Iowa State University


Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center for Women and Politics, (515) 294- 3181
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, and CNN Congressional correspondent Candy Crowley will be featured speakers at Iowa State University's Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics' fifth annual spring conference, Feb. 28-March 1.

The conference, titled "Looking Back/Looking Forward: Women's Voices, Victories and Visions," will focus on the role of women as voters, political candidates and policy makers. Political scholars and Iowa women political leaders will speak at the conference. The conference will be in the Scheman Building and is open to the public and free except for meals and child care.

"The goal of this year's conference is to provide a retrospective look at the participation of women in the political process, assess their current status following the 1996 elections, and discuss trends and strategies for the future," said Dianne Bystrom, director of the Catt Center.

Chisholm, former New York Congresswoman, will speak on Friday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. A longtime advocate for women and minorities in the political process, Chisholm will speak on "Who Speaks for Us? Women and the Political Agenda." Chisholm served in Congress from 1968 to 1982, and campaigned for the Democratic Party nomination for President in 1972. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.

Crowley, who covered Sen. Bob Dole's recent bid for the presidency, will speak on media coverage of women voters, candidates and political leaders at a noon luncheon on Saturday, March 1. Crowley has been with CNN since 1987 and has covered the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Jesse Jackson and many others.

Other presentations at the two-day conference will address gender gap politics, styles and strategies of women candidates, the changing role of the first lady, and the top issues facing Iowa according to women legislators.

Featured speakers include Mary Louise Smith, the first and only woman to serve as National Chairman of the Republican Party and a longtime leader in Iowa and national politics; Karen Paget, a political scientist and author; Nancy Kegan Smith, an expert on the papers of the First Ladies in the Office of Presidential Libraries; and Diana Carlin, campaign communication consultant and co-editor of a book on the 1992 presidential debates. Several Iowa women legislators also will speak.

The conference will end with an interactive, wrap-up session designed to "give voice" to participants on issues discussed during the two-day event, said Bystrom.

Reservations for Friday's dinner and/or Saturday's luncheon should be made before February 21. Reservations are $20 per person for Friday's dinner and $15 per person for Saturday's luncheon. Child care will be provided for a fee. For more information, contact the Catt Center at (515) 294-3181.

The annual conference is sponsored by the Catt Center for Women and Politics, the political science department and the journalism and mass communication department. Chisholm's address is co- sponsored by the George Gund Fund, Committee on Lectures (funded by GSB), the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Miller Lecture Funds, and the African-American Studies Program.

The following are highlights of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center's Fifth Annual Spring Conference, February 28-March 1, in Scheman Continuing Education Building, ISU

Friday, February 28

Saturday, March 1, 1997