SHIRLEY – From being an acclaimed journalist to political activist, Gloria Steinem, well-known throughout the world as one of the most influential leaders of second-wave feminism will be speaking right here in our own backyard, thanks to the Speaker Series run by Alison Tocci, owner of the Bull Run Restaurant.
In partnership with Tocci, the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts is pleased to welcome Steinem at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 12, at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road.
Proceeds of the event will benefit the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts who could not be more thrilled to share the room in conjunction with the campaign launch of their North Central Mass Women‘s Fund.
The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts is launching a campaign to build a $1 million endowed Women’s Fund for North Central MA “and we are so lucky to be featuring Gloria Steinem at our campaign launch event on March 12, at the Bull Run Restaurant,” said Erin Thomason, Director of Philanthropy, Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts.
“We are not just hosting a legend, we are building momentum in our mission to establish a Women’s Fund in North Central Mass to support the women and girls in our community, now and forever – specifically in the areas of education, financial literacy, health, and community,” Thomason said.
Thomason said this campaign is especially important to the community as it is the first of its kind for North Central Massachusetts.
“No other endowed fund exists in this area specifically to provide funding to women and girls programming in perpetuity,” she said. “Most other regions already have a women’s fund. North Central Massachusetts does not. We need to change that.”
Individual tickets to this event are currently sold out, however, there is a small amount of reserved seating left; corporate sponsors and individual donors are still being sought.
“Hosted at the historic Bull Run Restaurant, doors will open at 10 a.m. for brunch with the speaker program beginning at noon,” Thomason said.
The spotlight will be on Steinem, conducting the interview on stage will be Cyndi Stivers, senior curator at TED, the New York–based media and conference nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading.”
The Community Foundation will have an opportunity to make some remarks introducing the launch of the Women’s Fund campaign and inviting those in attendance to participate in making history here in North Central Massachusetts.
“There is a dearth of programs in North Central Massachusetts aimed at helping women and girls reach their full potential,” said Stephen Adams, president of Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts. “While other regions have had women’s funds for many years, there is no such fund in here. This fund will help build an infrastructure of empowerment for women and girls in the area.”
Despite all the advances over the decades, Adams believes far too many women and girls in North Central Massachusetts feel constrained by social pressures and limit their aspirations to traditional women’s roles and careers.
Well-paying careers in manufacturing, transportation, construction and many other fields are still viewed as off limits by most girls,” he said. “Women and girls and their parents need to understand that gender is not a legitimate barrier to pursuing a girls’ dreams.”
It is Adams’ hope that Steinem will draw attention to the capital campaign among the 300 attendees and the broader public that learns of the event.
“Ms. Steinem has been at the forefront of the effort to open doors of opportunity for women and girls for more than 50 years,” Adams said. “Her passion, intellect and her engaging communication style hasn’t wavered, despite the many setbacks and the slow pace of change.”
Steinem was a founder of New York and Ms. magazines, and is the author of “The Truth Will Set You Free”, “But First It Will Piss You Off “, “My Life on the Road”, “Moving Beyond Words”, “Revolution from Within”, and “Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions”, all published in the United States, and in India, in “As If Women Matter”. Her forthcoming book will focus on the Black roots of feminism.
She co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Free to Be Foundation, and the Women’s Media Center in the United States.
As links to other countries, Steinem helped found Equality Now, Donor Direct Action, and Direct Impact Africa.
For her writing, Steinem has received the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award, the Front Page and Clarion awards, the National Magazine Award, the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations, and the University of Missouri School of Journalism Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism.
In 1993, her concern with child abuse led her to co-produce an Emmy Award–winning TV documentary for HBO, “Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories”.
She and Amy Richards co-produced a series of eight documentaries on violence against women around the world for VICELAND in 2016. She is the subject of Julie Taymor’s biopic, “The Glorias”, which premiered in Fall 2020.
In 2013, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. In 2019, she received the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum.
“The energy in that room will be unmatched,” said Thomason. “We not only get to welcome one of the most famous feminists of our time, but we also get to share the excitement of the Women’s Fund initiative. If there was ever an inspiring moment for members of this community to push for the support of our women and girls, it would be this one.”
Donations may be made by contacting Erin Thomason at CFNCM or visiting cfncm.org/donate-now/cfncm-womens-fund.