McCormack Speaks

November 21, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Shift to Women on Boston City Council is Astounding

This blog originally appeared in the CommonWealth and is posted with permission of the authors.

by Ann Bookman, PhD and Christa Kelleher, PhD

women in political leadership political buttonThere’s been much buzz around Boston since this month’s election which resulted in the historic victories of two additional women of color to the Boston City Council. Councilors-elect Lydia Edwards and Kim Janey will join four incumbent women of color councilors in January, marking the first time in the city’s history that nearly half (48 percent) of the council will be comprised of women. The makeup of the City Council will now reflect the increasingly diverse composition of the city’s residents. History has indeed been made.

What does this watershed moment tell us about the journeys of women to the Boston City Council? Given research on women’s political leadership by UMass Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, we know just how hard it has been for women – and particularly for women from underrepresented communities – to achieve elective office. We have documented the challenges facing female candidates and the barriers that have kept women from running in the first place. Continue reading.


About the authors: Ann Bookman directs the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. Christa Kelleher is the center’s research and policy director.

October 9, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Path-breaking Book on Gender and Multicultural Leadership Earns Carol Hardy-Fanta Career Book Award

woman of color waving American flag McCormack Graduate School Senior Fellow Carol Hardy-Fanta earned the Distinguished Career Book Award from the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in recognition of her book, Contested Transformation: Race, Gender, and Political Leadership in 21st Century America.Published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press, the book is a pioneering study of racial and ethnic minorities in U.S. politics because women of color are at the center of its analysis.

According to the APSA selection committee, “The book makes an outstanding contribution to knowledge in political science on the intersectional dynamics of power and political representation in the United States. It is a path-breaking work that will benefit scholars and policymakers for many years to come.”

Harvard University scholar Jennifer Hochschild also praised the book. “The study of minority groups’ constricted yet expanding political leadership would be valuable at any time, but at present, it commands our attention as few other topics can do.”

Hardy-Fanta accepted the award at the annual meeting of the APSA in San Francisco earlier this month.

“At the McCormack Graduate School,” said Dean David W. Cash, “we strive to strengthen communities and catalyze change in governance. Carol’s comprehensive research will go a long way to promote a more equitable representation of minority men and women in American politics for generations to come.”

Carol Hardy-Fanta is a nationally recognized scholar on Latina/o politics and has published widely on the intersection of gender, race, and ethnicity in politics and public policy. She is the former director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, a position she held for more than a decade. Currently a senior fellow, she continues to pursue her own scholarship on gender and multicultural leadership.

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