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Gloria Steinem and Friends Event Draws 1,400 to Eckerd College

posted on 03/07/2008

In celebration of Women's History Month and Eckerd College's 50th Anniversary, 1,400 people gathered on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 in Eckerd's McArthur Gymnasium to witness three generations of feminists examine the diversity of the feminist movement. Icon Gloria Steinem, child rights activist Dorothy Pitman Hughes, and Third Wave feminists Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner were joined onstage by Lee Taylor '09, co-president of the Women's Resource Center at Eckerd, and Grace Gair '08, president of the Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS). Gretchen Letterman, Director of the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper in Education program, moderated the conversation.

Click here for a photo gallery of the event.

The crowds poured in steadily from 5:30-7 p.m. Musical entertainment was provided by Drawing with Hannah, a musical effort by Eckerd alumna Lova Michelle Patterson '00, Delaran and Pam Fetterman. Attendees networked and perused display tables for more than a dozen area women's / community organizations.

A few minutes after 7 p.m., the seven women took the stage to the tune of loud cheers and appreciation, crowned by a standing ovation. Alizza Punzalan-Hall, Director of Community and Media Relations, served as the Eckerd emcee. James Bennett, Chair of the St. Petersburg City Council, formally greeted the panelists and presented Ms. Steinem and friends with mementos on behalf of the City. Carolyn Johnston, Eckerd Professor of American Studies and Elie Wiesel Professor of Humane Letters, gave a brief overview of the Women's Resource Center and Women's and Gender Studies Program. She recognized Professor of Art Margaret Rigg, founder of the Women's Resources Committee (WRC), and numerous members of the Eckerd community who have supported the efforts of the WRC throughout the years.

Ms. Letterman guided the panelists through a variety of topics, including the influence of their childhood on their involvement in the feminist movement, the 2008 Presidential election, Ms. Steinem and Ms. Hughes' travel experiences in the late 60's and early 70's, and the meaning of feminism for the Third Wave. Following the conversation, Anna Ouellette '08, co-president of the WRC, and Tina Heald, Vice President of Academic Affairs for ECOS, read questions submitted by the audience. Lively applause followed the panelists from the Q&A to the book signing tables.

News Coverage of "Gloria Steinem and Friends"

WMNF 88.5 FM, March 1, 2008
WMNF 88.5 FM Radio interview with feminists Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner

WMNF 88.5 FM, March 3, 2008
Radio interview with Junior Lee Taylor '09

St. Petersburg Times, March 4, 2008
Gloria Steinem: Women's work not over

WMNF 88.5 FM, March 6, 2008
Gloria Steinem speaks at Eckerd College

St. Petersburg Times, March 6, 2008
Gloria Steinem shares her story of feminism

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