The House Oversight and Reform Committee is hosting a hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment tomorrow, October 21, and it’s the first full committee hearing in Congress since the 1970s!
We’re grateful to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and the committee staff for putting this hearing together and keeping the momentum for the ERA moving forward. You can read our full press release on this event here. In the meantime, learn a little more about the witnesses who are testifying during this hearing below.
Jennifer McClellan: Jennifer McClellan was raised with a strong sense of servant leadership and a calling to strengthen her community. Her family’s experience and her study of history taught her that the government can either be a force for progressive change to solve problems or a force of oppression that benefits a select few. At a young age, Jenn dedicated herself to ensuring the government was that force of change for all. She has served over fourteen years of service as a legislator in the Virginia General Assembly and was one of the leaders in the Virginia State Senate in 2020 to help get the ERA over the finish line with its’ 38th state ratification.
Victoria Nourse: Professor Nourse is one of the nation’s leading scholars on statutory interpretation, Congress, and the separation of powers. She is a professor at Georgetown Law and has had a distinguished career in government up and down Pennsylvania Avenue. In 2015-2016, she served as Chief Counsel to the Vice President of the United States. Prior to that she served as an appellate lawyer in the Justice Department and Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The story of her role in the fight for the original Violence Against Women Act is told in the 2009 book Equal: Women Reshape American Law.
Carol Jenkins: President and CEO of the ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality, Jenkins is an advocate for human, civil, and women’s rights. As former chair and current board member of Amref Health Africa USA, an arm of the largest health NGO in Africa, Jenkins is engaged in efforts to support health programs for African women and girls. Additionally, she serves on the boards of several feminist leadership organizations as well as groups supporting the arts, excellence in journalism, and international animal rights. Finally, Jenkins is an award-winning author and Emmy-winning former television journalist who has dedicated her career to working towards the ratification and implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Ellie Smeal: Co-Founder and President of the Feminist Majority and former President of the National Organization for Women, Smeal has led efforts for the economic, political, and social equality and empowerment of women worldwide for over three decades. She has played a leading role in both national and state campaigns to win women’s rights legislation and in a number of landmark state and federal court cases for women’s rights. One of the architects of the modern drive for women’s equality, Smeal is known as a political analyst, strategist, and grassroots organizer.
Bamby Salcedo: Salcedo is a highly regarded, nationally and internationally recognized activist, advocate, community organizer, and social justice advocate and professionals. Most recently, Bamby worked with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she spent eight dedicated years as the Health Education and HIV Prevention Services Coordinator as the nation’s largest and most experienced clinical program providing multidisciplinary healthcare and services to trans youth. She currently serves on the ERA Coalition/FFWE board of directors.
Alyssa Milano: Milano has spent nearly her entire life in the public eye, from being an actor, to producer, to designer, to philanthropist and humanitarian. Currently, she stars in Netflix’s “Insatiable,” has authored several books including but not limited to her “Hope” project, is considered a trailblazer in the women’s sport licensing industry with her own clothing line “TOUCH,” and operates as an active UNICEF National Ambassador. Today she is working alongside the ERA Coalition to implement the Equal Rights Amendment within the U.S. Constitution and serves on the ERA Coalition/FFWE board of directors.
GOP Committee members have invited Inez Feltscher Stepman to testify as well.
Inez Feltscher Stepman: Serves as Director of the Education and Workforce Development Task Force. She has a strong passion for education. From her start as an intern at the Heritage Foundation to her work with National School Choice Week and Center for Education Reform, Inez is enthusiastic about creating an education system that delivers the American Dream’s promised opportunity to every student. She is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and completed her undergraduate degree in Philosophy at University of California, San Diego.