Sept. 13 – Women First Responders, 9/11, and the Struggle for Equality

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In commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, a roundtable discussion on “Women First Responders, 9/11, and the Struggle for Equality” will be held at Tamiment Library on September 13 (6:00-8:00 PM). A reception with wine and cheese will follow the panel. This event is co-sponsored by the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives and the Frederic Ewen Center.
The narrative of the national tragedy of 9/11 is often expressed through a gendered lens, with frequent references to “policemen” and “firemen.” However, hundreds of women firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel were among the first responders and three women first responders – PAPD Captain Kathy Mazza, EMT Yamel Merino and NYPD officer Moira Smith — lost their lives trying to save the lives of others. The women first responders’ stories have rarely been told. Now, fifteen years after 9/11, a panel will discuss how these women’s lives have changed and how women are faring in NYC’s emergency services.
Moderator: Brenda Berkman, a first responder to the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. Berkman was the pioneering firefighter responsible for filing the lawsuit which resulted in the first women being hired by the New York City Fire Department in 1982. She retired in 2006 at the rank of Captain, and is currently is exhibiting her print series “Thirty-six Views of One World Trade Center” at District Council 37’s gallery.
Panel participants:
Mary Carouba, an investigative social worker and co-author of the book, Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion.
NYPD Inspector Terri Tobin
EMS Captain Doreen Ascatigno
Firefighter Regina Wilson, the first woman President of the FDNY Vulcan Society
Firefighter Sarinya Srisakul, President of the United Women Firefighters.
In conjunction with the panel discussion, an exhibit drawn from the “Brenda Berkman Files Regarding September 11, 2001” and the “United Women Firefighters Records and Photographs” Collections (Wagner Labor Archives) will be on display until December 16, 2016.
Copies of Women at Ground Zero will be available for purchase.
RSVP at[at] with guest name(s) and title of event.
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