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Seventh annual conference on March 8 will feature women working inside politics and those working on politics from the outside, including Madeleine Kunin, Suzanne Bump and Leslie Wolfe

Michele WuckerGT. BARRINGTON, MA – Immigration specialist Michele Wucker (shown at left), Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York City, author of the book LOCKOUT: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right, will be featured at the Seventh Annual International Women’s Day Conference, to be held Saturday, March 8, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. 

The theme of the conference is “Women in Politics: Changing the Face of Power,” and a full slate of renowned experts in the field will discuss women's achievements both inside and outside traditional electoral politics. 

The day will begin with a keynote address by three-term Governor of Vermont and former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Madeleine Kunin, one of the first women governors in the U.S.  Kunin immigrated to the U.S. as a child, fleeing the Holocaust in Europe, and lived for several years in Pittsfield, Mass. She is currently a visiting professor at the University of Vermont, Burlington, and is the author of a new book on women in political leadership, Pearls, Politics and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead.  

Following Governor Kunin’s keynote, the day will continue with a morning Roundtable, "Working Inside the Political System," featuring Suzanne Bump, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development in Governor Deval Patrick's administration; Anda Filip, Ambassador and Director of the Interparliamentary Union Office at the United Nations in New York City; and Tricia Farley Bouvier, founding member of Women Helping to Empower Neighborhoods (WHEN) and past Pittsfield City Council member.  Leslie Wolfe, President of the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington DC, will moderate.

In the afternoon, a second Roundtable, entitled “Politics from the Outside,” will be moderated by Susan Arbetter, host of the politics talk show “New York Now” on WMHT-TV.   In addition to Dr. Wucker, panelists will include Dr. Helen Desfosses, Professor of Public Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY, WAMC political commentator and President of the Albany City Council from 1995-2002; Reverend Katharine Rhodes Henderson, Executive Vice President of the Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City and author of "God's Troublemakers: How Women of Faith are Changing the World"; and Dr. Melissa Harris- Lacewell, Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University and author of the forthcoming book "For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn't Enough." 

Simon's Rock Provost Mary B. Marcy, a political scientist, will give a welcome address at 9 a.m.

The event will conclude with a special Tribute to Women in Politics, written and staged by local students, as well as a new rendition of the Star Spangled Banner with lyrics composed by local resident Renee Harvitt, celebrating patriotism through peace.

The conference is co-sponsored by Berkshire Women for Women Worldwide (formerly the Berkshire Chapter of UNIFEM) and Bard College at Simon’s Rock, with the collaboration of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, the Women’s Interfaith Institute of the Berkshires, and many other individual and organizational donors.  

The registration fee of $40 ($35 before March 1;  $10 with student ID) includes continental breakfast and lunch.  For more information and to register, visit the website at www.simons-rock.edu or email iwd@simons-rock.edu.

Berkshire Women for Women Worldwide (BWWW) is an advocacy and fundraising organization that supports the work of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).  UNIFEM provides direct support for women’s economic and social empowerment, advocates against violence against women in all its forms, and promotes the inclusion of women in politics worldwide.