Feminists bring multigenerational perspective to reopen dialogue

October 6, 2009

What is the unfinished work of feminist social change? How do we each come to feminism? Where do men fit into the whole equation? How do you teach the next generation about the power of a movement? Those questions and others will be addressed by an intergenerational panel – "WomenGirlsLadies" – during this year's Feldt/Barbanell Women of the World Lecture at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at Arizona State University.

The program – "Changing the World: Feminism in Action Generation to Generation" – will be held in the Memorial Union, Arizona Ballroom, on ASU's Tempe campus. The event, presented by women and gender studies in ASU's School">http://sst.clas.asu.edu/">School of Social Transformation, is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Download Full Image

Gloria Feldt, Maria Teresa Kumar, Courtney Martin and Brittany Collins – four diverse, feminist authors and activists representing generations from Generation Y to pre-Baby Boomer – will open an interactive conversation with the audience with personal accounts of their feminist activities. They'll recall their first memories as feminist activists, as well as their most elating – and disappointing – experiences.

"This year's Feldt/Barbanell Women of the World Lecture promises to reopen a dialogue about women's lives and the future of feminism. The panel of distinguished feminists includes an ASU student and an ASU professor of practice," says Mary Margaret Fonow, a professor of women and gender studies and founding director of the new School of Social Transformation in the College">http://clas.asu.edu/">College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The lecture is one of many events planned throughout the year to celebrate the new school.

Panelist Feldt was a teen mother whose passion for reproductive justice led her to a 30-year career with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, culminating as its national president and CEO from 1996-2005. She is an author and expert in women's rights, health, politics and leadership where the personal and political meet. Feldt's 2007 book co-written with Kathleen Turner, "Send Yourself Roses," was a New York Times best seller. Her previous books are "The War on Choice: The Right-Wing Attack on Women's Rights and How to Fight Back" and "Behind Every Choice Is a Story." She is at work on a book about women's relationship with power to be published by Seal Press in 2010.

Feldt has appeared on "Hardball," "O'Reilly," "Today," "Good Morning America," "The Daily Show" and "Lehrer News Hour." Her commentary has been published in the New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, Elle, Salon, Women's e-News and Alternet. Glamour honored her as Woman of the Year and Vanity Fair named her to its "Top 200 Women Leaders, Legends, and Trailblazers." She serves on the Women's Media Center and Jewish Women's Archive boards, the Our Bodies, Ourselves advisory board, and is a fellow of the International Leadership Forum. Feldt is a professor of practice at ASU where she teaches "Women, Power and Leadership." She also writes three blogs: Heartfeldt Politics, Courageous Leadership and Powered Women, online at www.GloriaFeldt.com.


Panelist Kumar was named by Hispanic Magazine as one of the top Latinas in Government and Politics. She is the founding executive director of Voto Latino, a leading national civic engagement organization targeting acculturated American Latino youth. In the 2008 presidential election, Voto Latino leveraged social media and celebrity participation in five battleground states, all of which saw Latino voter participation increase 5 percent or more above the national average. Kumar started her career as a legislative aide for former democratic caucus chairman Vic Fazio managing international trade issues and appropriations. She's counseled Fortune 500 companies on political strategy and recently co-founded FastFWD Group, a boutique social media strategy firm. She is a regular commentator for MSNBC.

Kumar is an Ambassador Swanee Hunt Prime Mover Fellow, a Women's Media Center Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy International Affairs Fellow. She is a recipient of numerous leadership awards including ones from The White House Project, Imagen Foundation and the New York Legislature. This year, Washington Life magazine featured Kumar on the cover of their issue highlighting the most influential Washingtonians under 40. She serves as a founding board member for both the Latino Leaders Network and Poder PAC. Kumar received a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of California at Davis.

Martin, the award-winning author of "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women," is also on the panel. Her book was called "a hardcover punch in the gut" by Arianna Huffington and "a smart and spirited rant that makes for thought-provoking reading" by the New York Times. She is a widely-read freelance journalist and regular blogger for Feministing.

Martin is a senior correspondent for The American Prospect Online and her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek and the Christian Science Monitor, among others. With AIDS activist Marvelyn Brown, Martin co-wrote Brown's life story in the book "The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive." Martin is at work on a book for Beacon Press about 10 people younger than 35 who are creating innovative social change. She was awarded the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics in 2002 and is the youngest woman to ever be awarded a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Italy. Additional information is at www.courtneyemartin.com.


Collins, the youngest member of the panel, is an early-graduating senior at ASU where she majors in women and gender studies. In addition to a bachelor's degree at graduation, Collins will receive a certificate in Arabic studies. A Dean's Scholar, Collins was awarded the 2009 Critical Language Scholarship for an intensive summer of Arabic study in Amman, Jordan, for her distinguished academic career and dedication to educating and promoting tolerance. She also plays for the women's rugby football club at ASU.

