The X Factor: Women In NE Politics
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Welcome to our screening of The X Factor: Women In New England Politics, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Rhode Island PBS Producer Dorothy Dickie with guests Rhode Island State Representative Justine Caldwell, Vermont Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray, and Vermont State Senator Kesha Ram.
This event is brought to you in part by the Center for Women & Enterprise.
Funding provided by Barbara Lee Family Foundation
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The X Factor: Women in New England Politics
The year 2020 marked the centenary of the 19th Amendment protecting a woman's right to vote. Women still represent only about one-third of elected state officials in the U.S. but New England averages almost 39 percent women in its six state legislatures. The X Factor looks at some of these trailblazing women and their impact on the political landscape.
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- Elisa Iacono-Mears
Sr. Events Manager Rhode Island PBS
- Dorothy Dickie
Producer, director, videographer, and editor Dorothy Dickie won an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for "Design Squad." She was also recognized with a New England Emmy for her story about the spectacular outdoor projections illustrating major moments in Montreal’s 375-year history, plus a Richard O. Hathaway Award from the Vermont Historical Society for her documentary, "Little Jerusalem" about the small but vibrant Jewish community in Burlington, Vermont. Dorothy produced, shot and edited the Emmy-nominated documentary series, "Beyond Bernie: Searching for Vermont’s Political Identity." In addition to tonight’s feature, she produced "Under the Ground: The Story of Liberation News Service."
- State Representative Justine Caldwell - RI
Justine Caldwell was elected in November 2018 to serve District 30, East Greenwich and West Greenwich. She is second vice-chair of the House Committee on Corporations, and a member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Education, and Small Business. In her first year as representative, she successfully sponsored new laws aimed at the opioids crisis, and sponsored a package of bills to curb gun violence, including bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and a safe-storage bill She also cosponsored legislation to replace outdated parentage laws. She earned a PhD in American Studies from Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
- Lt. Governor Molly Gray - VT
On January 7, Molly Gray was sworn in as Vermont’s 82nd Lieutenant Governor, the fourth woman in Vermont’s history. Born and raised on a vegetable and dairy farm in Newbury, Molly attended the University of Vermont, where she interned in Senator Patrick Leahy’s office and later worked for Congressman Peter Welch. After graduating from Vermont Law School, Molly clerked for the Honorable Peter W. Hall of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Molly served as an Assistant Attorney General in Vermont's criminal division and taught night classes on human rights law at Vermont Law School.
- State Senator Kesha Ram - VT
Kesha Ram is a Vermont State Senator serving Chittenden County, where she is the first woman of color and youngest woman in history to serve in the State Senate. She received a BS in Natural Resource Planning and a BA in Political Science from the University of Vermont, where she graduated magna cum laude. Kesha earned her Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2018. Her career spanned preschool education, legal advocacy for victims of domestic violence, and municipal civic engagement. Currently, she builds social equity and inclusion in non-profits, businesses, school districts, and municipalities.
The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.