Women’s Role in Solidarity

2005-09-02 16:34:48 / News read 3224 reading
Ambassador and Mrs. Victor Ashe hosted a special edition of America Presents on August 29th at the Ambassador’s residence, featuring a panel discussing the role of women in sustaining Solidarity through martial law. Shana Penn is the author of Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland, telling the story of the seven female editors of the underground weekly Tygodnik Mazowsze.

Ms. Penn is an Open Society Institute fellow and visiting scholar at Mills College’s Women’s Leadership Institute. She directs the Jewish Heritage Initiative in Poland, a philanthropic program of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, based in San Francisco. She was the first Executive Director of the Network of East West Women. Helena Łuczywo is currently Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, a newspaper she helped to found in 1989 after participating in the round-table talks that year. Previously, she edited Tygodnik Mazowsze, Solidarity’s underground weekly, from 1982 to 1989. Before martial law, she had managed the Solidarity Press Agency, and before its inception, she was acting editor of Robotnik, a workers’ publication she founded. She has received the Harvard University Niemann Foundation Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism and Radcliffe's Bunting Institute Peace Fellowship. Barbara Labuda currently serves as a Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the President of Poland, a position she has held since 1998. She was elected to the Sejm in 1989 after decades of political work. During martial law, Ms. Labuda was one of the leaders of the underground opposition in Wrocław. She was active in Solidarity from its earliest days, previously working with the Committee for the Defense of Workers. Other honorable guests at the function included former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Daniel Fried, and United States Ambassador to Lithuania Steven Mull.

: Malgorzata Tarasiewicz
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