The LEADing Justice with Dr. Janet Dewart Bell podcast tackles the most challenging issues of the day through provocative and informative discussions with singular guests who make a difference in the fight for freedom in America and the world.
The June 16, 2022 online edition of The New York Times included 'I Feed Proud, and I Feel Mad as Hell': Gloria Steinem on Ms. Magazine and Feminism Today.
LEAD founder and president, Dr. Janet Dewart Bell, an early contributor to Ms., is quoted in the piece alongside Gloria Steinem, Lettie Cottin Pogrebin and Alice Walker. We have included Dr. Bell's quotes below and encourage you to read the entire article, which is linked on this page.
Question: Why the name Ms.?
Dr. Bell: My mother thought the title “Ms.” was absolutely brilliant — that it brought dignity, that it brought power and understanding of equality. She felt, even though she never used the term “intersectionality,” that it made women more alike than different.
Question: Early issues of Ms. featured an argument for gender-neutral pronouns, a piece about the Black family and feminism, and a proclamation signed by 53 women, including Anaïs Nin and Billie Jean King, that “we have had abortions.” Were you ahead of your time, or has the country moved backward?
Dr Bell: One of the things about Ms. that I most appreciated was the willingness to tackle all sorts of issues. My husband and I had a conversation some years ago with Letty, who was trying to give up her white privilege. And he said, “Well, you can’t do that. But what you can do is use your white privilege as you have done to advance racial and other kinds of justices.”
Question: What do you say to young women when they ask you where we go from here?
Dr. Bell: We have to really be very aware that there are people who are hungry for information, even though sometimes they’re tired. But we have to say it in a way, simplify it in a way that does not dumb down but it makes it accessible to people. People who don’t understand their history don’t understand that they have a future.
LEAD promotes transformative and systemic social justice by engaging multiple generations and diverse groups to integrate experience with innovation. Our programs are always focused on solutions to our social, political, and moral challenges. We do this, while also acknowledging the people who have and continue to lead the way.
It is therefore fitting that we present this Celebration of Mothers and Women who Stand for Justice and Peace, with Imani Wallace (Lyrical Faith), and a performance by the Valley Stream Central High School Chorus Freedom Quartet.