Arianna Huffington accepts Feminist Press awardI often say my social activist life can be summed up, “from Selma to Soweto with a feminist perspective.”  So, to be with friends from many decades at The Feminist Press kick-off event for their 40th anniversary year was a sheer joy.  Award recipients included: Arianna Huffington, the trailblazing founder of Huffington Post; Taslina Nasrin, an extraordinarily brave Muslim physician, writer and human rights activist from Bangladesh; and Rhonda Copelon, a groundbreaking human rights attorney who worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Huffington spoke of a “tribe of women” who as feminists are pioneering a way “to succeed differently than men.”  Nzarin said, “as an exile I have no home; but I have a home with you.”   Copelon said, “a new generation of activists is emerging to promote laws protecting [women’s rights].”

Presenters included Ellen Chesler, director Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College; Alison Bernstein, Vice President Education, Creativity and Freedom of Expression Ford Foundation; Iris Weinshall, Vice Chancellor City University of NY and the indefatiguable Gloria Jacobs, Executive Director The Feminist Press.   I first worked with Bella Abzug as a volunteer at Women Strike for Peace in the early 1960s and, at about the same time, Shirley Chisholm when she ran for a seat in the New York State Legislature.  They informed my understanding of the interconnectedness of women’s rights, civil rights, human rights, poverty, the environment, development and peace.  With my sister/mentor/friend, Gloria Steinem, they epitomize strength, compassion, and fierce determination on behalf of positive, sustainable change that I seek to emulate.  A tradition Florence Howe championed and The Feminist Press proudly carries on.  The world is catching up on their four-decade advocacy with the recently published Gail Collins book “When Everything Changed,” the Shriver Report, “A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything” and the Center For Global Development new effort “It Starts With A Girl.”  For those interested, I am featured in the oral history book about Bella Abzug edited by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom; and in the oral archives on Shirley Chisholm at Brooklyn College founded and directed by Barbara Winslow.Alison Bernstein Ford Foundation  Rhonda Copelon Feminist Press award recipientGloria Jacobs Executive Director Feminist PressEllen Chesler Hunter College & Taslima Nasrim Feminist Press award recipient

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Kathy LeMay October 26, 2009, 10:03 pm

    Thank you, Nadine, for your on-going and fearless leadership!

    In the spirit of elevating women’s voices I recommend:

  • Jeanne Browne October 27, 2009, 12:11 pm

    Another friend and I have been talking about 21st century feminism — what it is and/or should be, and does it exist? It’s heartening to know that these (you should excuse the expression…) older women are battling on, but it’s my sense that many, if not most, younger women either think the battle’s been won, or are so uninformed that they don’t even know there WAS a battle!

    Events like the one you describe sound great and I wish I could have been there. But how do we revive the broadscale understanding of and support for the continuation of women’s rights, the consciousness raising, etc., that existed (among us) when we were young in the 70s? I was interested to note Huffington’s discussion about how women can lead differently from men, because I think part of the [new-day] problem is that so many women believed (or at least behaved) that parity with men meant participating in their style of power.

    Thanks for keeping us informed — and for your ongoing struggles on behalf of all humankind. Keep telling us more about The New Feminism and how we oldsters and youngsters can best use our time and energy.

  • Nadine Hack October 27, 2009, 3:25 pm

    Jeanne – There is a thriving third and fourth wave of feminists who are doing extraordinary work on campuses and in organizations around the country and the world. I meet them often and am deeply inspired by what they’re doing. Most recently, when I attended a TimesTalk panel, I met one such young feminist activist with whom I bonded. She and I are now exchanging two-way cross-generational training: she’s teaching me how the power of organizing on Twitter (yes, I’ll soon be tweeting) and I’m teaching her 40 years of organizing skills, which is exciting for both of us. So, don’t despair: the torch is being carried forward; feminism is alive and well. Be heartened! – Nadine

  • Pamela Hawley October 28, 2009, 5:28 pm

    Dear Nadine, the personal updates you provide are so practical and inspiring. It’s important to stay positive while recognizing the disparities that separate.

    Every day we have an opportunity. An opportunity to love someone else. I just wrote about this in an article on philanthropy. It’s important that we have try to resolve disparity, it’s not just about money, but about the true word and meaning behind philanthropy — the love of people. That means anyone can be a philanthropist, any day, at any moment, at any time. What a call.

    I love your movement and will help in all ways that I can.

    Warmly, Pamela

    Founder and CEO
    UniversalGiving (

    Living and Giving Blog

  • Clare Winterton October 29, 2009, 10:55 am

    Nadine – it was great to see you at the feminist press event! I share your sense of excitement about the growing popular momentum around women’s funding and advocacy! I want to share another hub for lifting up women’s voices, divergent experiences and visions. Check our latest online exhibition at the International Museum of Women, Economica – It’s a powerful re-imagining of the global economy by some incredible, visionary women, paired with vivid and evocative photo stories of women’s economic experience around the globe.

  • Raghida Haddad November 5, 2009, 10:35 am

    Dear Nadine:

    I thank God for giving us Nadine B. Hack. The causes you champion are dear to my heart and you continue to inspire me to be a better person.

    It is with pride and joy I call you “mentor”. Keep up the extraordinary work you do for women, children and humanity. You continue to give a stong voice to those who cannot be heard…I am a living proof of that…..and you continue to inspire me. Thank you Nadine for keeping me abreast of the issues that are dear to your heart.

    Warm personal regards,



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