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Expo Helps Usher Women’s Movement

March 31, 2000

BALTIMORE (AP) _ When Lisa Briddle was a teen-ager, she and her mother were regulars at feminist conferences and Equal Rights Amendment rallies.

This weekend, the Raleigh, N.C., woman will initiate a third generation into the women’s movement. She’ll bring 7-year-old daughter Kelsey to Baltimore for Feminist Expo 2000.

``I want her to really know a lot of the history of women and the struggles they’ve been through, and that being a girl is special,″ said Briddle, who will soon include her toddler son in the gatherings. ``I want her to know that being a girl doesn’t mean she can’t do anything she sets her mind to.″

The three-day expo, which will begin Friday at the Baltimore Convention Center, will offer both a retrospective of the movement and a call to arms for the coming century. Organizers, who say the women’s movement is more necessary than ever, hope the event will rally the next generation of feminists.

Leaders at the forefront of the modern feminist movement, such as Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and Eleanor Smeal will be joined by relative newcomers such as writer bell hooks and Jordanian journalist Rana Husseini.

Organizers expect up to 6,000 people to attend, including about 2,000 college students.

``Young women today believe that they have the right to be treated equally. But I think what they find when they get into the real world is that there are more barriers to that than they expected,″ said Sarah Boonin, campus program director for the Feminist Majority Foundation, which organized the expo. ``Now they are not fighting for the concept of equality _ they are fighting to make that concept a reality.″

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