Steinem to Receive Radcliffe Medal

Celebrated feminist activist to deliver address at Radcliffe Day
Gloria Steinem_photo by Stephanie Mitchell Harvard Staff Photographer
Harvard Gazette
May 27, 2010
By Cheryl Klufio, Radcliffe Communications

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study has announced that Gloria Steinem, a pioneering feminist, award-winning journalist, and best-selling author, will be awarded the 2010 Radcliffe Institute Medal at the Radcliffe Day luncheon on Friday (May 28).

Radcliffe Institute Dean Barbara J. Grosz will give opening remarks and present the medal, and Steinem will deliver the luncheon address.

Each year during Harvard Commencement week, the Radcliffe Institute bestows its medal on an individual whose life and work have substantially and positively influenced society. The 2009 recipient was Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Other honorees have included Madeleine Korbel Albright, Margaret Atwood, Linda Greenhouse, Toni Morrison, and Donna Shalala.

This year, the institute celebrates Steinem’s unrelenting pursuit of equality for women and minorities. A feminist icon, Steinem has had a lasting impact on women’s rights, and she has made a lifelong career of writing and organizing around a range of social and political causes.

In 1972, Steinem co-founded Ms. magazine, where she served as an editor for 15 years and continues to be a consulting editor. She also helped to found Choice USA, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the National Women’s Political Caucus, among other organizations.

She is the author of “Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions” (Holt Paperbacks, 1995), “Moving Beyond Words” (Touchstone, 1994), and “Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem” (Little, Brown and Co., 1993). She is currently working on “Road to the Heart: America as if Everyone Mattered,” a narrative of her more than three decades as a feminist organizer.

In 1993, Steinem co-produced and narrated the Emmy Award–winning “Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories,” an HBO documentary about child abuse. In the same year, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

Named one of the 25 most influential women in America by Biography magazine, Steinem has earned numerous honors for her writing and work on social justice. These include the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Ceres Medal and the Society of Writers Award (both from the United Nations), the Liberty Award of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Parenting magazine (for her contributions to promoting girls’ self-esteem), and the University of Missouri School of Journalism Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

Steinem graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College in 1956.

Radcliffe Day 2010 — which brings together alumnae and alumni of Radcliffe College, the Bunting Institute, and the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program — continues the celebration of the institute’s 10th anniversary.

In addition to the 12:30 p.m. luncheon, the day will feature a panel discussion titled “Feminism Then and Now,” with Susan Faludi ’81, RI ’09, Susan McHenry ’72, Priyamvada Natarajan, RI ’09, Nell Irvin Painter, Ph.D. ’74, BI ’77, and Diana Scott ’81. There will also be tours of the institute’s renowned Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is a scholarly community where individuals pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions, and creative arts. Within this broad purpose, the institute sustains a continuing commitment to the study of women, gender, and society.

Search Year: 
2010