NOW Honors History and Forms Feminist Vision at 1998 Women's Rights Convention and Vision Summit

By Eardley, Ellen; Farmer, Rebecca | National NOW Times, Fall 1998 | Go to article overview

NOW Honors History and Forms Feminist Vision at 1998 Women's Rights Convention and Vision Summit


Eardley, Ellen, Farmer, Rebecca, National NOW Times


Young Feminists Find Meaning and Inspiration in Rochester

More than eight hundred women and men gathered in Rochester, N.Y., July 1012, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the women's rights movement and the great strides women have made by writing a vision for the future of feminism - a new Declaration of Sentiments.

These feminists succeeded in their mission. And they celebrated indeed - with words, voice, song, dance, discourse, poetry and laughter.

This year's National NOW Conference, entitled the 1998 Women's Rights Convention and Vision Summit, sought great purpose and promised to be a significant historical event. We, as NOW Action Center Interns, couldn't have asked for a better experience for our first conference.

Fifteen Action Center interns went to the convention to learn, volunteer and participate. Upon arriving we were in awe at the sense of feminist community and spirit that had already taken over Rochester. We cheered at the large NOW banner draped outside the hotel. Inside the colors of feminism were in the air as purple, white and gold banners hung above us. We soon realized the excitement of being able to assume that each smiling face we saw belonged to a feminist. Already, a bond of activists committed to bettering the world was emerging.

This feminist spirit flourished at the convention's moving opening ceremonies which embraced the many facets of womanhood. Sylvia Smith, a previous NOW Woman of Courage recipient and leader of the Ongweoweh NOW Chapter, introduced a group of women from the Tonawanda Nation Territory who sang a traditional welcome to visitors. The opening night also featured a dramatic performance of Sojourner Truth's famous words and the rhythmic poetry of Sonia Sanchez. Sanchez's voice and verse evoked an array of emotional and intellectual responses as she addressed issues such as African slave trade, global feminism and the personal experiences each of us carries as a feminist. The event concluded with waves of laughter rippling through the room as comic Judy Carter showed us the humor in the daily feminist crusade.

Feminist Sheroes Featured

Throughout the weekend, featured speakers contributed to the excitement with their vision and reflections on the women's rights movement. Their words played an important part in the visioning process, helping nourish and encourage us for the work at hand.

NOW members were honored to hear former Vice Presidential nominee and current U.S. Senate (N.Y.) candidate Geraldine Ferraro. We were ecstatic to be in the presence of this phenomenal woman who serves as a role-model for so many. "Whatever the vision we leave with today, we will need more women in leadership to take us there," Ferraro said. "Every woman in elected office is a step forward."

Former NOW president and founder of the Feminist Majority Eleanor Smeal roused the crowd with her powerful speech recounting the many victories women have secured since NOW's founding in 1966. Her energy and resolve seemed to invoke the legacy of Susan B. Anthony with the idea that "Failure is impossible!"

New York's lieutenant governor, and challenger for the state's governorship, Betsy McCaughey Ross spoke of the positive impact a female governor could have on the state, as well as the importance of women in the political arena.

A tribute to the late Bella Abzug reminded attendees of how committed this feminist icon was to women's and human rights and what great achievements she made in public office; a video of Abzug's speech at NOW's 1995 Rally for Women's Lives demonstrated her commanding and effective presence.

Other voices of wisdom and inspiration included Barbara Smith, feminist author and creator of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press; former NOW President and writer Karen DeCrow and former NOW Executive Vice President Barbara Timmer.

NOW President Patricia Ireland delivered a riveting speech about where we've been and where we're going.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

NOW Honors History and Forms Feminist Vision at 1998 Women's Rights Convention and Vision Summit
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.