SFD Program 2008

Obama Letter

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.

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