year, we came closer than ever before to breaking the highest glass ceiling in the U.S.," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "In addition, feminists made a difference in a million different ways, large and small. This conference is a time to celebrate our accomplishments, and to plan a strategy to advance equality for women in the coming year."
The 2008 National NOW conference will take place just outside Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, Maryland, July 18-20. It will feature the NOW Organizing Institute, a global feminism track, workshops and roundtables on a broad range of issues, and an impressive line-up of inspirational speakers.
Talk about superheroes - some real "women of steel" will speak at the NOW conference this year, including: Barbara Hillary, who became the first African-American woman to reach the North Pole-at the age of 75, no less. Lilly Ledbetter was an "average" hardworking woman, until she spoke out against wage discrimination, igniting a fierce battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court and the halls of Congress. Jehmu Green used her legendary organizing skills to take Rock the Vote membership from 1500 to over one million during her tenure as president.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney is a champion of women's rights in Congress, and Rep. Donna Edwards defeated an incumbent this year, becoming the first African-American woman to represent Maryland in Congress. Patricia Ireland, who served 10 years as NOW president, will receive a Woman of Vision award. Nancy Redd is the bestselling author of Body Drama, which empowers young women with knowledge about their bodies. Irshad Manji is a writer who has been called "Osama Bin Laden's worst nightmare" for her efforts to promote Muslim reform. And, journalist and syndicated columnist Marie Cocco spoke out against media sexism during the primary season, and Dr. Erika Falk has studied all eight women who have run for U.S. president, beginning with Victoria Woodhull.
"Just months before the election, it is an exciting time to be in the nation's capital, and we will focus on new initiatives and bold approaches to reach and inspire more women to vote and get active," said NOW President Kim Gandy.
If you are a member of the media and would like to attend, and/or set up advance interviews, please visit our website.
A full list of speaker bios, photos, and other information is available at www.now.org/conference.