Far from Over: The Fight for the Equal Rights Amendment

Tue. Nov 14, 2023 7:00pm - 8:00pm EST
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Event Description

Politicians and activists at the forefront of the movement discuss the continuing push for gender equality.


  • Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney, Former U.S. Representative, NY 12th district

  • Christian F. Nunes,  President of the National Organization for Women (NOW)

  • Kate Shaw, Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy at the Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

  • L. Joy Williams, President of the Brooklyn NAACP, Host of #SundayCivics

In April and July this year, Democrats in Congress made renewed efforts to revive the much-contested Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which seeks to enshrine in the Constitution equality between the sexes. In the hundred years since its first introduction in Congress, the amendment has failed to achieve the support required to become the law of the land. What is the future for the ERA?

Presented in connection with the Library's exhibition Equal Rights Amendment: A Century of Speaking Out.

To join the event in person | Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins. For LIVE from NYPL events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment; we will do our best to accommodate everyone. Booked seats that have not been claimed will be released shortly before start time, and seats may become available then. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on the NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register! If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL's YouTube channel.


Demonstrators in favor of the ERA and demonstrators against the ERAEqual Rights Amendment: A Century of Speaking Out
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Rayner Special Collections Wing
Through January 7, 2024 

After the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, the groups that united to fight for women's suffrage splintered. While many activists felt enfranchisement was the final goal, others, especially those who were left out of the dominant paradigm advocating for the 19th Amendment, viewed the victory as a stepping stone. In 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment, which outlined sweeping reforms to combat gender discrimination, was presented to Congress—and began a decades-long fight around ratification. Drawing from collections across the research libraries, the Library's new exhibition Equal Rights Amendment: A Century of Speaking Out examines both those who advocated for the ERA and those who opposed it, focusing on the different tactics used by the two sides.


Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney headshotFirst elected to Congress in 1992 during the "Year of the Woman," Carolyn B. Maloney is a nationally recognized progressive leader with extensive accomplishments in financial services, national security, the economy, and women’s issues. She was ranked as the second-most effective legislator in the 117th Congress (2021-2023) and third-most effective in the 116th Congress by the nonpartisan Center for Effective Law Making. Representative Maloney was the first woman to serve as Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Joint Economic Committee, and the first woman to represent her district in Congress. Representative Maloney began her career as a teacher and administrator for the New York City Board of Education. When her program was cut, she succeeded in restoring funding against long odds with tenacity and persistence, which became hallmarks of her career. Representative Maloney is a leading advocate for—and repeated chief House sponsor of—legislation to recognize ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Overcoming years-long resistance from the Senate, she secured approval to build the forthcoming Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum on the National Mall. Following her 30 years in Congress and 10 years on the New York City Council, Representative Maloney is currently serving as the Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Leader in Residence at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, a public policy institute housed at Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s former home. She was recently elected Chair of the Board for the ERA Coalition, which she helped create. Representative Maloney also serves as President of the New York Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Christian F. Nunes headshotChristian F. Nunes, MBA, MS, LCSW, became NOW president in August 2020. She was previously appointed Vice President by the board in May 2019. As the second African American president in the organization’s history, Nunes is leading the organization through an intersectional lens, bringing a diverse coalition of grassroots activists to work against structural sexism and racism. She is a former NOW board member and committee chair, as well as a licensed clinical social worker, consultant, and a woman-minority business owner. Christian is an active community organizer and public speaker, regularly being featured at events such as the March for Black Women, Women’s March events, and rallies around the country. Christian launched key initiatives at NOW such as the Unlock the Future campaign, which demands humane treatment for detained immigrant families, NOW’s Racial Justice Summit and the Feminist Agenda Campaign in partnership with Black Women's Blueprint. Christian is the founder of a behavioral health and consulting practice. As an advocate for social justice and mental health policy, she took up the role as Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues. She is often featured in media outlets including MSNBC, Business Insider, PRISM, Politico, The Huffington Post, Ebony, Black Enterprise magazine, Yahoo News, and many more national and local outlets. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work (BSW) from Northern Arizona University, her Master of Science degree from Columbia University, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Phoenix.

Kate Shaw headshotKate Shaw is a Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy at the Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Before joining Cardozo, Professor Shaw worked in the White House Counsel’s Office as a Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President. She clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Professor Shaw graduated with a B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University and with a J.D. magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Northwestern University, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review and won the John Paul Stevens Award. Her scholarly work has appeared, among other places, in the Northwestern University Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Texas Law Review, and the Georgetown Law Journal, and her popular writing has appeared in The New York TimesSlate, and the Take Care blog. She recently edited the book Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories, with Reva Siegel and Melissa Murray. She also serves as a contributor with ABC News, co-hosts the Supreme Court podcast Strict Scrutiny, and serves as a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS). 

L. Joy Williams headshotL. Joy Williams has a passion for political and community activism that stems from a deep-rooted family history and commitment to civil rights and social justice. She currently serves as the President of the Brooklyn NAACP and is also the Legislative Coordinator for the New York State NAACP Conference of Branches. L. Joy is Chairman Emeritus of Higher Heights for America and now serves as Chair of the Higher Heights PAC. In these roles, L. Joy travels the country training, advising, and supporting efforts to build Black women’s political power and leadership potential. Recognizing the need for civic education and engagement in an accessible format, L. Joy created the weekly podcast #SundayCivics to teach civics using the current political landscape. 


Be sure to visit the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures, the Library's first-ever permanent exhibition highlighting our world-renowned research collections. To register and learn more about the exhibition, click here.

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In-Person | Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email accessibility@nypl.org or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. 

Livestream | Captions and a transcript will be provided. Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email accessibility@nypl.org or use this Gmail template.



For questions and inquiries, please email publicprograms@nypl.org or use this Gmail template.

Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email sarabethjoren@nypl.org or use this Gmail template.

The New York Public Library's free services and resources are made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library. Join this group of Library lovers and take advantage of special membership benefits, like invitations to members-only virtual events, discounts at the Library Shop, and more. Join now.

LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.

Treasures programming is made possible by the Estate of Helen Sisserson.

Courtesy Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney
Courtesy Christian F. Nunes
Courtesy Kate Shaw
L. Joy Williams © Maro Hagopian

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Venue Details
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Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 476 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018