Rochester, NY—The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House™ proudly announces that its keynote speaker for the Annual Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon, to be held Wednesday, February 13, 2013, is Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, the United States Ambassador for International Religious Freedom.
The Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon is held each year in mid-February to celebrate Susan B. Anthony’s February 15th birthday, to honor contemporary women who continue her legacy, and to raise awareness of the education and inspiration programs that take place at and through the National Historic Landmark on Madison Street. The luncheon takes place at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
In making the announcement, Anthony House president and CEO Deborah L. Hughes commented that Susan B. Anthony welcomed believers of all kinds into her suffrage tent and counted Christians, Mormons, Jews, and nonbelievers alike among her strongest supporters. Miss Anthony once stated, “These are the principles I want to maintain—that our platform may be kept as broad as the universe, that upon it may stand the representatives of all creeds and of no creeds, Jew and Christian, Protestant and Catholic, Gentile and Mormon, believer and atheist.” [speech, 1890, as quoted in Lynn Sherr’s biography, Failure is Impossible, p. 253].
Ambassador Johnson Cook was appointed by President Barack Obama on May 16, 2011. In this position, she is principal advisor to both the President of the United States and Secretary of State on matters of religious freedom around the globe. She is the first African-American and the first female to hold this position since its creation under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act.
Ambassador Johnson Cook has traveled to five continents to promote religious freedom. She has led interfaith delegations to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and throughout the Caribbean. She worked with World Vision in Switzerland to help its efforts to combat global poverty and traveled to Zimbabwe and South Africa to promote interfaith dialogue and tolerance among Zulu faith leaders.
Prior to joining the State Department, Dr. Johnson Cook has held three presidential appointments, two appointments from cabinet secretaries and a United States Senate confirmation. She advised President Bill Clinton on a range of issues including homelessness, violence, and community empowerment. She worked with the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development on faith-based initiatives in the 1990s. President Clinton appointed her in 1997 to serve on his National Initiative on Race.
Ambassador Johnson Cook is the recipient of several awards, including the Woman of Conscience Award, the Martin Luther King. Jr. Award, the Visionary Leaders Award, the Judith Hollister Peace Award. She also served as senior pastor and CEO of the Bronx Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in New York City. She also held the position of chaplain to the New York City Police Department for twenty-one years, the only woman to serve in that role—she was on the front lines on 9/11/01
.Ms. Johnson Cook was a Harvard University President’s Administrative Fellow and has authored ten books. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Emerson College in Boston in 1976 and her Master of Arts from Columbia University in 1978. She also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Mission Statement (adopted 4/2010): The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House™ preserves the National Historic Landmark where the great reformer lived for 40 of her most politically active years, collects and exhibits artifacts related to her life and work, and offers programs through its learning center that challenge individuals to make a positive difference in their lives and communities.
The Susan B. Anthony House is supported primarily through the contributions of its members and donors. The Susan B. Anthony House is not affiliated with other organizations bearing her name.