After the lecture, the dialogue continues on the "WomenGirlsLadies" blog at http://womengirlsladies.blogspot.com">http://womengirlsladies.blogspot.com">http://womengirlsladies.blogspot.c.... According to Feldt, the blog offers a fresh conversation among intergenerational feminists about all that matters: power, work, sex, motherhood, pop culture, the future, and everything in between.

The annual Feldt/Barbanell Women of the World Lecture was established in 2002 by Feldt and Alex Barbanell to bring to Arizona State University prominent individuals to address issues of a global nature and their effects on women. Barbanell, a retired insurance executive, is an ASU History Department alumnus.

Previous speakers were Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Nafis Sadik, Kathleen Turner and Eve Ensler.

Additional information about the lecture is available at http://wgs.asu.edu">http://wgs.asu.edu">http://wgs.asu.edu or 480-965-2358. Online maps of Tempe campus parking are available at www.asu.edu/map.">http://www.asu.edu/map">www.asu.edu/map.

Canine officer joins ASU Police Department

October 6, 2009

The newest member of the ASU Police Department elicits appreciative comments everywhere she goes, even though she’s a veteran of time spent behind bars who only works for kibbles.

“Disney is the first canine officer to join the force," says John Pickens, ASU Police Department Chief. "Bringing an explosives dog on board expands the tools available to the ASU Police Department to ensure a safe and secure environment for students, faculty and staff at the university’s four campuses.”  Download Full Image

Disney is a 1-and-a-half-year-old yellow Labrador retriever who can distinguish approximately 19,000 scents, among them flash powders, commercial explosives, TNT and military ordnance. Her inventory of scents is constantly updated as new materials are developed. “She has senses that you or I can only dream about. She knows how to separate those scents into what she needs to find,” says D. Parker Dunwoody, Disney’s handler and a detective in the ASU Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit.  

Disney’s nose performed its magic during a recent training exercise on campus where she correctly hit on all of the scents that were put out for her to find. She trains in a variety of places to become comfortable in varied locations.“That way the dog gets used to different environments,” Dunwoody says. 

Disney started her stint with the ASU force this year after undergoing 10 weeks of explosives/handler training at the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms canine training center with Dunwoody and six weeks of training prior to that to imprint explosive scents in her memory.Although it might appear that Disney has a checkered past, her time spent behind bars was part of her initial training when she was placed with an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., where she learned basic obedience. The program has a dual goal of training the dog and giving inmates a purpose in life. 

“It gives them a chance to give back to society and it gives them something to look forward to,” Dunwoody says.When Dunwoody was paired with Disney, the inmate who cared for her sent him a 100-page scrapbook that detailed Disney’s time in prison including photos and her baby teeth. 

“The woman who took care of her really loved Disney,” Dunwoody says.It’s a feeling that’s mutual. Members of the ASU community are amazed at times to see a dog on campus. And students, faculty and staff tend to admire her from afar since she’s a working dog. 

“There’s a lot of interest,” Dunwoody says. “She loves everybody.”Dunwoody has also formed a close bond with “Miss Disney,” as he affectionately calls her. He decided to go into law enforcement so he could handle a dog one day. He has worked previously with Tempe Police Department canines, including dressing in a padded suit and letting a police dog attack him. 

That was a cathartic experience for the detective who had been attacked by a German shepherd when he was 3 years old. Even that episode didn’t diminish his love for dogs.

“There’s nothing better than going to work with your best friend,” Dunwoody says.A typical day with Disney starts with Dunwoody setting up training aids – materials with explosive scents – and running a session where she finds all of the aids. Disney sits when she identifies an explosive and Dunwoody rewards her with food. Since she only eats when she’s training, Disney has sessions twice per day. 

“She’s a food-reward dog,” Dunwoody says. “I train with her seven days a week.”Disney often works with other ATF-trained explosives dogs and their handlers. She sniffs Sun Devil Stadium before events and searches venues when high-profile visitors come to campus. She’ll also be called upon to assist other agencies when an explosives dog is needed. 

“I also train a lot with the Tempe Police Department,” Dunwoody says.She rides in style in the back seat of a police canine car that is equipped with sensors that set off the siren and lights if it gets too hot in the car. Fans at both rear windows kick on and Dunwoody is paged if the temperature climbs in the vehicle.  During her leisure time at home with Dunwoody, she’s just another member of the family who frolics with her animal companions –  a cat and another dog – when she’s not on duty.“Everybody loves her,” he says.