posted March 24, 2003

Advocate of Women's Leadership to Speak March 25

Marie Wilson, president of the Ms. Foundation for Women and The White House Project, will present "Why Women Matter: The Path to Leadership" on Tuesday, March 25, at 11 a.m. in the Maas Center conference room.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

An advocate of women's issues for more than 30 years, Wilson became president of the Ms. Foundation in 1984, raising millions of dollars for programs and organizations serving women and girls, including the Ms. Foundation's $16 million endowment fund. She co-founded The White House Project in 1998 to change the political climate to get more women elected to office, including the presidency. In 1999, she founded the Women's Leadership Fund, a public education initiative dedicated to changing perceptions about and biases against women's leadership ability.

Her other accomplishments include co-creating the successful public education campaign, "Take Our Daughters to Work Day," and co-authoring the critically acclaimed "Mother Daughter Revolution" (1993, Bantam Books). She was the first woman elected to the Des Moines City Council, as a member at large in 1983. She served as an official government delegate to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in 1995.

For her many accomplishments in the field of philanthropy, Wilson was awarded the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking in 2002. She also received the Leadership for Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Award from Women & Philanthropy, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Community Service from Drake University, where she once served as director of women's programs. She was named one of "New Woman" magazine's "People of the Year" in 1993.

She is a frequent speaker on college campuses. She has also spoken on women's political leadership in several news outlets, including "Good Morning America," the "New York Times," National Public Radio, the "Wall Street Journal," CBS Evening News, Agence France-Presse, the BBC, "USA Today" and the "Christian Science Monitor." Her address is sponsored by the Women's Studies Program at Hope, the West Michigan Women's Studies Council and the Nokomis Foundation.