We strengthen all of society by giving women equal rights.
-Suzanne Ahn, conference attendee
On a historic weekend in November 1977, 20,000 people from across the U.S. gathered in Houston, Texas for the first federally funded National Women’s Conference. Their aim was to end discrimination against women, promote their equal rights, and to create a national plan of action towards gender equality, which would be given to the President and Congress.
The plan of action adopted at the National Conference included 26 resolutions, many on issues still relevant today. The delegates addressed concerns related to equal pay, rape, healthcare, minority rights, abortion, lesbian rights, and workplace discrimination. In the crowd of 15,000 observers were former First Ladies Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson, current first lady Rosalyn Carter, and women of all ages, ethnicities, and political backgrounds. The 1977 National Conference was groundbreaking in that it created a space to address the needs of all American women, not just the white majority. The Conference helped strengthen the message that equality for women means equality for all genders, and a better world for every human being.
Combining footage of the conference with interviews with influential women’s leaders such as Betty Friedan, Coretta Scott King, Gloria Steinem, and Ann Richards, Sisters of ‘77 takes an insightful look at that pivotal weekend in 1977. The film is a poignant reminder of how far equal rights have come in the nearly 40 years since the conference, and how important it is to actively protect the rights of all people.
The 55-minute film will be screened at 6:00pm and again at 7:45pm in the Center’s media vault. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please contact the Center today to reserve your spot: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (951) 222-8846.
The ArtsWalk film series continues on April 2nd with Skydancer, and on May 7th with Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
This blog post was contributed by Danielle Sanchez.