New Jersey NOW 2020 Virtual State Conference

New Jersey NOW to hold Biennial State Conference—September 15 – October 3

National Organization for Women of New Jersey (New Jersey NOW), announces its 2020 Virtual State Conference, VOTES, RIGHTS, EQUALITY | NOTHING LESS. The event will be held on October 3, 2020 with webinars leading up to the conference that will start on September 15, 2020.

On October 3, our keynote speaker is Dr. Khyati Joshi, Professor of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University and a social science researcher focusing on the intersections of race and religion in the United States. Other confirmed speakers for the afternoon include Senator Loretta WeinbergAssembly Member Shavonda Sumter and Congressional candidates Amy Kennedy (NJ02) and Stephanie Schmid (NJ04). We expect to have several members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation endorsed by the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee join us as well. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube starting at 3 pm.

Six webinars on topics related to each of NOW’s six core issues will be held between September 15 and October 1. Registration is encouraged for the webinars to access through Zoom. However, all of the webinars will be live-streamed as well. The schedule and registration links can be found at Details on the topics and confirmed speakers are below.

Webinar 1: Why ERA and Why NOW?

After a gap of 40 years, there is renewed momentum around the ERA. Nevada led the surge, Illinois stepped up and in January 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. An inter-generational panel leading the fight to have the gender equality enshrined in the U.S. constitution, discusses why we still need the ERA and where do we go from here.

When: Tuesday, September 15, 7 PM
Confirmed Panelists:
Lexi Abrams: Co-Lead, Generation Ratify NJ Chapter
Alice Cohan: Political Director, Feminist Majority
Jan Erikson: Director of Governmental Relations, National Organization for Women
Linda Weber (Moderator): Legislative Vice President, New Jersey NOW

Webinar 2: Title IX Under Assault

When the Obama administration recognized that Sexual Assault infringed on Title IX protections, it brought sweeping changes to the handling of these cases on campuses. Under the current administration, many of those advances have been rolled back or weakened. Join us to hear from an activist/survivor and others on the ground in New Jersey on what these changes could mean for survivors.

When: Thursday, September 17, 7 PM
Confirmed Panelists:
Andrea Pino-Silva: Co-founder, End Rape on Campus
Emily Ralph: Former Title IX Administrator for Drew University
Penny Venetis: Clinical Professor of Law, Rutgers Law
Anjali Mehrotra (Moderator): President, New Jersey NOW

Webinar 3: More than just Pronouns

In a gender-binary world, those who don’t identify as male or female often have trouble fitting in. In a world that asks us to check a single box — male or female — what happens for those who don’t feel either answer is exactly right? Our panel examines what it’s like to navigate the intersection between gender, identity and sexuality especially as we wait for societal norms and structures to catch up.

When: Monday, September 21, 7 PM
Confirmed Panelists:
Shannon Cuttle: Openly Non-Binary Trans Elected Official, South Orange/Maplewwod BOE
Dr. Catherine Lugg: Professor of Education, Rutgers Graduate School of Education
Erin Worrell: Board Member, Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice
Danni Newbury (Moderator) Coordinator, Office of LGBTQ Affairs at Union County

Webinar 4: Racism is in the Air

Acute pollution sources placed in overburdened neighborhoods have led to decades of pollution experienced by large parts of Newark, Camden, and many other Garden State communities. They pose health hazards to nearby residents further exasperating health disparities  for communities of color. Our panel of experts and activists will discuss the steps needed and the urgency for change.

When: Thursday, September 24, 7 PM
Confirmed Panelists:
Kim Gaddy: Environmental Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action
Melissa Miles: Executive Director, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (NJEJA)
Nicky Sheats: Director of Center for the Urban Environment, Thomas Edison State University
Senator Troy Singleton: Legislator, New Jersey Senate (LD-07)
Shree Mehrotra (Moderator): Environmental Justice Advocate, New Jersey NOW

Webinar 5: Free the Flow, End the Stigma

Menstrual Equity is about affordability, accessibility and safety of menstrual products. It is also about education and reproductive care. Our panel of service providers and advocates discusses why it’s time to eliminate period poverty and poverty stigma that has prevented not only decision-makers, but also healthcare providers, educators and individuals from ensuring that menstrual health is a priority.

When: Tuesday, September 29, 7 PM
Confirmed Panelists:
Elizabeth Coulter: Director of Public Health, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey
Elise Joy: Founder, Girl Helping Girls Period
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf: Author, Periods Gone Public; Leading National Advocate for Menstrual Equity
Annabelle Jin (Moderator): NJ State Co-director, Period.Org

Webinar 6: Build a Feminist Economy

The current pandemic has impacted women disproportionately across the globe. As states draw up recovery plans, some are asking the question – The current system is broken… Why not try something new? Our experts will discuss the merits of a gender responsive approach with investment in social infrastructure – childcare, education and health – rather than traditional infrastructure projects, in order to boost the economy.

When: Thursday, October 1, 7 PM
Confirmed Panelists:
Dr. Deborah Cornavaca: Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor, New Jersey
Brandon McKoy: President, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP)
Dr. Yana Rodgers: Director, Center for Women and Work, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations
Katie Brennan (Moderator): Treasurer, New Jersey NOW

Download the press release here.