Nov. 15, 2022 — Laura Oren ‘80, University of Houston Law Center Professor Emerita and alumnae, will address attendees on Thursday, Nov. 17 during the commemoration event for the 1977 National Women's Conference in Houston.
Oren, a former president and co-founder of the Houston Area Feminist Federal Credit Union, attended the 1977 event and represented the credit union with a table in the exhibit hall at the conference.
“At a time when single women and married women both often were denied their own credit, HAFFCU was an integral part of the thriving feminist environment in Houston,” said Oren. “A typical credit union is based on a common bond usually with an employer or a union. What was innovative about the HAFFCU is that we established that members of feminist organizations shared a common bond in the belief of equality.”
More than 2,000 delegates from 50 states and six territories gathered in Houston for the historic conference, which was “the largest political conference of women in the United States since the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848,” according to The Heritage Society.
Hosted in Houston, the 1977 conference was the U.S. component to the United Nations’ International Women’s Year official conference held in Mexico City in 1975.
Oren will join a prominent panel of presenters including Nancy Beck Young and Leandra Zarnow, Co-Directors of the University of Houston’s Sharing Stories from 1977, an ongoing oral history project to document the conference.
“The University of Houston will be discussing campus connections to this storied conference, and students will be conducting interviews of the 1977 conference attendees,” The Heritage Society’s executive director, Alison Bell said in a press release.
The 45th anniversary event is hosted by former Mayor Annise Parker, The Heritage Society, and the Houston Suffragists Project.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. (CT) at 800 Bagby Street at a historical marker commemorating the 1977 conference and will proceed to The Heritage Society for a reception that will feature speakers, artists, and authors.
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