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National Speaker Forum

The club’s annual fund-raising National Speaker Forum brings to the community nationally-known women who speak on topics of current interest.

Woman’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati

2016 National Speaker

Isabel Wilkerson

 “Black Migration to Racial Justice: Are We There Yet?”  

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Music Hall Ballroom, 1241 Elm Street in Over-the-Rhine

Isabel Wilkerson I

This year our guest speaker was Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historian Isabel Wilkerson.   Isabel Wilkerson is author of  The Warmth of Other Suns.  Our annual fundraising event was held April 14, 2016, at 7:30 pm in the Music Hall Ballroom in Over the Rhine.

Isabel Wilkerson’s presentation was “Black Migration to Racial Justice: Are We There Yet?”  

With the high-profile killings of unarmed African-Americans at the hands of police and civilians in Ohio and elsewhere, many people are asking just how far we have really come since the days of Jim Crow.

The need for dialogue has never been more acute. In this timely lecture, Isabel Wilkerson addressed the persistence of racial injustice as a national challenge and the lessons her historical analysis can teach us as we work to overcome it. History is asking us: Have we reached our racial moment of truth?

Co-sponsor letter for organizations

 History of National Speaker Forum

The Status of Women Committee, under the leadership of Mary Wells in 1993, reestablished the National Speaker Forum as an annual fundraiser. WCC and 28 co-sponsoring organizations brought Lani Guinier to Cincinnati for the event. Guinier had just testified at the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas for the U.S. Supreme Court. She  spoke about “her version of civil rights, as opposed to conservative opponents’ views” to a sold-out venue. This forum surpassed the organization’s initial fundraising expectations and netted a large profit. The club’s annual National Speaker Forum became its primary fundraising event, bringing to the community nationally-known women including NPR host Susan Stamburg, Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, NPR interviewer Terry Gross, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Naomi Tutu, Diane Rehm, Kerry Kennedy, Robin Wright and Candy Crowley.             — from “Lighting the Fire, Leading the Way” by Rachel Powell

National Speakers

 1994 to 2015


2015   Mariel Hemingway, author, writer, mental health advocate: “Running from Crazy: A Life Journey with Mariel Hemingway”

2014   Candy Crowley, CNN political news anchor, correspondent: “The White House vs. Capitol Hill”

2013   Robin Wright, American foreign affairs analyst, journalist, author: “U.S. Intervention: When is Enough Really Enough”

2012   Kerry Kennedy, human rights activist and writer, daughter of Robert Kennedy: “The Power of One: Stories of Inspiration for Women on the Cutting Edge of Social Change”

2011   Naomi Tutu, author, granddaughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “Striving for Social Justice: Searching for Common Ground”

2010   Katty Kay, BBC America news host: “Washington from a Different Angle”

2009   Gail Collins, New York Times journalist, op-ed columnist, author: “Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Celebrity and American Politics”

2008   Ellen Goodman, author, columnist: “The Political is (Too) Personal, the Media are (Too) Polarized and Television News is an Oxymoron”

2007   Diane Rehm, NPR host: “A Conversation with Diane Rehm”

2006   Anna Deveare Smith, actress, playwright, artist-in-residence at the Center for American Progress: “Snapshots: Glimpses of America in Change”

2005 Charlayne Hunter-Gault, National Public Radio reporter, South African correspondent: “Africa on the Edge”

2004 Michel Martin, ABC and NPR journalist: “Healing the Racial Divide: The Role of Hard Truths”

2003 Collaborative Agreement Forum with Ruth Cronenberg and panel: “Justice in Cincinnati: Progress and Challenges” [Barbara Ehrenreich canceled because of boycott against Cincinnati]

2002  Halima Addou, human rights activist: “A Woman Caught Between Military Repression and Islamic Extremism”

2001  Wilma Mankiller, first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation: “Dancing on the Edge of the Roof: The Requirements of Leadership”

2000 Terri Gross, National Public Radio Host of Fresh Air: “Terry Gross,—She’s Got People Talking”  

1999 Molly Ivins, author columnist: “Molly Ivins Can’t Say That—Can She?”

1998  Faye Wattleton, president, Planned Parenthood of America: “Sexual Politics: The Control of Women’s Lives”

1997  Pat Schroeder, Congresswoman: “Challenges in Americal’s Future: Women in Leadership”

1996 Dr. Joycelyn Elders, U.S. Surgeon General: “The Cycles of Poverty, Drugs and Violence”

1995  Susan Stamberg, National Public Radio commentator: “Talk, Talk, and More Talk”

1994 Lani Guinier, law professor, author: “The New Civil Rights”  










Co-sponsorship Organization Letter and Form

Past Speaker Programs