3:00 – 4:30pm

Berkshire Museum


1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6 2/13, 2/27

(no class 2/20)

Six Sessions

This course explores the many aspects of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), designed to permanently guarantee equal rights for all American citizens regardless of gender. First introduced to Congress in 1923, it was approved by the House of Representatives in 1971 and the U.S. Senate in 1972. It then needed ratification by 38 state legislatures by 1979, but only reached 35. More recently the Nevada and Illinois state legislatures ratified it in 2017 and 2018 respectively. 

January 16 History of the ERA. Dr. Katherine Kidd, Retired Professor of International Relations

January 23Legal Constitutional Issues of the ERA. Professor Tom Gerety, New York University Law School

January 30The ERA and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Amy Diamond, Chair, Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus PAC

February 6The ERA, Abortion and Reproductive Rights. Professor Carrie Baker, Smith College

February 13The ERA and Issues of Family Violence and Sexual Abuse of Women. Andrea Harrington, Berkshire County District Attorney

February 27 For People Like Me: Visibility and Employment in the LGBTQ Community. Landon Marchant and Leo Haines, Williams College students and advocates for LGBTQ people

Suggested Readings:

Equal Means Equal by Jessica Neuwirth, The New Press, 2015

Fighting the US Youth Sex Trade: Gender, Race and Politics by Carrie N. Baker, Cambridge University Press, 2018

Deborah Caine holds a B.A. (Honours) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Keele University, UK. She came to the USA in the 1950s on a philosophy fellowship to the New School, and taught philosophy at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. She did graduate studies at Columbia and Hebrew University, and was the co-founder with Rabbi Ivan Caine of the Independent Society Hill Synagogue, Philadelphia, in 1968. 

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OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
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