Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MWPC Honors a Trailblazer: Geraldine Ferraro

Teacher, congresswoman, advocate, vice-presidential candidate, assistant district attorney, ambassador - regardless of the job she was doing, Geraldine Ferraro will be forever remembered for her greatest role: trailblazer for women everywhere.

Long before her historic run for the vice presidency, Geraldine Ferraro was breaking down barriers as a role model for women everywhere on many different levels. While working as a school teacher and raising three children, she simultaneously earned a law degree and entered into a field at that time overwhelmingly dominated by men. She then worked her way from lawyer to assistant district attorney and head of the Special Victims Unit, where she became a powerful advocate for abused children.

As a three-term U.S. Representative, Ambassador Ferraro quickly assumed a leadership role and earned the respect of her male peers. As a Representative, she worked to break down the barriers to equality for women, for example, by co-sponsoring the 1981 Economic Equity Act.

In 1984, she made history as the first woman to run for the vice presidency on a major party ticket. As the first woman to run for this high office, Ambassador Ferraro faced many obstacles and challenges. She responded with dignity, class, and intelligence.

As a new generation of women rise to meet the challenges of this century, the significance of her life’s work and what she stood for will forever be a beacon of strength as we carry forth the work yet to be done. In her words, “campaigns, even if you lose them, do serve a purpose… my candidacy has said the days of discrimination are numbered. American women will never be second-class citizens again.”

Ferraro’s breakthrough opened the doors for women to achieve success for the next two decades. Condoleeza Rice, Madeline Albright, Hilary Clinton, and many other outstanding women can all thank this trailblazer for clearing the path to their achievement.

The Massachusetts Women’s  Political Caucus mourns the loss of this great pioneer for women and celebrates the progress she made possible for so many women to succeed. Her spirit will forever inspire countless future successes to come.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Former Governor Weld Urges Congress to Preserve Family Planning

In a powerful Op Ed in the Boston Herald, former Good Guys Honoree Governor Bill Weld urges Congress to preserve family planning programs: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view.bg?articleid=1325922

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Board Members in the News

Click below to read an excellent article about the status of diversity in general counsel positions by Board Member and President of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, Lauren Stiller Rikleen:

http://blogs.forbes.com/shenegotiates/2011/03/14/general-cou nsel-can-transfo rm-the-legal-profession/

Thursday, March 10, 2011

MWPC Honors 2011's Good Guys

Friday March 4, 2011 marked the MWPC’s 10th Annual Good Guys Awards, honoring 5 outstanding gentlemen who are dedicated to achieving equality for women across all realms of society. It was a terrific lunch and an exciting ceremony enjoyed by all. This year’s honorees, like all our past honorees, have proven a stand-out bunch.

In case you missed it, here’s the scoop:

Local television and radio host Jim Braude presided as emcee over an enthusiastic crowd, kept the audience engaged and even found time to make a pitch for his own Good Guys Award!. True to form, he kept the event entertaining and flowing smoothly and we were thrilled to have him back again.

This year, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus installed the first ever Distinguished Public Service Award in honor of Senator Edward W. Brooke. A Republican from Massachusetts, Senator Brooke became the nation’s first popularly-elected African American United States Senator as well as the nation’s first state Attorney General. He was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation that has brought women to where we are today: Title IX of the 1972 Education Act, the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and the Equal Credit Act to name a few. He also supported the strengthening of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, allowing Medicaid insurance to cover abortions, and has long been an advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians.

While Senator Brooke himself was unable to attend the awards in person, he was honored with a beautiful video tribute and recorded a moving acceptance speech. We’d bet a Tiffany’s Good Guys Award there wasn’t an uninspired soul in the room!

The third annual Senator Edward M. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award was given to MA Senate Majority Leader Frederick E. Berry. In his fourteen-term career he has increased protections for victims of domestic violence and eased the healthcare burden on women and their families. He has also worked ceaselessly to protect children from abuse and to advocate for children with disabilities, using his own experience with cerebral palsy to improve their lives.

Senate President Therese Murray delivered a delightful award presentation and, surrounded by friends, family, and devoted staff, Senator Berry accepted his award with gratitude and a sparkling sense of humor.

Keeping the momentum up, UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley presented a stirring speech to resounding applause and a standing ovation after accepting his award for his indispensable work to support educational opportunities for women and underprivileged youth.

CEO of the Boston Foundation Paul S. Grogan, was honored for utilizing the Foundation’s resources to advance the interests of women, from housing programs to educational opportunities to job training programs.

Finally, Attorney Stephen M. Weiner of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo Health Law Practice was honored as a phenomenal mentor to women in the healthcare and legal fields. Now he can add being an all-around Good Guy to his list of accolades as one of the nation’s best lawyers.

Thank you to each one of our honorees for your devotion and hard work in achieving equality for women. Your selflessness and service have made a difference in the lives of thousands of women and you have more than earned the title of “Good Guys.” Congratulations!

All proceeds from the event went to the MWPC Education Fund, which finances programs that provide valuable skills and resources to women looking to enter politics or public policy. Among those programs are an annual campaign skills training, the MassGAP initiative to increase the number of women in high-level appointed positions (www.massgap.org), the Commonwealth Commentary series, the Speakers Bureau, and our internship program (http://www.mwpc.org/get/internships.php).

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making the event a success: To all of our Board Members, our interns and volunteers, all of the elected officials and guests, our award presenters, and to our generous sponsors – we could not have done it without you.

A special thanks to those involved in the production of the Senator Brooke tribute video: Joyce Ferriabough-Bolling for producing the piece, GJ Nelson, Kim Tran, Priti Rao, Jessica Gibbons, Marissa Szabo– thank you for your devotion, input, creativity, and passion.

Finally, we also must extend a special thanks to our fabulous emcee Jim Braude who helped keep the event entertaining and running smoothly!

For more information on MWPC and our events, please visit www.mwpc.org. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!