Film screening – ‘Passing the Torch’ on feminism in Michigan since the 1960s (Michigan, USA)

Film screening: Passing the Torch

Monday 22 March 2010

Presented by:

U-M Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Lane Hall, 204 S. State Street

3:00 – 5:00 PM, School of Social Work Educational Conference Center

“Passing the Torch” is a documentary by the Michigan Chapter of Veteran Feminists of America, narrated by Lily Tomlin. Detroit area feminists, who were active in the nascent women’s movement of the late 1960s and early ’70s, joined the national VFA organization in the fall of 2000. Their purpose was to ensure the gains they helped make on behalf of women remain in place today. The documentary takes viewers behind the scenes to look at the role Michigan women of both political parties played in one of the most profound social movements of the 20th Century. Rights that most women take for granted today were non-existent 30 years ago. In interviews and oral histories their struggles to get women credit in their own name, establish domestic violence shelters, pass legislation to promote more available child care, secure reproductive rights, even gain admittance through the front door of the Detroit Athletic Club, are recalled by these engaging activists.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Governor Jennifer Granholm discuss the significance of the Women’s Movement in their own lives. Luminaries such as former First Lady Helen Milliken, Erma Henderson, the first African American woman elected to the Detroit City Council, Maryann Mahaffey, retired Detroit City Council President, UAW executive Millie Jeffrey, and other long time supporters of women’s rights reminisce about the protest marches, consciousness-raising sessions, and the general excitement of opening doors for women. Funding for “Passing The Torch” was provided by the James A. & Faith Knight Foundation, the Michigan Women’s Foundation, the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Women & Gender and individual donors. “Passing the Torch” was produced and written by Carol King, formerly of Michigan, now a California resident who works with her husband, television producer/director Michael Rose.

This event is co-sponsored by School of Social Work and the Center for the Education of Women.


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