A MacArthur genius award-winner, a founder of one of the nation’s largest reproductive justice organizations, authors and independent broadcasters, columnists and award-winning media artists will speak at a half-day memorial in honor of the late Rosalyn Baxandall, Distinguished Teaching Professor and former American Studies department chair, on Tuesday April 5, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the New Academic Building, Room 1100.
Baxandall was a radical feminist leader of the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City. Her October 13, 2015 death occasioned obituaries in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Nation. She participated in the famous 1969 abortion rights speak out, protested at the Ladies Home Journal offices with others, leading them to devote a full issue to women’s rights, and cofounded the Children’s Liberation Nursery. As a scholar she edited "Words On Fire: The Life and Writing of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn" (Rutgers University Press, 1987). With historian Linda Gordon, she edited "Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement" (Basic Books, 2001) and with Gordon and Susan Reverby, "America's Working Women" (W.W. Norton 1976 and 1995.) With former American Studies professor and historian Elizabeth Ewen she published "Picture Windows, How the Suburbs Happened, 1945–1987" (Basic Books, 2001). Baxandall taught at Old Westbury from 1971, retiring in 2009.
Old Westbury’s Women’s Center and American Studies Department will honor Baxandall with a series of panels expressing her committed activism. From 1 p.m. to 2:30 “Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Sex Ed with SexEd, Inclusion, Consent and Pleasure” will feature SexEd Co-Directors, Liz Slagus and Norene Leddy. The award-winning media artists use a community-based approach to engage youth and schools with sexual education, and they will be interviewed by progressive broadcaster Laura Flanders. Flanders is the author of "Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians" (Penguin Press 2007) and "Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species" (Verso, 2004), among others, and she directs and produces “The Laura Flanders Show,” a progressive broadcast that reaches over four million homes worldwide.
At 2:45 p.m. Baxandall’s Old Westbury staff, faculty and students will share in a memorial of her remarkable teaching career. Finally, at 3:50-5:20 there will be a panel, “Our Bodies, Our Lives: An Intergenerational Dialogue on Feminism and Reproductive Justice.” Speaking will be Barbara Winslow, historian and author, "Shirley Chisholm, Catalyst for Change" (Perseus Books, 2015) and "Sylvia Pankhurst, Sexual Politics and Political Activism;" Loretta Ross, founder of Sister Song, Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, who co-directed the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history with more than one million participants; and MacArthur Award-winning reproductive rights scholar/activist, and founder of the International Reproductive Rights Research Action Group (IRRAG) Rosalind Petchesky. Petchesky's books include "Global Prescriptions: Gendering Health and Human Rights" (Zed Books, 2003) and "Abortion And Woman's Choice: The State, Sexuality, and Reproductive Freedom" (Northeastern University, 1990).
Photo caption: Baxandall participating in a 1969 march protesting Nixon’s inauguration as President. “Give Back the Vote” signs were to draw attention to the new Women’s Liberation Movement’s realization that women winning the vote in 1920 in the U.S. hadn’t achieved them equality. Courtesy of Redstockings Archive.