News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: September 16, 2002 (02-55)
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Pager: 301-930-0972
               Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

NOW Founder Opens Montgomery College Women’s Speaker Series
 Sonia Pressman Fuentes to Speak at Takoma Park October 8

            One of the founders of the National Organization for Women, Sonia Pressman Fuentes, will lead off the Montgomery College, Takoma Park Women’s Studies 2002-2003 Speakers Series.  Fuentes’ topic for the appearance is “From Immigrant to Feminist, My Role in the Women’s Rights Movement.”  The event will be held on the lower level of Campus Commons at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8.

            Certain to be high on the evening’s agenda is Fuentes’ well-reviewed non-fiction book, “Eat First—You Don’t Know What They’ll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter.”

“I love your book.  It arrived yesterday and as I began to check it out, I couldn’t stop reading it,” says Barbara Haber of Radcliffe College in remarks typical of the work’s reviewers.

            “Eat First” is the story of a 5-year-old German-born immigrant who grew up to be one of the pioneers in the second wave of the women’s movement.  It has become required reading in college classrooms, serving as a textbook for courses at American University and at Fuentes’ alma mater, Cornell.

            After emigrating to the U.S. in 1934 to escape the Holocaust, Fuentes graduated from Cornell in 1950 as a Phi Beta Kappa, then finished number one in her class at the University of Miami School of Law.  She went on to become the first woman attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the E.E.O.C.  She helped found N.O.W. in 1966 and was the highest-paid woman at the headquarters of two multi-national corporations, GTE and TRW.

Dr. Esther Schwartz-McKinzie, coordinator of women’s studies for the Takoma Park campus, says Fuentes’ appearance as keynote speaker is especially fitting.  “Her reminiscences will resonate with young people who are testing new territories and for whom stepping into the classroom and beyond can be an act of bravery.”

Following the Fuentes appearance, the Women’s Studies Speakers Series will present former Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary on November 13 and storyteller Kathy McGregor on December 10. 

            For more information about the series, please contact Dr. Schwartz-McKinzie at 240-567-1662 or at eschwart@mc.cc.me.us.

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