January 24, 2020
Earlier this week and kicking off the new year, on January 22, RPJ co-sponsored a free screening of producer Mick Caouette’s film, Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare, at UBS in honor of the 100th anniversary in 2020 of women’s suffrage and Women Creating Change’s Founders Day, as Perkins was one of the founders of WCC (under its original name, Women’s City Club of New York). The documentary tells the story of Frances Perkins, who served as the first woman in a Presidential Cabinet under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, advised President Harry S. Truman, and was the driving force behind major New Deal labor laws and social programs we still benefit from today.
In presenting the film to an audience of nearly 120 guests, RPJ Partner Heidi Reavis remarked on how some of the critical issues facing our country in 2020 echo the ones in 1920 (ironically when American had a de facto female president in Edith Wilson, First Lady and wife of President Wilson). From voting rights to the protection of women’s representation in government and leadership, to whether America is “ready” for a woman in office, to how to create and keep social programs with a divided Congress, to the role and efficacy of the United Nations (then League of Nations founded in 1920) in preventing future wars—these are still the pressing issues plaguing our country a century later, and just as Perkins advocated, greater civic engagement is the key to their solutions.
The screening was a great success, with the film receiving wide praise from those in attendance. RPJ supported the production of the film and is excited for its upcoming national broadcast on March 5 on PBS. Stay tuned for more to come!