University of Rochester

Forum Examines 21st Century Barriers to Women's Equality

September 25, 2006

Award-winning ABC news correspondent Lynn Sherr will discuss the challenges she faced as a woman in television during the 1960s and 1970s as part of this year's Stanton/Anthony Conversations, a series of annual forums on issues of women's rights.

Sherr just published her memoir recounting her career climb in the face of sexism. She will speak during a luncheon and then moderate a panel of young women leaders discussing "100 Years Since Susan B.: The Future of Feminism," about obstacles to full equality still facing women in the 21st century. The luncheon will be held at noon, followed by the panel at 1:30 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 6, in the May Room in Wilson Commons on the University of Rochester's River Campus.

The program is sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership at the University and is named for suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

"Women in the United States won the vote in 1920, but Anthony saw suffrage as a means, not an end," said Nora Bredes, director of the Anthony Center. "Anthony said that 'ancient prejudices' could prevent women from standing equally beside men. Legal rights have given women more opportunities and the chance to establish equality, but they are not equality itself. There's still much work that needs to be done."

Sherr received her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College. She was a reporter for the Associated Press, Conde Nast Publications, WCBS-TV in New York, and public television stations WNET in New York City and WETA in Washington, D.C., before joining ABC News in 1977. She covered national news, including presidential elections and the space program, before being named a correspondent for ABC's newsmagazine 20/20 in 1986. Sherr is the recipient of a George Foster Peabody Award, an Emmy Award, and two American Women in Radio and Television Commendation awards. Her memoir, Outside the Box, was published this month.

Sherr will moderate a discussion by a panel of current young women leaders:

  • Awista Ayub, a 2001 alumna of the University of Rochester and education and health officer with the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. In 2003, Ayub founded the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange, using sports to develop leadership skills. More than 250 girls in the capital city of Kabul have attended the non-profit organization's soccer camps. In July, Ayub was featured in Glamour magazine and named a "Person of the Week" by ABC Nightly News.
  • Crystal Lander, campus program director for the Feminist Majority Foundation. The Foundation works on issues of women's equality and empowerment, and Lander manages the organization's programs on more than 200 campuses. Previously, she was community action manager for the international division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 2005, Lander received the Young Women of Achievement Award from the Women's Information Network.
  • Dawn Lundy Martin, scholar, poet, and activist. She is the author of the poetry collection The Morning Hour and co-editor of the collection of essays The Fire This Time: Young Activists and New Feminism. Martin is also a founding member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets, and a founder of the only national young feminist organization in the United States, the Third Wave Foundation. She teaches at Bard College and is a Ph.D. candidate in English literature at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
  • Julianne Nigro, a sophomore at the University of Rochester and secretary of the Women's Caucus, a campus organization that addresses international and domestic women's issues. Nigro is also the vice president of the campus chapter of Amnesty International and a member of the Progressive Students Alliance and of Tiernan Project, a community service club. She is an alumna of the Girls Leadership Workshop at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill in Hyde Park.

    Though the Conversations panel discussion is free, registration is required. The luncheon cost is $35. For information on registration, reservations, and parking, contact the Anthony Center at (585) 275-8799. Information about the center can be found online at

    The Stanton/Anthony Conversations are part of the Anthony Center's yearlong initiative, "100 Years Since Susan B. . . . Consider the Anthony Legacy," which includes events and programs celebrating women's achievements since the suffragist died in 1906. The luncheon and panel programs are being held during Meliora Weekend, the University's annual tradition of celebrating homecoming, alumni reunions, and parents' weekend together. The Stanton/Anthony Conversations program is supported by the Nan Johnson Endowment. Johnson is a former Monroe County Legislator and the founding director of the Anthony Center.