About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for 10th Annual McGowan Forum on "Women in Leadership: Political Campaigns"

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
December 13, 2016

Good evening, I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m very pleased to welcome you to the National Archives for the 10th annual McGowan Forum on Women in Leadership. Whether you are here in the William G. McGowan Theater or watching on YouTube, we’re glad you could join us for tonight’s discussion of political campaigns.

Journalist, author, and political commentator Cokie Roberts will lead the discussion with a distinguished panel of political communicators and strategists. They will share their experiences working on political campaigns on both local and national levels, examine the changes in opportunities and challenges, and offer advice for young women looking to become more involved in politics.

Before we begin, I’d like to let you know about two programs coming up here tomorrow and Thursday.

Tomorrow at noon, we will show the rarely seen 1971 CBS News documentary The Selling of the Pentagon, an exposé of the use of public funds to promote the Vietnam War. The controversy following the initial broadcast led to a landmark First Amendment case pertaining to television news. The program is presented in connection with the “Amending America” exhibit, which is on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery upstairs.

On Thursday at 7 p.m., we commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights by joining with the Constitutional Sources Project to present a panel discussion on “The Bill of Rights in the 21st Century.” Journalist Jess Bravin from the Wall Street Journal will moderate the discussion with a panel of distinguished judges.

To learn more about these and all of our public programs and exhibits, consult our monthly Calendar of Events in print or online at Archives.gov. There are copies in the lobby—along with a sign-up sheet so you can receive it by regular mail or email. You’ll also find brochures about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Pick up your application for membership in the lobby or become a member online at archivesfoundation.org.

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Tonight’s program is presented with the generous support of the National Archives Foundation and the William G. McGowan Fund. And we thank them both for their continued support of our programs over the years.

We’re happy to have the Chair of the Foundation, A’Lelia Bundles, with us tonight. A’Lelia is an accomplished author and journalist and is working on her fourth book, The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance, a biography of her great-grandmother. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker—her biography of her great-great-grandmother—was named a New York Times Notable Book. A’Lelia was a network television news executive and producer for 30 years at NBC News and then at ABC News, where she was Washington, DC, deputy bureau chief. In addition to serving as Chair of the National Archives Foundation, she is a Columbia University trustee and is on the advisory board of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s Schlesinger Library at Harvard. As president of the Madam Walker/A’Lelia Walker Family Archives, she shares the history of her famous ancestors through speeches, publications, documents, photographs and several public initiatives. She serves as a consultant and Walker historian for the new Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culture product line that was launched by Sundial Brands in March 2016.

Please welcome A’Lelia Bundles.

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Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programming. From 1996 to 2002 she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program This Week. Roberts also serves as a commentator for National Public Radio. In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting.

Cokie has written several bestselling books, including Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, Capital Dames, and the Number 1 New York Times bestseller, We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters. She holds more than 20 honorary degrees, serves on the boards of several nonprofit institutions, and was appointed by President George W. Bush to his Commission on Service and Civic Participation. In 2008 the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend,” one of the very few Americans to have attained that honor.

Please join me in welcoming Cokie Roberts and our panel to the stage.