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Barbara Walters, Sen. Clinton Headline Feminist Press Gala

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It was just about a year ago that we sent Amanda ReCupido to an anniversary party for the Feminist Press, and we were glad to hear from her Monday night after she came back from this year’s celebration at the Grand Hyatt, where Barbara Walters introduced Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton so she could introduce Iris Weinshall, the winner of this year’s Sue Rosenberg Zalk Award, presented annually by the press to a member of the CUNY community, where the 38-year-old press is based. (Weinshall’s husband—and New York’s other senator—Charles Schumer also spoke at the event.)

In her opening remarks, Walters recalled an interview with Clinton in her hometown, where they went to the movie theater where the former First Lady had her first date, followed by olive burgers at the café next door. Walters stated she was an admirer of Clinton and that the senator was “caring, touching, and real.” After a standing ovation, Clinton joked that it was nice not to be sitting across from and being grilled by the famous interviewer, but then quickly turned to the focus of the evening: :It is important that anything with the word ‘feminist’ be celebrated,” she said, to much applause. (She also made sure to offer ringing support for her former competitor for the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, in next week’s election.

Other award recipients for the evening were Jennifer Allyn, PricewaterhouseCooper‘s managing director of gender retention and advancement, and actress Kathleen Chalfant; a live auction followed, including a lunch date with Katie Couric where bidding quickly went head-to-head and finally settled at a whopping $2500. And Feminist Press executive director Gloria Jacobs spotlighted some of the publishing house’s major projects, from the restoration of feminist classics from the 1960s to the ’80s back into print to a new line of translations of books by women from the Middle East. She also firmly debunked a metaphor that compared the press to a rose: “I’m more interested in the thorns,” she stated. “The press is proudly provocative.”

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