Boston will play host to this year's 2010 National Organization for Women Conference taking place July 2-4 at the historic Boston Park Plaza Hotel. NOW's theme this year, "Loving Our Bodies, Changing the World," is well-poised to address popular concerns with health and body image from a feminist, woman-empowering point of view. Widespread focus on health intensified after the passage of the health care reform overhaul in March, followed by First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign aimed at prevention and wellness. NOW is a pioneer in the field of women's health and body image, and the NOW Foundation introduced its signature Love Your Body Day campaign more than a decade ago.
"This is the year for focusing on women's health," says NOW President Terry O'Neill. "As the Great Recession continues, women are justifiably concerned about having access to affordable, quality heath care, including the full range of reproductive health services like prenatal care, birth control and abortion care. And young women and girls want to be empowered through comprehensive health and sex education. When women are healthy, families are healthy, and whole communities thrive, and that's where positive change happens," said O'Neill.
The three day event will feature distinguished key note speakers such as Boston Mayor Tom Menino; Mass. Governor Deval Patrick; Amy Goodman, the talented host of Democracy Now!; Feminist author Susan Douglas; Dr. Paula A. Johnson, executive director of the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital; and Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, the first Latina to serve as a Mass. state senator, just to name a few. And, we will honor the founders of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, now known as Our Bodies Ourselves, with our first-ever Victoria J. Mastrobuono Women's Health Award.
We will also host a political roundtable discussing the mid-term elections, and how important it is to elect women who will champion women's rights. This Fourth of July weekend, we will make some fireworks ourselves as we celebrate the wedding of Shirley and Joan, longtime NOW members who are tying the knot in Massachusetts, one of the handful of states that recognize equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
There will be discussions and workshops on hot topic issues such as: maternity care in the U.S.; the power of women telling their personal stories about abortion; cosmetics that can make you sick; healing from domestic violence; the Tea Party's use of racism and abortion as political tools; and much more.
What: 2010 National NOW Conference
When: Friday, July 2 through Sunday, July 4
Where: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers
Who: Conference Speakers include:
Terry O'Neill, President of NOW
Boston Women's Health Book Collective / Our Bodies Ourselves, NOW's Mastrobuono Award Recipient
Kim Bottomly, President of Wellesley College
Carol Moseley Braun, Founder of Good Foods Organics, Inc., and former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa
Andrea J. Cabral, Suffolk County Sheriff and attorney; First Black American female sheriff in Massachusetts history
Sonia Chang-Díaz, First Latina to be elected to the Massachusetts State Senate
Susan Douglas, Acclaimed feminist author and University of Michigan Professor
Irasema Garza, President of Legal Momentum, the women's legal defense and education fund
Amy Goodman, Award-winning investigative journalist, host of Democracy Now! and syndicated columnist
Lois Herr, NOW/PAC endorsed candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 16th District
Silvia Henriquez, NOW's Woman of Action Honoree; Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of Choice USA
Dr. Paula A. Johnson, Executive Director of the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, chief of the Division of Women's Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Kilolo Kijakazi, Program Officer in the Economic Opportunity and Assets Program at The Ford Foundation
Adrienne Kimmell, Political Director at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation
Hon. Tom Menino, Boston Mayor
Judy Neufeld, Executive Director of Emerge Massachusetts
Hon. Deval Patrick, Massachusetts Governor
Stephanie Poggi, Executive Director of the National Network of Abortion Funds
Priti Rao, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus
Loretta Ross, NOW's Woman of Vision Honoree; co-founder and the national coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective