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Skirball Cultural Center

The Feminist Fight Forward: Lessons from 50 Years of Ms. Magazine


Media Contacts:
Laura B. Cohen, LC Media, lcmediapr@gmail.com, (310) 867-3897

Download the press release

The Skirball Cultural Center presents

The Feminist Fight Forward: 
Lessons from 50 Years of Ms. Magazine

A daylong event dedicated to examining the evolution and future of women’s rights

Sunday, October 29, 2023, from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

What: The Skirball Cultural Center hosts an all day celebratory event on Sunday, October 29 honoring Ms. Magazine, the seminal publication that for half a century has explored solutions to secure gender justice across America. The one-day-only event includes several keynote conversations led by renowned feminist and civil rights scholars, including: Dr. Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Dolores Huerta, Katherine Spillar, with invocation by Somali poet and L.A. resident Warsan Shire and welcome remarks by L.A. County Supervisor, Hilda Solis. Attendees can choose one of three breakout sessions to participate in that tackle a diverse range of topics exploring the future of feminism. The closing keynote speaker is Elaine Brown, activist and former Black Panther Party Chairwoman.

Session one covers the state of equal rights under rule of law featuring panelists Dr. Michele Bratcher Goodwin (Constitutional Law Scholar and author), Esta Soler (President, Futures Without Violence) and Brad Sears (Executive Director, UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute), moderated by Ms. Executive Editor, Katherine Spillar.

The second session examines the protection of reproductive rights in alignment with gender fluidity, moderated by Ms. Consulting Digital Editor, Carmen Rios, with panelists Sophia Yen, M.D. (Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University), Michele Pred (conceptual artist and feminism activist) and Rabbi Sari Laufer (Stephen Wise Temple). 

The third breakout session focuses on feminism beyond U.S. borders, highlighting the voices of Rayka Zehtabchi (Academy Award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker), Crystal Bayat (Afghan human rights advocate) and Warsan Shire (Somali poet and writer) moderated by NPR Correspondent and Ms. Contributor, Renee Montagne

The day’s closing keynote initiates a conversation on lessons learned and applied over the last several decades, inspiring attendees that, together, they can overcome significant challenges faced across genders and non-binary individuals worldwide. Elaine Brown and Dr. Michele Bratcher Goodwin will discuss the obstacles they have faced during their time in the movement and outline a roadmap to transcend this moment of backlash.

A broad range of social practice organizations across L.A. County will be present, providing attendees with additional resources to deepen the shared commitment to justice within a safe, peaceful setting. In addition, the Skirball and Feminist Majority Foundation are honored to feature a small exhibition of Michele Pred's art, "Power of the Purse," which the artist describes as "small-scale political billboards.

Fifty years after its launch, Ms. Magazine remains a trusted feminist source for news, analysis and commentary and is critical as women’s rights and democracy face new challenges in the ever evolving cultural climate of not only the nation but the world.  

The New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, 50 Years of Ms. (Knopf, Sept. 2023) will be available for purchase at the event with opportunities to get them signed throughout the day. 

When: Sunday, October 29, 2023 | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Tickets: Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here. Pricing: $45 General; $35 Members; Seniors and Full-Time Students $20. The price of the ticket also includes admission to the Skirball’s current exhibitions This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, RECLAIMED: A Family Painting and The American Library by Yinka Shinobare CBE RA.

The Feminist Fight Forward: Lessons from 50 Years of Ms. 

Detailed Schedule:

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   
Doors open and light breakfast

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Invocation: Warsan Shire, Somali-born poet and writer
Welcome: Hilda Solis, LA County Supervisor, First District
Opening Keynote: Dr. Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Executive Producer, Ms. Studios
Call-to-Action: Dolores Huerta, labor and civil rights activist

12:00 - 12:30 PM 
Lunch Break

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
Breakout Session 1—Enshrining Our Rights in the US Constitution

  • Dr. Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Executive Producer, Ms. Studios
  • Brad Sears, Executive Director, The Williams Institute, UCLA
  • Esta Soler, President, Futures Without Violence
  • Katherine Spillar, Executive Editor, Ms., and Executive Director, Feminist Majority Foundation (moderator)

Breakout Session 2—Reproductive Rights in the Fight for Freedom

  • Rabbi Sari Laufer, Stephen Wise Temple 
  • Michele Pred, conceptual artist and activist 
  • Carmen Rios, Consulting Digital Editor, Ms., and feminist superstar (moderator)
  • Sophia Yen, MD; Co-Founder, Pandia Health; and Clinical Associate Professor, Stanford University

Breakout Session 3—Changing the World for Women

  • Crystal Bayat, Afghan social activist and human rights advocate
  • Renee Montagne, Contributor, Ms., and Special Correspondent and Host, NPR News (moderator)
  • Warsan Shire, Somali-born poet and writer
  • Rayka Zehtabchi, Iranian American Academy Award–winning filmmaker, Period: End of Sentence

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Closing Remarks

  • Elaine Brown, Activist and former Black Panther Party Chairwoman
  • Dr. Michele Bratcher, Executive Producer for Ms. Studios

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM 
Networking, relaxation and event wrap

Speaker bios are available on the Skirball website.


About the Skirball
The Skirball Cultural Center is a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. We welcome people of all communities and generations to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and call upon us to help build a more just society. 

Visiting the Skirball
The Skirball is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049. Museum hours: Tuesday–Friday, 12:00–5:00 pm; Saturday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm; closed Mondays and holidays. Admission to the Skirball’s upcoming exhibition, opening October 21, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement includes General Admission. Special Pricing: $18 General; $15 Seniors, Full-Time Students, and Children over 12; $13 Children 2–12. RECLAIMED: A Family Painting and The American Library by Yinka Shinobare CBE RA will be included with admission to This Light of Ours, or as part of General Admission: $12 General; $9 Seniors, Full-Time Students, and Children over 12; $7 Children 2–12. Exhibitions are always FREE to Skirball Members and Children under 2. The permanent exhibition Noah’s Ark at the Skirball is ticketed separately. Advance timed-entry reservations are recommended. For general information, the public may call (310) 440-4500 or visit skirball.org.