Unfinished Business: Gender Equality in the 21st Century

Danny Stock

On March 11, just as President Biden was preparing to address the nation on the anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown in the United States, GDS welcomed four outstanding leaders in the women's rights movement to discuss the future of gender justice in the United States and around the world.

GDS parent Jennifer Klein (Ben Stern ’23 and alum Zachary Stern ’18), the new co-chair of the White House Gender Policy Council in the Biden Administration joined for the first part of the discussion before she was pulled away to attend the president’s virtual address. Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger and executive director of The Representation Project, and Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, also joined the panel, which was moderated by Rachel Vogelstein, Georgetown professor, director of the women and foreign policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the upcoming book Awakening: #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women's Rights.

The discussion of intersectional feminism in the 21st century began by addressing how the Biden Administration and the newly formed Gender Policy Council (co-chaired by Jen) planned to advance gender justice through U.S. domestic and foreign policy, particularly in light of the persistent gender inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before Jen departed, the panelists explored the ways in which women will continue to make gains in political power, economic opportunity, and representation.

Ms. Goss Graves and Ms. Chemaly discussed the evolution of “feminism” and the future of the intersectional movement in the 21st century, particularly in the context of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements. Rachel also brought the conversation around to activism and the distressing misattribution of vocal protest as rage and aggression when expressed by women (particularly Black women) but collective activism when wielded by men. 

They discussed intersectional inclusion with specific attention to transgender and gender nonconforming inclusion in the context of current efforts to limit participation in sports. This conversation preceded the coverage of efforts on the state level to obstruct access to health services for transgender people.

The final portion of the evening was dedicated to a formal Q&A with questions submitted to our moderator by members of the audience, including High School students, current parents, faculty/staff, and alumni.

The event recording is available for viewing by members of the GDS community. Please note that the event was private for the GDS community and guests were asked to refrain from recording or otherwise using the content in this evening’s talk in any public forum. This school recording is also intended for members of the GDS community only. View now »

The next 75th Anniversary Speaker Series event will take place on April 21 at 7:00 p.m. RSVP for Philanthropy in a Time of Social, Economic, and Political Unrest, featuring:

  • Ford Foundation president Darren Walker
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation president and CEO Lisa Hamilton
  • Skoll Foundation CEO Don Gips

Moderated by Russell Shaw, GDS Head of School.

Join us for a compelling conversation with three top foundation leaders to hear how they are tackling the role of philanthropy in sustaining the racial justice movement, eliminating health disparities, compressing economic gaps, and improving educational outcomes for children. We’ll hear how foundations are responding to the confounding issues of our times and what changes they’re making to shift the narrative, focus on institutions led by people of color, and innovate impactful giving.

  • DEI
  • High School