CORVALLIS, Ore. – A conversation between Oregon’s first woman Supreme Court justice and the director of a group that provides leadership training programs to college women in Oregon is the kick-off event for a series of Women’s History Month programs being presented by the Oregon State University Women’s Center.

The dialogue between Justice Betty Roberts and professor Melody Rose, founder of NEW Leadership™ Oregon and chair of political science at Portland State University, is set for Wednesday, Feb. 25, 6 p.m. to 8p.m. in the OSU Memorial Union’s Joyce Powell Leadership Center.

The event, which includes a reception following the Roberts/Rose conversation, is being presented by both the OSU Women’s Center and the OSU Press, which published Roberts’ 2008 memoir, “With Grit and By Grace: Breaking Trails in Politics and Law.”

In addition to her work with NEW Leadership™ Oregon and at PSU, Rose is editor of a new OSU Press book series, “Women and Politics in the Pacific Northwest.”

The pair’s discussion will include time for audience questions and discussion, and books will be available for purchase. The reception, featuring light hors d’ouevres and a no-host bar, and the discussion are free and open to all.

Earlier in the day, Roberts and Rose will be guests for the Women’s Leadership Initiative Women Studies class which meets from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Students wishing to sit in on this class should contact the Women’s Center at 541-737-3186 for more information.

Roberts began her career during a politically complex time—the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, sentiment against the Vietnam War was growing and the nascent feminist movement would soon burst on the scene. During her 13 years as a state legislator, she was instrumental in the passage of Oregon’s first legalized right to abortion and the state’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Her memoir follows her rise from a Depression-era childhood on the Texas plains to her work as a teacher, lawyer, lawmaker, gubernatorial candidate and, eventually, Oregon’s first woman Supreme Court Justice.

In 2003, Rose founded NEW Leadership™ Oregon, which is dedicated to inspiring and educating the next generation of women leaders in public service. In 2007, Rose was named one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the Northwest by the Northwest Women’s Journal and in 2008 received the PSU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award. Her third book, “Playing the Gender Card? Media, Strategy, and Hillary Clinton's Race for the White House” (with Regina Lawrence) will be published in 2009.

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