Leading Authors and Advocates Against Domestic Violence Headline Convention of Women's International Volunteer Federation
1,000+ members attend 116th Annual International Convention in Philadelphia
"GFWC Empowering Women…One by One" was the theme of the General Federation of Women's Clubs' (GFWC) 116th Annual International Convention, held June 9-11, 2007, at the Philadelphia Marriott in downtown Philadelphia. A keynote address by Lisa See, former Edgar Award nominee and author of the critically acclaimed novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was the highlight of the four-day event.
Convention attendees also heard actor, athlete, activist, and author Victor Rivas Rivers, the national spokesperson and Honorary Chair for the National Network to End Domestic Violence, who spoke about his own experience with domestic abuse; and Lt. Mark Wynn, a twenty-year member of the Metropolitan Police Department in Nashville, Tennessee and advocate for battered women. Rivers and Wynn are national leaders in domestic violence advocacy, which is an area of special focus for GFWC's 2006-2008 administration. In 2006, GFWC was recognized by Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware on the floor of the Senate as "a gem among our midst" for work related to domestic violence awareness and prevention.
"I am thrilled with the success of GFWC's 116th annual international convention," said GFWC International President Jacquelyn Pierce. "Our members have truly embraced the cause of domestic violence awareness, and the gathering in Philadelphia provided a remarkable platform for us to showcase the dedication and compassion of our members." In the first year of the domestic violence focus, GFWC members have initiated nearly 4,000 projects and raised more than $1 million for domestic violence shelter and awareness projects.
As part of the convention activities, President Pierce also presented the 12th Annual Jane Cunningham Croly Print Journalism Award for Excellence in Covering Issues of Concern to Women to Mariane Pearl for her "Global Diary" series in Glamour magazine. Newspaper and magazine writers from around the nation compete annually for the $1,000 prize in this contest, designed to pay tribute to GFWC's founder, journalist Jane Cunningham Croly, who devoted her life to helping women improve their lives and expand their rights.
During the convention's final evening, members attended the Empowering Women Banquet at the Philadelphia Union League, where awards were presented to Governor Ruth Ann Minner of Delaware; Dianne Mooney, Senior Vice President and Founder of Southern Living At HOME; and Susan Retik, co-founder of the Beyond the 11th organization. Other speakers at the convention included Peggy Post, great-granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post, spokesperson and author for the Emily Post Institute.
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The General Federation of Women's Clubs, one of the world's largest and oldest women's volunteer community service organizations, was founded in 1890 and is headquartered in Washington, DC. GFWC has more than 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and over a dozen countries. Visit us online at www.gfwc.org.
In 2006, GFWC and its members raised nearly $32 million on behalf of more than 230,000 projects, and volunteered more than 8.4 million hours. GFWC members and clubs work on projects in six main areas: arts; conservation; education; home life; international affairs; and public affairs.
The President's Special Project for 2006-2008 is domestic violence awareness and prevention. In the first year of this project, GFWC members initiated nearly 4,000 projects and raised over $1 million to programs related to this cause.
GFWC was recognized on the floor of the United States Senate as "a gem among our midst" by Senator Joseph Biden (DE) for our work in bringing hope to victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. (November 16, 2006)
Notable GFWC clubwomen have included: Julia Ward Howe, author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic; Jane Addams, founder of Hull House; Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first female governor and the first woman to be appointed Director of the United States Mint; Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady, social reformer, columnist, teacher, and political activist; and Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to ever be elected to both Houses of Congress, and the first woman to campaign for the presidential nomination of a major political party.