Brenda Feigen is a feminist activist, attorney, constitutional scholar, and film and television producer who will speak at the 17th Annual Celebration Luncheon: Girls Have the Right! on September 27, 2018. Ms. Feigen most recently appeared in the critically-acclaimed CNN documentary, RBG, about the legal legacy and life of her friend and colleague, Justice Ginsburg.
Ms. Feigen co-founded Ms. Magazine with Gloria Steinem, was elected National Vice President for Legislation of NOW (National Organization of Women), and was a founder of the Women’s Action Alliance. She also co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus.
She left Ms. Magazine to co-found the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project with now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Together they supervised more than 140 lawyers overseeing sex discrimination cases around the country. While at the ACLU, Ms. Feigen expanded the scope of the Women’s Rights Project to include all aspects of Reproductive Freedom. Feigen and Justice Ginsburg were honored by the ACLU in 2010 for their groundbreaking work.
Ms. Feigen has been a speaker at Harvard Law and Business Schools and at Yale Law School, and was a panelist at Harvard Law School’s Women’s Leadership Summit. She was a featured speaker at the Harvard Law School Bicentennial in 2017. She has maintained a consistent media presence since 1973 on shows like 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, and on CNN.
She is the author of Not One of the Boys: Living Life as a Feminist (Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), a memoir of her history as a leader in the Women’s Movement. Her articles on women in the law and entertainment industries have appeared in Vogue, Ms. Magazine, The Village Voice, and Harvard Women’s Law Journal.
An honors graduate of Vassar College, with a major in mathematics, Ms. Feigen credits her feminist awakening to her (often humiliating) experiences as one of the few women in her class at Harvard Law. She was both the plaintiff and attorney in a successful federal class action lawsuit, forcing the Harvard Club of New York City to admit women graduates.
Ms. Feigen is also an experienced entertainment attorney, and directed Entertainment Goes Global, a joint project of USC’s Annenberg School and the Pacific Council on International Policy that focuses on the Americanization of films around the world. She produced the 1990 big budget film, NAVY SEALS, and is currently developing a television series project. She has been honored by the California Women’s Political Caucus and has been named a Los Angeles Times Woman of the Week. She received the same honor in 1973 in the New York Times.
Like 5.2 million other people, Brenda participated in the 2017 Women’s March, calling it one of the most empowering and inspiring experiences in her life.
It’s important that girls stake their claim. I think that the ideal for girls is to talk, to express themselves, to ask questions, to be in the world without any apology.