Cokie Roberts Speaking at Forum on Women in U.S. History, Literature, & Schooling

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Cokie Roberts among Speakers at Forum on Women in U.S. History, Literature, and Schooling 

Event will feature award-winning authors, including a Pulitzer Prize winner

BOSTON – A legendary broadcaster and award-winning authors, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, will be among the speakers at a Pioneer Institute forum, “Remember the Ladies”: Women in U.S. History, Literature, and Schooling,” to be held Monday, March 24 from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. March is Women’s History Month.

One keynote address will be delivered by Cokie Roberts, a contributor to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and ABC News political commentator. Three Emmys are among the countless awards she has won over her more than 40-year broadcasting career. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was cited by American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in broadcasting history.

Roberts is also the author of two New York Times-bestselling histories of women in America’s founding era: Founding Mothers (2004) and Ladies of Liberty (2008). She authored a new children’s book, Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies, just released in late January 2014.

The second keynote will be delivered by Valerie Boyd, an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she is the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence.

Professor Boyd is author of the award-winning biography, Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, about which Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, said: “I wondered which of three words best described it: magnificent, extraordinary or masterpiece. The research and interpretation of events is breathtaking, the writing precise and beautiful.”

Welcoming remarks will be delivered by Babson College President Dr. Kerry Healey, former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts and a Pioneer Institute board member.

The keynote addresses will be followed by a question-and-answer period and a panel discussion led by moderator Kimberly Robinson, Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law. The panelists include Jocelyn Chadwick, a lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education and noted Mark Twain scholar; Catherine Clinton, professor of U.S. History at Queen’s University Belfast and author of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom; Joan Hedrick, the Charles A. Dana Professor of History at Trinity College and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life; and University of Arkansas Professor Emerita Sandra Stotsky, a former member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Last year, a commission chaired by State Senator Richard Moore recommended making passage of a U.S. history MCAS test a high school graduation requirement for Massachusetts public school students. The commission’s report cited a Pioneer Institute poll that found that the commonwealth’s parents, teachers, and legislators all support restoring the U.S. history graduation requirement, which had long been planned to go into effect, but was dropped by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2009.

Pioneer Institute has actively promoted rigorous, content-based academic standards that include U.S. history and civics instruction. Pioneer has published two reports on the lack of understanding of U.S. history that has resulted from the current neglect of teaching it in public schools, and hosted numerous events featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historians and nationally-recognized experts, including: Dr. Gordon Wood of Brown University, Dr. James McPherson of Princeton University, Dr. Jack Rakove of Stanford University, Dr. Howard Dodson of Howard University, Dr. E.D. Hirsch, Jr. of the University of Virginia, as well as Taylor Branch, Diane McWhorter, Robert P. Moses, Jeff Shesol, Willard Sterne Randall, and Ron Powers.

“Remember the Ladies” is co-sponsored by the Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, The Concord Review, Citizenship First, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, Citizen Schools, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the League of Women Voters Massachusetts.

Cokie Roberts, Valerie Boyd, Catherine Clinton, Sandra Stotsky, and Joan Hedrick will be available to sign copies of their books following the event, which is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

Please RSVP to Brian Patterson at (617) 723-2277, x 217 of


Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.