Sonia Pressman Fuentes

History is full of what-if scenarios, and the life of Sonia Pressman Fuentes is an intriguing example. If the doctor had not been on vacation when her mother tried to schedule an abortion to end what doctors considered a life-threatening pregnancy, Sonia would not have been born. If Hitler and the Nazis had not come to power in Germany during the 1930s, Sonia very likely would have spent her life in Berlin, the city of her birth. If her brother had not been so prescient he recognized very early that the Nazi regime would be a tragedy for the Jews and had not convinced the family to emigrate, Sonia would have probably died in a concentration camp. But on May 1, 1934, Sonia and her immediate family arrived in New York. Being born and escaping the horror of the Holocaust, coupled with her innate intelligence, convinced Sonia that she was on earth for a purpose, and her destiny has led her into a career of activism. Her path began in the early '60s with a volunteer assignment for the American Civil Liberties Union. Sonia's task was to write a paper in support of an equal pay bill that the director of the ACLU's Washington, D.C. office would deliver to the House of Representatives. Sonia became so fired up about the subject of equal pay that the director suggested that she appear instead, and in March 1963, she testified before the House Committee on Education and Labor in favor of the bill. Two years later, she was hired as the first female attorney on the staff of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she worked on several important cases and drafted the Commission's first guidelines on working women and pregnancy. In her spare time, Sonia helped found the National Organization for Women, the Women's Equity Action League, Federally Employed Women, and Women in Management of Fairfield County, Connecticut. In recognition of her work in the feminist trenches, Betty Friedan presented Sonia with the Veteran Feminists of America Medal of Honor at a November 1996 ceremony honoring the founders of NOW. Although now retired, Sonia keeps busy with writing her memoirs will be published soon and public speaking engagements. And May 30 is her birthday.

Excerpts from Sonia Pressman Fuentes' memoirs: More by
Sonia Pressman Fuentes:
Sex Maniac Thai Silk
Weinberg's Glasses Surviving Cancer
A Seder in Shanghai Return to Germany
Graduating with My Class An Accident of Birth
back to Seder back to Graduating
revised jan 7, 2013
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