Author_Cynthia_Richie_Terrell


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 26, 2021

Posted on Blog on February 26, 2021

The hours of daylight are growing here in the mid-Atlantic and I am eager to get my seeds in the ground which seems like a perfect metaphor for the work we are all doing to advance women's leadership and representative democracy - planting ideas that will eventually grow and flourish. This piece in The Fulcrum that features a conversation between young democracy advocates Katie Fahey and Zoraya Hightower (who is the first woman of color on the Burlington City Council) suggests that the seeds of electoral reform that some of us began planting a generation ago have taken root and are thriving


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 19, 2021

Posted on Blog on February 19, 2021

used to give up wine or cocktails, and when I was younger, chocolate. With everything going on in our world, giving up alcohol or sweets seems so 2019. Last year in 2020 — and again this year — I am giving up the patriarchy for Lent. This year my decision is more than symbolic. Women lost more than 5.4 million jobs in 2020. During the first 10 months of the pandemic, women — particularly women of color — have lost more jobs than men as industries that employ women have been hit the hardest. The #SheCession is, in itself, a national crisis. Further, women-owned businesses are suffering as we have seen women across the country step up to both provide care for elders, neighbors, as well as become homeschool teachers.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 12, 2021

Posted on Blog on February 12, 2021

Though women in power are not a monolith, I have been thinking a lot this week about the value of women leaders, and so I was glad to find this article by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, in the The Independent at the the top of my Google Alerts: From the swearing-in of US Vice President Kamala Harris to the Estonian Parliament selecting a female prime minister – champions of women’s rights have had much to celebrate in recent weeks. Yet despite women’s increased engagement in public life, equality remains a distant target.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 5, 2021

Posted on Blog on February 05, 2021

I have always felt a little conflicted about Black History Month and Women's History Month. On the one hand there is a risk of ignoring the many contributions of women and African Americans during the remaining 11 months but on the other hand it's an opportunity to focus on true American leaders who have set the stage for the work we are doing now. Claudette Colvin, interviewed by Roni Jacobson for Teen Vogue, explains her pivotal & pioneering role in the civil rights movement:


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 29, 2021

Posted on Blog on January 29, 2021

The Biden Harris administration is moving quickly to enact policies that will address the unfolding economic & healthcare crises in the United States while also assembling a cabinet and senior leadership team that better reflects America. My piece in The Fulcrum this week explores leadership positions for women in the new administration:


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 22, 2021

Posted on Blog on January 22, 2021

This week's inauguration of a new administration was at once a testimony to the power of our democratic traditions and an embrace of new voices & diverse leadership. According to this piece by columnist Monica Hesse in The Washington Post, American democracy has finally passed the Bechdel test with Justice Sonia Sotomayer swearing in our nation's first woman vice president, Kamala Harris: The promise of a Joe Biden presidency was a return to normalcy, but 62 seconds of Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony were quietly revolutionary. Not the soar of Amanda Gorman’s poem, or the thunderous power of Lady Gaga using a golden microphone to belt the national anthem. In a ceremony filled with artistic creations specifically designed to arouse emotions of patriotism and pride, the 62 seconds that did so most effectively were from a bland, scripted oath of office, administered with the same exchange of words for more than a hundred years. But never between two women.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 15, 2021

Posted on Blog on January 15, 2021

Next week, Kamala Harris will become the first woman in our nation's history to take the oath of office to serve as vice president of these United States. The leadership team that she and president-elect Joe Biden have assembled is the most diverse in history. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate the new cabinet will be majority people of color and gender balanced, according to this story on CNN.com: President-elect Joe Biden on Friday introduced key nominees for his economic and jobs team, including Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo for commerce secretary and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for labor secretary. The two picks mark the completion of Biden's announcements for his Cabinet secretary nominees, and come less than two weeks from the President-elect's inauguration.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 8, 2021

Posted on Blog on January 08, 2021

While we don't yet know the short-term consequences of Wednesday's rampage on the Capitol we do know a few things: women Senate staffers had the presence of mind to grab the mahogany boxes containing certified presidential results from the states & carry them to safety, the police and others assigned to protect our elected representatives & our democratic process failed to do so, and the polarization caused by our winner take all politics is dangerous. Individuals must be held accountable for their actions, but we must also redesign the institutions that drive the animus that has become commonplace and reached an apex on Wednesday. Individuals elected in single member districts with plurality winner rules have very few incentive to work with fellow lawmakers to reach policy outcomes that benefit the majority of voters. And the winner take all rules in these single winner districts make nearly all Congressional districts safe for one party and for the incumbents who hold those seats. Events from this week are a stunning reminder that we must build institutions that represent the people they serve.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 30, 2020

Posted on Blog on December 30, 2020

Today marks the 70th anniversary of my parents' wedding in the same Quaker meetinghouse where my grandparents & great grandparents were married and where I was married half a century later...the title for the news clipping from The Washington Post sums up the era - "Philadelphia Girl, Huntington Terrell To Wed" - fortunately, we have made a lot of progress toward women's equality over the last seventy years but there is still work to be done....


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 24, 2020

Posted on Blog on December 24, 2020

As I look back on 2020 I am mindful of the many challenges we faced as individuals, families, communities, Americans. and global citizens. We will remember those challenges but we will also remember 2020 as the year we celebrated the centennial of suffrage, the year we elected the first woman & woman of color to the vice presidency, and the year we sowed new seeds of progress toward gender balance in politics.