Xlibris author Sonia Pressman Fuentes has been featured in the Fall 2016 issue of Beacon, the bi-annual magazine of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Saluting and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of NOW, the National Organization for Women, this issue of Beacon includes a profile of the organization’s founder, Sonia Fuentes. Sonia Fuentes is the author of Eat First—You Don’t Know What They’ll Give You.
Written with warmth and humor, Eat First is the story of Sonia Pressman Fuentes, one of the pioneers of the Second Wave of the women´s movement and her family. Fuentes, who was born in Berlin, Germany, came to the US with her immediate family to escape the Holocaust. Her memoirs reveal how the five-year-old immigrant in 1934 became the first woman attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1965, one of the founders of NOW in 1966, the highest-paid woman at the headquarters of two multinational corporations: GTE and TRW, and an international speaker on women´s rights for the US Information Agency.
In addition to relating the Fuentes’ personal history, the Beacon article emphasizes the role of Jewish Americans in the founding of NOW. The article follows Fuentes’ personal journey, beginning with her arrival in the United States. As a little girl Sonia accompanied her parents, refugees fleeing from World War II Europe and the Nazi regime. The article goes on, following Sonia’s academic success earning a bachelor’s degree at Cornell University and graduating from law school at the University of Miami in 1957. In 1965 Fuentes became the first woman to serve as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The article finishes with Sonia Fuentes finds the injustice for which she, alongside others, founds NOW. According to Sonia, the EEOC was not carrying out its duties in regards to prohibitions against gender discrimination, failing its purpose. Seeing this injustice encouraged Fuentes to reach out to others and together they formed NOW.
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