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Buffalo hosts national leadership conference to discuss key issues facing women today

Conference theme of “Embracing Our Past: Empowering Our Future,” commemorates the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York State

This week the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women, lead by Executive Director, Karen King, PhD, hosts the National Association for Commissions on Women’s annual conference in which national and local leaders unite to discuss key issues facing women. Events run today, Thursday, July 13, through until Saturday, July 15, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Buffalo. This year’s conference theme is “Embracing Our Past: Empowering Our Future,” a well timed theme to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York State. Conference registration is available to the public.


The conference kicked off Thursday morning, with a panel discussion on the history of women’s suffrage. followed by a lecture on “New York State and the Legacy of Women’s Suffrage,” from Dr. Shannon M. Risk, historian and associate professor at Niagara University. Tomorrow’s agenda will assess women’s status in the present, “Panels will cover topics ranging from women in leadership, politics, and the media, to economic justice, women’s healthcare, and advocating for women.”

Dr. Evelyn Murphy and Amanda Nguyen will serve as Friday’s keynote speakers. Dr. Murphy is the founder and president of The WAGE Project, Inc., a grassroots organization dedicated to combating the gender wage gap and is the former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. She will be presenting new data on the pay gap and discussing new strategies for addressing this issue. Amanda Nguyen is president and founder of the national civil rights nonprofit group, Rise Up, which successfully passed the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights through the United States Congress in 2016. Her keynote will address the value of collective impact advocacy.

In a letter to conference attendees from NACW President, Kristin Garvey, states:

We are so excited to be holding our conference in Buffalo, NY, – the heart of Erie County – this year! Not far from our conference location, a group of over 300 women and men gathered 169 years ago to discuss the mistreatment of women in social, economic, political, and religious life. In July 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott spearheaded the first women’s rights convention in American history where committed individuals traveled to Seneca Falls, NY. There, they signed and issued the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, which was modeled after the Declaration of Independence, detailing the “injuries and usurpations” that had been inflicted on women and demanded women be granted all of the rights and privileges that men possessed, including the right to vote. It marked the beginning of the concerted efforts by dedicated women’s rights advocates that led up to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Click here for the full conference agenda, which includes local leaders as well as national experts.

When: July 13-16, 2017
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center Buffalo, NY

The national conference will also host a girls’ summit on the social, political, and economic empowerment of our local young women.

Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is a WNY native, born and raised in the Lincoln Park area of Tonawanda. She has been involved in local politics from an early age and is currently a Tonawanda Democratic Committee Member. As an avid equestrian and animal-lover, she trained and re-homed over 40 horses. For over a decade, she was an event planner with the law firm, Hodgson Russ LLP, and now owns her own marketing and event management company. She has worked with international and national organizations on large and small scale events. Jessica writes on politics and local events, as well as working with Buffalo Rising as a social reporter.

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