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How Female Activists are Changing the World

-- Panelists at Queens College Conference March 11 to Discuss Human Rights Issues Worldwide, Including Mexico, Africa, and U.S.A. --

FLUSHING, NY, February 25, 2013 – Massive protests against India’s treatment of women – sparked by a fatal gang rape on a bus in New Delhi – recently spurred the passage of laws to protect female victims of violence.  With the global influence of women on political and historical change continuing to grow, organizers of the 2013 Virginia Frese Palmer Women’s Studies Conference at Queens College are focusing on the topic of women’s activism.  Held each March in celebration of Women’s History Month, the free and open-to-the-public conference will take place on the fourth floor of the Student Union on Monday, March 11, from 9 am to 2:30 pm.  The panel discussion is from 9-12:30; a complimentary lunch will be served directly following the panel.  For lunch, RSVP to 718-997-3098 or


Diana Duarte, Communications Director at MADRE (“Mother” in Spanish), an international human rights organization.  Founded in 1983, MADRE works with community-based women’s organizations worldwide to address such issues as health and reproductive rights, economic development, and education.  MADRE helps bring attention to such challenges as combating violence against women, promoting peace and building a sustainable future. 
Grace Davie:  QC Associate professor of History and the author of the forthcoming book, The Poverty Question and the Human Sciences in South Africa, 1850–2010.  She teaches courses on African history and social movements, and is active in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Alyshia Galvez:  Associate Professor and director of the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies at Lehman College and author of Guadalupe in New York: Devotion and the Struggle for Citizenship Rights Among Mexican Immigrants (2009), and Patient Citizens, Immigrant Mothers: Mexican Women, Public Prenatal Care and the Birth Weight Paradox, which won the 2012 ALLA (Association of Latino and Latin American Anthropologists) Book Award.
Miliann Kang:  Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts. Her book, The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work (2010), addresses immigrant women’s work in Asian-owned nail salons and won the Sara Whaley book prize from the National Women’s Studies Association, as well as four awards from the American Sociological Association.
Premilla Nadasen:  Associate Professor of History at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center, has written Welfare Warriors: The Welfare Rights Movement in the United States, which won the 2005 John Hope Franklin Prize in American Studies, and Rethinking the Welfare Movement (2011). A longtime community activist, she has given numerous public talks on African American women’s history and welfare rights.
Frances Fox Piven:  Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and a longtime scholar and activist known for her work with a series of American movements. Her books include Regulating the Poor; Poor People’s Movements; Why Americans Don’t Vote; and, more recently, Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, and Who’s Afraid of Frances Fox Piven? The Essential Writings of the Professor Glenn Beck Loves to Hate.
Queens College students and graduate activists will speak about their own experiences and answer questions about the causes they support. They include  Meher Mohsin, a community organizer, interfaith activist and advocate for social justice and policy changes affecting immigrant and minority communities; Grace Magee, president of the QC Environmental Club; and Melisa Telkin, a student member of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), a statewide organization that advocates for students’ rights and other issues.  Queens College graduate Dasi Fruchter, currently enrolled in the rabbinical ordination program for Orthodox Jewish women, is an activist on feminist and other issues.
The Virginia Frese Palmer Conference is sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program at Queens College. Now in its twelfth year, previous symposia have explored reproductive justice, women in sports, women in music, and pay equity, among other topics. The Women’s Studies Program offers students the opportunity to explore the roles of contemporary women and men in society from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a focus on gender and its complex relation to class, race, ethnicity and sexuality.


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