IN THIS ISSUE
Improving the Health of Midlife Women
American Woman Award Winner Cathleen Black
American Woman Award Dinner and Gala 2001
WREI Receives Shared Vision Award
Women in the Military Project
Hire-A-Vet: Noted Scholars Assess WREIs Working Paper on Women Veterans
Board Member Diane Watson is Elected to Congress
WREI Fellow Patricia Rojas Leads a Fight for Immigrant Students at the
Martha Farnsworth Riche is Featured in Fast Company
American Woman 2001-2002 Book Signing at Barnes & Noble
Where is Former Fellow Lucille Bonvouloir Now?
YOU KNOW . . .
More women than men age 25 to 34 have a bachelor's degree and women
in this age group are just as likely to have an advanced degree as their
grandmothers were to have a bachelor's degree.
THE HEALTH OF MIDLIFE WOMEN
Little attention has been directed towards the health of midlife women.
The focus has been on younger women of reproductive age or older women
eligible for Medicare. Significant gaps in health coverage and research
as well as disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention confront women
from 45 to 64one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population.
WREI addresses these gaps in a comprehensive new report, Improving the
Health of Midlife Women: Policy Options for the 21st Century by Cindy
Costello and Vanessa Wight. It offers Congress 15 High Impact Actions
that could be taken to address these gaps as well as a broad range of
recommendations to set a midlife womens federal health agenda.
After releasing the report at a Capitol Hill briefing in May, Susan
Scanlan, president of WREI, and Cindy Costello met with Secretary Tommy
Thompson, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to discuss ways
the Department could implement several of the recommendations. This
was followed by a promising meeting at the White House with domestic
To find out more, visit us online at www.wrei.org, where Improving the
Health of Midlife Women is available for $8.50.
WOMAN AWARD WINNER CATHLEEN BLACK
On October 9th, WREI will recognize Cathleen Black, president of Hearst
Magazines, with our annual American Woman Award. Ms. Black currently
directs the worlds largest chain of magazines, including Cosmopolitan,
Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, O, The Oprah Magazine, Popular
Mechanics, and Redbook. Today, Hearst publishes 98 international editions
in more than 100 countries.
Over a long and distinguished career, Ms. Black has achieved many firsts.
In 1972, she helped launch Ms. magazine and seven years later became
the first woman publisher of a weekly consumer magazine, New York Magazine.
From there, she moved to USA Today as president and then publisher.
In 1991, she was named president and CEO of the Newspaper Association
of America. Fortune magazine listed Cathie Black as one of the 24 Most
Powerful Woman in American business. She was awarded Publishing
Executive of the Year by Advertising Age in 2000.
WOMAN AWARD DINNER AND GALA 2001
Its almost that time of year again, when WREI not only presents
the American Woman Award but also holds its annual gala and celebrated
This years gala, honoring Cathleen Black, president of Hearst
Magazines, will be at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, on Tuesday,
October 9th, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Please mark your calendars for an
exciting and entertaining evening. And visit our website soon to purchase
tickets and peruse our growing list of auction items
Last years silent auction included a variety of temptations for
bidders, ranging from a Swedish massage to a weekend at The Sanderling
Inn at Duck, NC to a baseball autographed by George W. and Laura Bush.
RECEIVES SHARED VISION AWARD
On April 25th, founding president Betty Dooley accepted the first Shared
Vision award on WREIs behalf from Women in Government Relations/WGR
Leader Foundation at an evening of celebration at the Museum for Women
in the Arts.
Fellow honoree Olympia Snowe, Republican Senator from Maine, saluted
us in her remarks: I know first-hand the immensity of WREIs
contributions not only to the Congressional Caucus on Womens Issues,
but also to the entire body of knowledge on issues affecting Americas
women. And thats critical, because the fact of the matter is,
women have been often overlooked.
IN THE MILITARY PROJECT
The Ford Foundation has informally agreed to provide funding for
the Women in the Military project for another year. Over the next 12
months, WREI will be re-envisioning this project and seeking new sources
of support. If you have any thoughts on the project or suggestions for
new funding, please contact the project director, Lory Manning.
SCHOLARS ASSESS THE STATUS OF WOMEN VETERANS EMPLOYMENT
WREI convened a group of noted scholars who have done research
on women veterans and/or on civilian employment matters, most of whom
were veterans themselves, to help assess a paper prepared by Lory Manning,
project director, and Brigid O'Farrell, WREI's senior fellow.
This paper reviews research on women veterans employment situations,
examines the data sources available for studying women veterans
employment, and makes recommendations for research that ought to be
conducted in this area. The paper will be delivered to the Department
of Labor Veteran's Employment and Training Service.
