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On Thursday, October 5 at 6 p.m. the documentary film Equal Means Equal will be shown at the Milliken Auditorium on the Northwestern Michigan College Campus. The film describes why now is the time for a constitutional Equal Rights Amendment.
Equal Means Equal tells the story of contemporary sex discrimination, and describes how women’s rights are compromised without the protection of an ERA. Young women share their stories of pay inequity, pregnancy discrimination, and violence against women. The film includes old-guard ERA activists, but features foremost the new-guard generation of women and men who bring their energy and social media skills to the ERA ratification effort.
This powerful, sometimes disturbing, film runs 93 minutes, and will be followed by an interactive panel discussion. Kamala Lopez, the film’s director will appear by Skype along with other panelists who will describe the current status of the ERA at the state and national level. Sponsoring organizations will have tables in the lobby outside the auditorium; doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Some NMC faculty will offer extra credit to students who attend the film.
When the Equal Rights Amendment was first passed by the U.S. Congress in 1972, an initial wave of enthusiasm led to ratification of the ERA by 35 states, just three short of the 38 states needed by the 1982 deadline. Then 35 years later, in March 2017, the Nevada legislature ratified the ERA amendment. Now a new national ERA Coalition is asking: Does Nevada count as the 36th state to ratify? Or must the Congress once again pass the ERA, and then send it to the states for ratification a second time? Both a “three state” strategy and a “new ERA” strategy are underway. Further, some states have not waited for federal action, but have added ERA language to their state constitutions. Should Michigan do the same?
This free showing of Equal Means Equal is made possible by contributions from area groups and individual sponsors, including the League of Women Voters Leelanau County, Zonta Club of Traverse City, American Association of University Women of Traverse City, Northwestern Michigan College, Woman2WomanTC, Planned Parenthood, Women’s Resource Center, Northwest Chapter of the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, Reproductive Access Fund, Traverse Area Women Lawyers Association, League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area and Traverse City Human Rights Commission.
The ERA states: Sec 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Sec 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Sec 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.