Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Feb. 21, 1997

Catt conference features Chisholm

by Steve Sullivan
Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, and CNN congressional correspondent Candy Crowley will be among the speakers at the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics' fifth annual spring conference, Feb. 28-March 1.

The conference, titled "Looking Back/Looking Forward: Women's Voices, Victories and Visions," will focus on the role of women as voters, political candidates and policy makers. Political scholars and Iowa women in politics will speak at the conference. The conference will be in the Scheman Building and is open to the public and free, except for meals and child care.

"The goal of this year's conference is to provide a retrospective look at the participation of women in the political process, assess their current status following the 1996 elections, and discuss trends and strategies for the future," said Dianne Bystrom, director of the Catt Center.

Chisholm, a former New York congresswoman, will speak at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. Her talk is titled "Who Speaks for Us? Women and the Political Agenda." Chisholm, a longtime advocate for women and minorities in the political process, served in Congress from 1968 to 1982 and campaigned for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1972. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.

Crowley, who covered Sen. Bob Dole's recent bid for the presidency, will speak on media coverage of women voters, candidates and political leaders at a noon luncheon on Saturday, March 1. Crowley has been with CNN since 1987 and has covered the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Jesse Jackson and many others.

Other presentations at the two-day conference will address gender gap politics, styles and strategies of women candidates, the changing role of the first lady and the top issues facing Iowa according to women legislators.

Featured speakers include Mary Louise Smith, the first and only woman to serve as national chairman of the Republican Party and a longtime leader in Iowa and national politics; Karen Paget, a political scientist and author; Nancy Kegan Smith, an expert on the papers of the first ladies in the Office of Presidential Libraries; and Diana Carlin, campaign communication consultant and co-editor of a book on the 1992 presidential debates. Several Iowa women legislators also will speak.

The conference will end with an interactive, wrap-up session designed to "give voice" to participants on issues discussed during the two-day event, said Bystrom.

Reservations for Friday's dinner ($20) and/or Saturday's luncheon ($15) should be made by today, Feb. 21. Child care will be provided for a fee. For more information, contact the Catt Center, 4-3181.

For a complete schedule of events, see the ISU calendar.

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