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University of Idaho Women’s Center to Bring Gloria Steinem for 40th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, March 8 2012

MOSCOW, Idaho – Gloria Steinem, writer, lecturer, editor and feminist activist, will visit the University of Idaho on Oct. 4 and 5, 2012 in honor of the Women’s Center’s 40th anniversary.

Over the past 40 years, Steinem has played a pivotal role in the women’s equality movement, both in the United States and internationally. Steinem travels as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice.

In 1972, the same year that the U-Idaho Women’s Center was established, Steinem co-founded Ms. Magazine and remained one of its editors for 15 years. She continues to serve as a consulting editor for Ms., and was instrumental in orchestrating the magazine’s move to be published by the Feminist Majority Foundation. Her books include the bestsellers: Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Steinem helped found and provided leadership for many different organizations, including: the Women’s Action Alliance, the Women’s Media Center, Voters for Choice, and the Ms. Foundation for Women, a national multi-racial, multi-issue fund that supports grassroots projects to empower women. She is also a founder of the Ms. Foundation’s “Take Our Daughters To Work” Day.

Steinem will speak on “Women's Legacies, Inspiring Our Future,” at 7:30 p.m. at the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center, 1000 Stadium Way in Moscow, Idaho on Oct. 4. The event is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a facilitated question-and-answer period. The event will also serve as the keynote for the Athena-Women’s Center biennial Women’s Leadership Conference, held throughout the day on the U-Idaho Moscow campus.

“We are thrilled to bring Gloria Steinem to the University of Idaho,” said Heather Shea Gasser, director of the University of Idaho Women’s Center. “She has been and continues to be an instrumental voice for social change and for equality. Her leadership in the early ‘70s contributed directly to the same movement that resulted in the creation of the Women’s Center on campus in 1972. Her address on Oct. 4 will be the highlight of our semester-long celebration of the Women’s Center’s 40th anniversary.”

The Women's Center was founded to address the high attrition rates of female students on campus. Since then, the Women's Center’s role and purpose have evolved to include a breadth of programming and outreach that addresses the contemporary issues U-Idaho students are now facing. Gasser Shea said women's centers exist because gender equity has not been achieved in any country around the world.

“Women still earn less than their male peers, with women of color facing an even larger pay gap,” said Gasser Shea. “Women hold fewer tenured faculty positions and continue to be underrepresented in
many fields, which has a direct impact on female students within our own colleges and departments.”

A series of special programs currently being planned for the fall of 2012 will honor the hard work of many individuals and groups who have been involved in creating and sustaining the Women's Center over the past four decades.

Support for Steinem’s visit is being provided by the Office of the President, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Women’s Center, Athena Professional Women’s Organization, Diversity, Equity & Community,
University Housing & Residence Life, and Human Rights, Access & Inclusion.

For more information on the Women’s Center, Gloria Steinem’s visit and related events, please visit the Women’s Center’s website at, or contact the Women’s Center at (208) 885-6616 or
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho’s economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more:

About the Women’s Center
Since 1972, the University of Idaho Women's Center has been a voice for gender equity on campus, discussing issues of concern to women and other targeted groups, holding informational conferences, organizing educational programs, networking and engaging the campus and local communities in dialogue in an effort to build a more inclusive and compassionate society. For more information, call (208) 885-6616 or visit