11/12/2009

Weingarten, Clinton Help Kick Off New Public Policy Group

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AFT president Randi Weingarten joined U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the inaugural No Limits public policy conference Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C. No Limits is a new nonpartisan group focusing on issues such as healthcare reform, economic policy, international security and human rights.

Weingarten chaired a panel discussion titled "Women's Rights Are Human Rights." She challenged the standing-room-only crowd of conference participants to "listen to those for whom you advocate, become their voice—that is tangible empowerment." Members of the panel were Lissa Muscatine, a senior advisor and speechwriter at the State Department; Kakenya Ntaiya, founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence boarding school for girls in Kenya; and JoDee Winterhoff, vice president for policy and advocacy at CARE.

Weingarten facilitated a dialogue between the panel of women leaders in international development and a well-informed audience. The discussion concluded with a clear consensus that, as Weingarten put it, "the No Limits agenda would be well-served if it devotes considerable attention to repositioning women's rights advocacy."

To counter a sense of complacency, Weingarten said, "It is time to re-engage the women's rights agenda using our tools—education, economic leverage and political activism." [Photo courtesy of No Limits.]

November 12, 2009