MEMBER DIANE WATSON IS ELECTED TO CONGRESS
Diane Watson, a long time member of WREIs Board of Directors,
was elected to the House of Representatives on June 5th in a special
election for Californias 32nd District to replace the late Julian
Dixon. She won with 75 percent of the vote.
Ms. Watson, was the first African American woman elected to the California
Senate in 1978 and served as a state senator for 20 years. In 1999,
President Clinton named her ambassador to Micronesia.
FELLOW PATRICIA ROJAS LEADS A FIGHT FOR IMMIGRANT STUDENTS AT THE NATIONAL
Many immigrant students are unable to attend college because of their
immigrant status and their ineligibility for in-state tuition rates.
This concerned WREI Fellow Patricia Rojas who, in graduate school in
Houston, was a founding member of the Coalition of Higher Education
for Immigrant Students. The Coalition fought for state legislation to
help the undocumented students who had done well in U.S. high schools
but were unable to take their education further.
Rojas and her organization were successful in introducing and recently
passing a bill that allows immigrant students in Texas to pay in-state
tuition. Our WREI Fellow has now had an even bigger breakthrough: While
working under Rep. Roybal-Allard, she took the lead in drafting similar
legislation that would benefit students across the country. Rojas is
now seeking support for HR. 1918, the Student Advisement Act of 2001.
FARNSWORTH RICHE IS FEATURED IN FAST COMPANY
Dr. Martha Farnsworth Riche, president and founder of Farnsworth
Riche Associates, was recently featured in Fast Company as one of ten
executives and thinkers, each explaining the most important part of
their leadership agenda.
Riche explained that since older people are gaining more control of
the market, people need to be aware that targeting the young age groups
will not work anymore. A new demographic is forming and the different
age brackets are balancing out, she said
A former director of the Census Bureau and a leading demographer in
her field, Martha Farnsworth Riche will contribute to the next edition
of WREIs American Woman publication, expected in Winter 2002.
WOMAN 2001-2002 BOOK SIGNING AT BARNES &
On June 21, Barnes & Noble bookstore in Bethesda, MD hosted
a book signing and discussion featuring Cynthia B. Costello and Anne
J. Stone, editors of The American Woman 20012002: Getting to
the Top, and Vanessa Wight, research associate at WREI. They highlighted
the most recent edition in the American Woman series, which focuses
on women's leadership in politics, higher education, business, labor
unions, and the military. WREI's editors enjoyed a terrific turnout
and our guests, an interesting and informative evening.
IS FORMER FELLOW LUCILLE BONVOULOIR NOW?
As a WREI Fellow in 1984-1985, Sister Lucille Bonvouloir,
RSM, was assigned to the House Select Committee on Aging. She worked on
Rep. Mike Synars (D-OK) Task Force on Rural Elderly, where she researched
the impact of year-old Medicare cost containment on rural hospitals. After
unearthing several horror stories, I ended up putting together the first
Quality of Care hearing on this legislation, she reports.
While on the Hill, Lucille completed a masters degree in public
administration at George Washington University, which she has put to good
and continuous use over the past 16 years. She served as executive director
of the Committed on Temporary Shelter in Vermont, providing emergency
housing and support services for people without homes. For the past four
years, as vice president of the Sisters of Mercy in Burlington, one of
25 regional religious communities, Lucille has worked on reconfiguration
of the Northeast. Her challenge is to find new and creative ways to carry
on the mission today and into the future at a time when numbers are diminishing
but commitment is growing.
Things have changed dramatically since Lucille entered the Sisters of
Mercy in 1960: We wore the full habit and veil (long, black) and
all you could see was a face and hands; the regimen was highly structured
and the ministry options limited. Changes since then? External
evidence is what is most obviousthe full habit is no longer required;
in fact, many Sisters wear regular clothing; we minister in
a variety of ways. The daily schedule is determined in each local residence.
Essentially religious life underwent a massive shift from a life based
on the rule, traditions, and externals. Theologically, it involved a change
from seeing God as totally other to a concept that includes
seeing God in others.
In December, Lucille traveled to El Salvador to commemorate the 20th anniversary
of the four churchwomen who were brutally killed and raped during the
war. People from all over the world were there. The time with the
people of El Salvador and those who work with them was sacred time. Wherever
I went, I was struck with the sense of hope of the people, given their
reality of utter destitution and poverty. In an environment with no running
water and houses made of scrap materials and banana leaves, a man spoke
of the peoples struggle to secure a small plot of land.