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Prominent Women Political Leaders Gather to Commemorate 175 Years of Women In Politics

BOSTON (July 22, 2013) — In celebration of the 175th anniversary of the first American woman to address a legislative body, Simmons College will co-host "How Women Become Political." This forum will feature prominent women political leaders including: feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem; U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Warren; and Former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey.

This free, public event, sponsored by the Grimke Event Committee, takes place Monday, Oct. 7 at the John Hancock Hall in Boston, from 6 to 8 p.m. Additional speakers include Former U.S. Ambassador to Austria Swanee Hunt and Boston City Councilor At Large Ayanna Pressley. For more information, visit www.womenbecomepolitical.org. You can follow the conversation live on Twitter at @SimmonsCollege and #WomenPoli2013.

"Simmons is proud to be a part of this historically significant event," said Simmons College President Helen Drinan. "Politics is an important way for women to extend their leadership, and Simmons College has a longstanding commitment to women's education, leadership, and success."

"Our goal is to inspire women of all ages, political beliefs, and diverse backgrounds to engage more deeply with politics," said Louise W. Knight, author and Chair of the Grimke Event Committee.

In 1838, Angelina Grimke became the first American woman to address a legislative body when she testified before the Joint Special Committee of the Massachusetts State Legislature on the subject of slavery. During a packed meeting, Grimke argued for the right of women to address legislators, marking a historic moment in the women's rights movement.

The Grimke Event Committee is comprised of leaders from academia, government, corporate, and nonprofit management. They include: Ann W. Caldwell, president emerita of the MGH Institute of Health Professions and author of the forthcoming biography of Catherine Filene Shouse; Judith Kidd, a longtime philanthropist and community volunteer; Megan Marshall, author of The Peabody Sisters and a biography of Margaret Fuller; Marie A. Turley, executive director, City of Boston Women's Commission; Diane Hammer, director of the Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change; and Louise Knight, author of Citizen, and a forthcoming biography of Angelina and Sarah Grimke.

Other event sponsors include Political Parity; Ambassador Swanee Hunt; Elizabeth Driehaus from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; the Ms. Foundation; and the Barbara Lee Foundation.

Founded in 1899, Simmons College (simmons.edu) is a nationally recognized university located in Boston with a history of visionary thinking and social responsibility. It offers undergraduate education for women and the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women. It also features renowned coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences; liberal arts, including education and behavior analysis; library and information science; social work; and business. Follow us on Twitter at @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews.

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