Veteran Feminists of America

VFA Recognizes Feminist Pioneers at the Women and Media Conference in
Los Angeles September 7, 2013.

Veteran Feminists of America Medals awarded at the VFA Conference in Los Angeles, September 7, 2013, to feminists who have made remarkable and lasting contributions to the American Women’s Movement.

Mayor Abbe Land welcomed us to Los Angeles for our recent and very successful VFA conference, Women&Media, where we also celebrated the 20th Anniversaryof Veteran Feminists of America.


The room was packed with feminists who came from all over the world to join with their west coast sisters in an all-day, all-evening multimedia event of lectures, workshops, videos, music, socializing, and ceremony. We were fortunate to hear from many well-known media women in California, including Helen Reddy. There was even an audiovisual "romp through old media and new" led by our very own Sheila Tobias and Heather Booth. Late evening found us enjoying the music of June Millington, the "Godmother of Rock" and her sister Jean. And, as a special treat, we got to share VFA President Jacqui Ceballos' 88th birthday celebration.


Dr. Paula Caplan, writing in her Psychology Today blog, described the event as energizing and inspiring:


"When the Second Wave began in the late 1960s, who would have thought that in 2013, so much would have been achieved but so much would remain to be done?"


We thank Zoe Nicholson, along with co-hosts Lindsay Horvath and Martha Wheelock, for their hard work, creativity, and energy in making this a truly special and wonderful event in LA.

Virginia Elwood Akers -- Began the Women Studies Library in early 1970 at CSUN; author of women’s biography.

Lynne Ballen- Activist and long- time producer and host of Feminist Magazine on KPFK

Lois Banner—Pioneer in field of Women’s History and author of many books on the history of women, Professor at USC.

Eleanor Barrett—Continuous member of NOW since 1972 , on issues such as ERA. A barrister who wrote essays and educated others on Women’s Rights Issues.

Patti Bellasalma—Current President of CA NOW.

Katrina Cantrell is the Associate Executive Director of Women's Health Specialists. She has served on the board of directors for the National Women's Health Network and the Native American Women's Health Center in South Dakota.

Paula Caplan—A psychologist who advocates for women in the mental health system, and sees treatment from a feminist perspective.

Sherri Chessen receives her VFA medal.

Sherri Chessen [Finkbine in 1962]—faced abortion restrictions and public harassment when she needed to obtain an abortion because her fetus was damaged by the drug thalidomide in 1962. Star of Romper Room in those days but lost job because of notoriety of abortion issue.

Marguerite Cooper – NWPC leader for over 15 years, promoting training women for politics; she also served 30 years in the US Diplomatic Service.

Ellen duBois leading expert, researcher, and writer of many volumes on Women’s History, primarily 19th ??? Suffrage, Professor at UCLA.

Cheri Gaulke- performance and video artist and original member of the Woman’s Building.

Jane Guthrie- Graphic Artist , worked on NOW Newsletter with Judith Meuli; a designer of posters and the organizer of big ERA march at Century city.

Shauna Heckert, Executive Director of California's only remaining woman controlled reproductive health center, has been with Women's Health Specialists since 1976 ReproductiveFreedom.

Sophie Keir—Photojournalist, filmmaker, co-founder, Millett Center for the Arts, Co-Founder, circle of support for Iranian Women. Sophie was also arrested by the Ayettolah Khomini, along with Kate Millett, at the time of the overthrow of the Shah of Iran.

Lynn Kupferman – Early New York City NOW member on Davis Suskind show with the first panel of Lesbian on mainstream TV.

Sue Maberry -- Archivist and organizing member of the Woman’s Building

Molly McGregor – Co-Founder and executive director of the National Women’s History Project.

Terry O’Neill—President of National NOW

Torie Osborn— Community Organizer, executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Liberty Hill Foundation.

Elaine Partnow – writer and collector of women’s wisdom.

Eileen Schnitger, Director of Public Policy for Women's Health Specialists, winner of The Hirsch Award for the Advancement of Self Help.

Megan Seely, youngest president of California NOW and author of the book Fight Like a Girl: How to Be a Fearless Feminist. She serves on the board of Directors for Women's Health Specialists and is on the Faculty at Sierra College.

Barbara Shank, Cal State LA professor on Sex and Gender; promoter of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride

Joan Smiles: long-time feminist activist who organized original Women's Centers, Women's Studies programs, and academic women's caucuses on several university campuses; also member LA- NOW.

Nancy Toder—a psychotherapist and writer of her research on Lesbian psychology. Formed consciousness raising groups and was editor of the Lesbian Tide.

Melinda Tremaglio –President of Palm Springs NOW

Simone Wallace -- Founder, Sisterhood Bookstore, a Feminist haven

Loretta Weinberg Democratic State Senator – from New Jersey since 2005, currently the Senate Majority Leader.