Introductory remarks by Annie Laurie Gaylor, Nov. 11, 2005.
Our assistant Jackie Nesbitt, who helped to register you, brought to my attention a wonderful article in the Fall 2004 Ms., "Fighting Words for a Secular America" by Robin Morgan. It's a great piece summarizing the founders' views on state/church separation, expressing her alarm at the growing political power of the religious right. But, I have to admit, the greatest thrill for us was that the Freedom From Religion Foundation and its website were advertised in a sidebar to the article! Thank you, Robin!
Earlier this year, Foundation president emeritus Anne Gaylor happened to catch Robin Morgan on C-SPAN, talking about the importance of state/church separation. As the camera panned to Gloria Steinem in the audience, there was Robin, praising the Freedom From Religion Foundation by name!
Thank you, again, Robin!
This author of some 20 books will be releasing a new book, Fighting Words, defending a secular America, next year.
Most of us know of Robin through her feminist writing, especially her columns and articles for Ms. Magazine from 1974-1988. She was editor in chief of Ms. for four years and is now its international consulting editor. Robin is a distinguished poet, published in many journals and with several books of poetry. Her fiction includes the upcoming The Burning Times.
Her groundbreaking anthology, Sisterhood is Powerful, came out in 1972, followed by Sisterhood is Global (1984) and Sisterhood is Forever (2003).
Proving personally that sisterhood is global, Robin has traveled the globe as a feminist activist, scholar, journalist and lecturer. She is a Patron of Feminist Dalit (the "Untouchables"), in Nepal. She is an honorary member of Pan Arab Feminist Solidarity Assocition and likewise an honorary member of Israeli Feminists Against Occupation.
In this country, she is a co-founder of the Feminist Women's Health Network, the Feminist Writers' Guild, of Media Women and the National Network of Rape Crisis Centers.
One of Robin's books is the timely The Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism--which is not just investigative journalism, but tells the personal story of her travel to refugee camps in the Middle East, with a post 9/11 introduction and afterward.
What I did not realize about this feminist icon until I looked over her impressive resume is that she was a child actress and TV star. In Saturday's Child, she notes that "Saturday's child has to work for a living" and she began at age two, as a tot model, had her own radio show at age 4, then acted on the popular series, "Mama" in the 1940s and 1950s. Her memoir explains how she went from show biz and being named the "The Ideal American Girl" to become not only a literati but a founder and leader of the contemporary feminist movement.
Robin, we are enchanted to have found in you, a famous feminist author, journalist, editor, lecturer, organizer and activist, a kindred non-spirit.
Robin, of course, has been the recipient of many feminist and other awards, and I am so happy that she would take the time from her busy schedule and deadlines to fly here from New York to accept our award naming her Freethought Heroine 2005.
For the acceptance speech, click here
Photo by Brent Nicastro