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Archives: Detail

Spotlight Article
Date: 2012-03-12
Article Title: Eleanor Holmes Norton To Serve As Keynote Speaker at the Tennessee State University Women of Legend and Merit Awards Dinner

Article: Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her 11th term as Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, is the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. She serves on two committees: the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  Before her congressional service, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to serve as the first woman to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She came to Congress as a national figure who had been a civil rights and feminist leader, tenured professor of law, and board member at three Fortune 500 companies.
  Born in Washington D.C., to Coleman Holmes, a civil servant, and Vela Holmes Lynch, a schoolteacher, Eleanor attended Antioch College (B.A. 1960), Yale University (M.A. 1963), and Yale Law School (L.L.B 1964). While in college and graduate school, Norton was active in the Civil Rights Movement, and an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. By the time Norton graduated from Antioch, she had already been arrested for organizing and participating in sit-ins in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Ohio. While in law school, she traveled to Mississippi for the Mississippi Freedom Summer and worked with civil rights stalwarts like Medgar Evers. Norton's first encounter with a recently released, but physically beaten Fannie Lou Hamer forced Norton to bear witness to the intensity of violence and Jim Crow repression in the South. Her time with SNCC inspired her lifelong commitment to social activism and her budding sense of feminism.
  In the early 1970s, Mayor John Lindsay appointed her as the head of the New York City Human Rights Commission and she held the first hearings in the country on discrimination against women. Prominent feminists from throughout the country came to New York City to testify, while Norton used the platform as a means of raising public awareness about the application of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to women and sex discrimination. She later was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the first female Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Norton released the EEOC's first set of regulations outlining what constituted sexual harassment and declaring that sexual harassment was indeed a form of sexual discrimination that violated federal civil rights laws.
  In 1990, Norton was elected as a Democratic delegate to the House of Representatives, Norton took office on January 3, 1991, and has been reelected every two years since. Norton is up for reelection in November 2012.
  Norton will serve as keynote speaker for Tennessee State University’s Women of Legend and Merit Awards dinner slated for Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel Seven outstanding women (Cantana Starks, Mignon Francious, Mary Carver-Patrick, Karen Brown Dunlap, Sharon Gentry, Stacey A. Garrett and Paula Lovell) will be honored at the event.
  For more information on the Awards Dinner or to purchase tickets, please call 615.963.5481.