A co-founder and Executive Director of Feminist Majority, Katherine (Kathy) has been a driving force in executing the organizations’ diverse programs securing women’s rights both domestically and globally since its inception in 1987. She has played a leading role in national and state level campaigns to win women’s rights legislation. Based in the organization’s west coast office, she oversees its work to encourage civic engagement and activism among young feminists on colleges and universities in the western states and on high schools nationwide. After Feminist Majority Foundation became publisher of Ms., Kathy oversaw relocation of the iconic magazine’s editorial operations from New York City to Los Angeles, and in 2005, was named Executive Editor. Under her oversight, Ms. has increased its investigative reporting and today is one of the largest print and online feminist news sites reaching readers from across the globe. Under her direction, Ms. has developed an innovative digital textbook resource, Ms. Classroom, covering current feminist topics and activism and used by instructors for all levels of women’s and gender studies courses in hundreds of college and university programs across the country.
Jennifer Carroll Foy
Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy was the chief sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment ratification bill in the Virginia House of Delegates. With Virginia’s passage in January 2020, three quarters of states have ratified the ERA, making the amendment eligible to be added to the U.S. Constitution. A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute as a member of the third class of female cadets ever to attend VMI, and a public defender, Jennifer was first elected to the House of Delegates in Virginia in 2017 in a seat long held by Republicans, in an election in which Democrats flipped 15 seats in the House. Foy was a leading advocate for Medicaid expansion in Virginia, raising the minimum wage and teacher salaries, and criminal justice reform.
As Co-Founder and President of the Feminist Majority, former President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and publisher of Ms. magazine, Eleanor (Ellie) Smeal’s life and work has been dedicated to the achievement of women’s equality and human rights. Known as a political analyst, strategist, and grassroots organizer, Ellie has played a pivotal role in defining the debate, developing the strategies, and charting the direction of the modern day women’s movement for nearly 50 years. Her 1984 book, How and Why Women Will Elect the Next President, predicted that women’s votes would be decisive in presidential politics. She was the first to identify the “gender gap”, the difference in the way women and men vote, and popularized its usage in election and polling analyses to enhance women’s voting clout. Her leading role in state and national campaigns for women’s rights legislation, including the Equal Rights Amendment, helped reshape the contours of U.S. politics as politicians could no longer ignore the voices of women, forcing their inclusion as part of the national political discourse. At the forefront of nearly every significant women’s rights victory, her participation was pivotal in the passage of landmark legislation including the Equal Credit Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
Gloria Steinem is a writer, political activist, and feminist organizer. She was a founder of Ms. magazine and continues to serve as a consulting editor. Gloria is the author of The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off, My Life on the Road, Moving Beyond Words, Revolution from Within, and Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, all published in the United States, and in India, As If Women Matter. She co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Free to Be Foundation, and the Women’s Media Center in the United States. As links to other countries, she helped found Equality Now, Donor Direct Action, and Direct Impact Africa. For her writing, Steinem has received the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award, the Front Page and Clarion awards, the National Magazine Award, the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations, and the University of Missouri School of Journalism Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. In 2019, she received the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum. She is the subject of Julie Taymor’s upcoming biopic, The Glorias, set to premier in Fall 2020.
Dolores Huerta is president and Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez. Both a labor leader and community organizer, Dolores has worked for civil rights and social justice for over 50 years. In 1962 she and Cesar Chavez founded the United Farm Workers union. She served as vice-president and played a critical role in many of the union’s accomplishments for four decades. In 2002, she received the Puffin/Nation $100,000 prize for Creative Citizenship which she used to establish the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). DHF is connecting groundbreaking community-based organizing to state and national movements to register and educate voters; advocate for education reform; bring about infrastructure improvements in low-income communities; advocate for greater equality for the LGBT community; and create strong leadership development. She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998. In 2012 President Obama bestowed Dolores with The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. She received Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle Award (the highest decoration awarded by the Mexican Government to foreign nationals), and the National Civil Rights Museum Icons of the American Civil Rights Movement Award. She was the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.