Women’s rights activist featured at Women’s Leadership Institute

PULLMAN, Wash. — Nationally known feminist and women’s right’s activist Patricia Ireland will deliver the keynote address during the third annual National Education for Women (NEW) Leadership Summer Institute. Sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center of Washington State University, the event is from June 16 to June 20.

Considered one of the most influential feminist leaders in America, Ireland will speak at 7 p.m. June 17 at the Samuel H. Smith Center for Undergraduate Education Auditorium, Room 203.

During her 10 years as president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Ireland used her experience as a lawyer to move the feminist organization to the forefront of the political scene and establish herself as a groundbreaking activist.

Widely recognized as a key player in improving social and economic conditions for women in the United States and around the world, she is especially adept at challenging people to recognize that women’s rights are human rights. A hallmark of her work has been to forge stronger links among the feminist, antipoverty, civil rights, disability rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movements

She has appeared on ABC’s “Nightline,” PBS’s “Jim Lehrer News Hour,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and CNN’s “Larry King Live.” She frequently is quoted in the nation’s most widely-read newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today. She has been the subject of numerous feature stories in publications ranging from The New York Times Sunday Magazine to People magazine.

Ireland wrote about her path to personal and political power in “What Women Want,” a 1996 book that is used in history and women’s studies courses. She reaches thousands through speaking engagements each year, engaging audiences at venues as diverse as rallies, universities and the National Press Club.

In 1975, she graduated cum laude from the University of Miami Law School, where she served on the Law Review and Lawyer of Americas, an inter-American law journal. Before moving to the nation’s capital, she was a partner at a prestigious Miami law firm where she practiced business law while serving as NOW’s pro-bono legal counsel.

Currently a campaign consultant, Ireland earlier this year served as campaign manager for Carol Moseley Braun’s bid for the White House.

The Women’s Resource Center of WSU was selected by the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University as one of nine institutions throughout the country to host the NEW Leadership program each year. NEW Leadership is a residential summer program with an innovative curriculum and an impressive selection of visiting speakers. About 30 students from colleges and universities in the Inland Northwest region are admitted to the residential program each summer.

NEW Leadership graduates described their experience as “most rewarding when given the opportunity to work with others who have different backgrounds and political position and to learn how to work across differences in terms of ideologies and communication styles.” Many NEW Leadership alumni returned to their communities to pursue a more active role in political and civic engagements.

The NEW Leadership program agenda is available online at http://www.wsu.edu/~wrc.

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