First Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues
If not us . . . Who? If not now . . . When? If not Seneca Falls . . . Where?
The first Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues took place October 11-12, 2008, in historic Seneca Falls, New York. The weekend began with a videotaped greeting from Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and the United Nations Commissioner of Human Rights. The conference brought together students, professors, renowned authors, feminist activists, and an international Russian women’s delegation in the effort to mark the 160th anniversary of the first Women’s Rights Convention, including the signing of the Declaration of Sentiments, and the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Keynote speaker Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney delivered an inspiring message of encouragement regarding Congress and the women’s rights agenda, and human rights activist Carolyn Hannan spoke on the global challenge of uniting feminist causes. One of the highlights of the 2008 event was the reading of a letter from then-Senator Barack Obama in response to a question posed to presidential candidates, “How would your administration support women’s rights such as the ERA, CEDAW, and pay equity?” While honoring the legacy of the great women who came to Seneca Falls before us, the conference left participants energized, enthusiastic, and dedicated to change.