Press Pass Worn By Ethel L. Payne

Object Details

paper, plastic, metal
5/16 × 2 15/16 in. (0.8 × 7.5 cm)
Cite As
Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
This pinback button admitted journalist Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991) to Forum ’85, a meeting convened by non-governmental organizations in parallel to the closing conference of the United Nations’ Decade for Women (1976-1985). The round badge echoes the U.N. logo’s blue-and-white color scheme. The “O” in Forum doubles as a globe turned to Africa, home to Nairobi, Kenya where the conferences took place in July 1985. The Forum’s more flexible format offered freedom to explore ideas and concerns in addition to those of the formal conference, such as women in media, a topic especially relevant to the groundbreaking, globetrotting reporter. Payne also covered the Decade’s opening and mid-term meetings in Mexico City (1975) and Copenhagen (1980). The human rights activist often said that she had a “box seat on history.” Indeed, the movement for gender equality first gained global recognition at the Nairobi summit, the largest gathering of women ever recorded at the time. A longtime Washington, DC resident and political reporter, Payne became known as First Lady of the Black Press for her pioneering career.
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
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Anacostia Community Museum
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