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Celebrating Marie Wilson's Birthday: A Woman Labors for Representation

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Meryl Ann Butler     Permalink

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Marie Wilson
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Marie Wilson, President and founder of The White House Project, has been laboring for the global advancement of women and girls for over three decades. Her organization is celebrating her 70th birthday, which appropriately falls on Labor Day, with a surprise, interactive, online celebration.

Wilson envisions "a society where women lead side-by-side with men in order to transform our democracy and its institutions," with the result being "a future awash with new ideas and transformed by the energy of all people in every sector - one where there are greater options, a diversity of voices and (where) the work of running our country is easier and better for all citizens."

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Women change Everything
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Wilson's vision begs for fulfillment: the "Women in National Parliaments: World Classification" which assesses women's participation in politics, ranks the US at a shocking 73rd among 186 nations. We lag behind China, Afghanistan, Mexico, Viet Nam, and even Iraq. http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm

Terry O'Neill, "president of the National Organization for Women, described the percentage of women in Congress as "abysmal' and said the United States should be ashamed that it's one of only seven U.N. members - in company with Iran and Sudan - that hasn't ratified a 30-year-old women's rights treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women." (David Crary, Aug. 25, 2010, Washington Post.)

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In 1998, while Wilson was President of the Ms. Foundation for Women, she founded The White House Project in recognition of the need to build a truly representative democracy: one where women lead alongside men in all spheres. She left the Ms. Foundation in 2004 to devote her full energy to The White House Project, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. Since then, over 10,000 women nationwide have been trained through its award-winning, Vote, Run, Lead program.

Go Vote, Go Run, Go Lead, Go Girl!
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On Sept. 2, 2010 The White House Project announced an upcoming women's leadership training project coordinated with Participant Media as a prologue to the upcoming film, Fair Game. Starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, the movie is a true, "riveting action-thriller" being released in select cities on November 5th.

Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, in Fair Game
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Fair Game chronicles the destruction of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson's careers and the devastation to their family and marriage when her identity as a covert CIA operative was leaked to the press by the Bush administration. This national security breach was allegedly perpetrated as punishment following the publication of Wilson's 2003 New York Times editorial challenging White House statements about Iraq's so-called weapons of mass destruction.

Fair Game poster
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Directed by Doug Liman, the movie is based on Plame's book, "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House."

The coordinating training project, the "Women's Political Leadership and Nuclear Security Training," will take place in Washington, D.C., October 18-19, 2010, and includes a screening of the movie for participants. http://twhp.convio.net/site/Survey?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=3201

Wilson will speak at the event on Oct. 18.

Over the last thirty years, Wilson's accomplishments range from being the first woman elected to the Des Moines City Council as a member-at-large in 1983, to co-authoring the critically acclaimed Mother Daughter Revolution (1993, Bantam Books), and serving as an official government delegate to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995.

Marie Wilson

Wilson is also co-creator of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day and author of Closing the Leadership Gap: Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World (Viking, 2004).

In light of Wilson's labors, it's fitting that her organization is honoring her 70th birthday on Labor Day by offering an opportunity to help midwife a new, more balanced era that includes representation "of the women, by the women, and for the women."

Birthday greetings and donations can be sent through Facebook Causes http://birthdays.causes.com/wishes/19336 or donate $7, $70, $700 or $7000 in honor of Marie's 70th birthday to The White House Project's scholarship fund: https://secure2.convio.net/twhp/site/Donation2?df_id=1960&1960.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr004=7arj7aj061.app207a

The White House Project is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization, donations are tax deductible.

The White House Project TShirt
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The White House Project

Sign up for The White House Project's mailing list:


The White House Project is a national, nonpartisan organization which works to advance a critical mass of diverse women into leadership roles. For a full listing of trainings and events, please visit: http://www.thewhitehouseproject.org/calendar/

Read The White House Project's Benchmarking Women's Leadership report, (pub. Nov. 2009) for national statistics on women in leadership in ten different sectors ranging from business to academia. In the U.S., women's representation in leadership positions is 18% across the board. http://benchmarks.thewhitehouseproject.org

Marie Wilson on Huffington Post:


For more information: www.thewhitehouseproject.org

434 West 33rd Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10001"ยจ

Additional Resources

Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/ (Accessed Sept. 2, 2010.)

Crary, David. More women in political spotlight, but gap remains. Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/25/AR2010082505213.html Wednesday, August 25, 2010. (Accessed Sept. 2, 2010.)


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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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