Noted activist for civil rights, gender equality and social justice, Mary Frances Berry, kicks off the first 2019 Victoria Woodhull: Phoenix Rising Roundtables on Monday, Jan. 28.

Three roundtables next year focus on women advocates, with focus on humanitarian advocacy in April and child advocacy in September.

January’s program is offered in collaboration with Denison University. The location of the roundtable on the college campus will be forthcoming.

The three-year series began in 2018 with roundtables focusing on the Voices of Women. Attendance was high at all three, paving the way for successful 2019 events. The Robbins Hunter Museum sponsors these events in partnership with Denison University.

Berry’s work as an activist is commendable. Serving as Chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Berry demanded equal rights and liberties for all Americans during four Presidential administrations. A pathbreaker, she also became the first woman to head a major research university, serving at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Berry also served as the principal education official in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, working to improve access and quality education in our schools.

In 2013, she was one of the recipients of the Nelson Mandela award from the South African Government for her work in organizing the Free South Africa Movement (FSAM) which helped to end apartheid. Berry was selected to speak by the South African Government representing FSAM at the national celebration of the life legacy and values of Mandela at the Washington National Cathedral in December, 2013.

As Berry continues her research, writing and activism, she insists that each generation has the responsibility to make a dent in the wall of injustice.

Berry exemplifies the leadership of early activist Victoria Woodhull, whose life passions were driven by the unshakeable desire to bring about equality for all. Her remarkable life and resulting consequences became the basis for the three-year series of roundtables designed to further discussions about causes and reforms that she thought important and that continue to be relevant today.