On Monday, Dec. 26, Professor of Women’s Studies Betty Bayer, who serves on the Board of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, joined the year-end discussion of the issues that unite and divide New York State.
On “Connect: NY,” the statewide TV news and public affairs series on WCNY, the episode “What Unites Us?” toured the state’s history and explored its role in civil rights, gay rights, labor rights and environmental justice. During the panel discussion, Bayer and the other panelists examined the notion of “common ground” and working across differences, the ways New York has historically led the country in these efforts and the current points of division and unity, regionally and nationally.
An expert on the intersections of women’s history, psychology, science, religion and spirituality, Bayer explored the abolitionist and women’s rights movements, and their common history in central New York. She discussed the Equal Rights Amendment, the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s vision of democracy in the 1848 treatise, “Declaration of Sentiments.” With an eye toward contemporary social and political engagement, Bayer noted that acknowledging the struggles and differences gives “us a way of thinking about being visionary.”
Recognized for her outstanding teaching, Bayer received the Colleges’ Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2004 and the Community Service Award in 2009. She has served as the chair of the Women Studies Program since 2001 and directed the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men from 2002 to 2009. A former senior fellow at the Martin Marty Center for the Study of Religion at the University of Chicago, Bayer earned her Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. in psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.