- Stories & Articles by Sonia
Articles and Stories by Sonia Pressman Fuentes
- Sonia's article, "How Being an Immigrant Shaped My Life," appeared in the summer newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of SW Florida, published on April 3, 2019, and on its website. You can read the article in .pdf format here.
- On Jan. 14, 2019, Sonia's remembrance of her late, feminist friend, Dr. Bernice "Bunny" Sandler (known as the "Godmother of Title IX"), who died at the age of 90 on Jan. 5, 2019, in her Washington, D.C. condo, was published in the "We Remember" section of the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA).
- Sonia's write-up of her experiences with Hurricane Irma in Sarasota in September of 2017 appeared in the Cornell Alumni Magazine of July/Aug. 2018 in the Class Notes for her class, the class of 1950, on page 69.
- On March 20, 2018, Mary Wilson, president of the Greater Orlando, FL chapter of NOW, put Sonia's write-up on how she became a feminist in the chapter's enewsletter.
- In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2018, The Forward newspaper shared its readers' stories.
- Sonia participates in a one-hour webinar set up by the National Women's History Project (NWHP) on Jan. 13, 2016. 1) Click here to read about NWHP. 2) To listen to the oral comments and see the written comments, click on "webinar archive" toward the bottom of your screen. On the "webinar archive" screen, it is, however, very difficult to move the written comments up or down. 3) To get a clearer view of the written comments and to be able to move them up and down easily, click on "Chat Log." 4) Click on "Final PowerPoint Presentation" if you would like to see that.
- Sonia's article on the second wave of the women's movement: its origin, accomplishments, and the problems that remain--both in the U.S. and globally--appeared on June 14, 2015, on the website of the Institute for Science and Human Values.
- Sonia's write-up appeared on the Facebook page of the Red Star Line Museum commemorating the 81st anniversary of the arrival in the U.S. from Germany, via Belgium, of Sonia and the rest of her immediate family. (May
- "My Jewish Weekend in Sarasota," sent by Sonia to her friends, Nov. 16, 2014.
- "History Without Hitler?", Op-Ed in the New York Times and its international edition, October 26, 2014. This Op-Ed was written by Sonia's friend, Timothy Ryback, and edited by Sonia.
- "End of Life Issue," October 16, 2014.
- “Top 18 Issues Challenging Women Today,” The Shriver Report, May 5, 2014.
- Sonia’s letter of April 16, 2014, to Bishop Frank J. DeWane, bishop of the Venice, FL diocese, is on the blog of Bridget Mary Meehen.
- On Nov. 1, 2018, a paperback anthology of writings by older women about their lives entitled “You’re Doing What?: Older Women’s Tales of Achievement & Adventure,” edited by Marjorie Penn Lasky, was published. In a section called " A Life of Activism," it contains a piece by Sonia named "Eighty-five years old in Sarasota County, Florida." The book can be purchased from Amazon. For purchases in bulk, Regent Press (firstname.lastname@example.org) will take orders for 10 or more books and provide them at a discount.
- “The Second Wave of the Women’s Movement—Past, Present, and Future,” Women You You Should Know website, March 26, 2014.
- Sonia reminisces about her three British feminist friends, March 25, 2014.
- Sonia’s article about her trip to the Catskills appeared in the Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee (Jan. 2014, Vol. 44, No. 1, p. 23A).
- Three-part series by Sonia in the Sullivan County Democrat, a newspaper in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.
- Sonia’s submission to the book Mother Knows Better - Sense and Nonsense from American Moms by Patti Murphy is one of over two hundred momisms in the book.
- Sonia’s article about the travails of The Forward after Superstorm Sandy appeared in Der Bay (Vol. XXIII, No. II, Mar.-Apr. 2013, p. 12).
- NOW (National Organization for Women) Founder Sonia Fuentes Gives Back To Education.
- "A heart-healthy diet is easier to adhere to than it may seem, especially with plenty of grocery and restaurant choices in Sarasota," December 7, 2012. (To see this article, which first appeared in the online Sarasota News Leader, once the large picture appears, scroll down to the article.) On April 27, 2015, the article was published on the website of Vegan Everyday Stories. On May 22, 2015, a shortened version of the article appeared on the website of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
- “A Journey of Discovery,” Sonia’s article about her September 2011 week’s trip to Germany exploring Jewish life in Germany, published in two parts.
- "Finding My Identity as a Feminist" - This article appeared in the online magazine, Identity, on September 21, 2011.
- "My Story" - This article appeared in HavaMag, Issue 4, August, 2011.
- To access the article:
- Click on the arrow to the right until it takes you to the Table of Contents on the left.
- Click on the first item in the Table of Contents, which is the article about Sonia, on page 10.
- When you come to the article, double click on each page to make the type readable.
- To access the article:
- "First Woman: Sonia Pressman Fuentes," appeared at the end of July 2011 in Ms. JD, an e-zine for women law students and lawyers.
- “Judging Our Future: Supreme Women Move Up,” about the increasing percent of women judges on the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts, went online in the Café section of On the Issues e-zine on December 21, 2010. In February of 2012, the article was added to the featured news & comments section of the website of Cornell University’s Avon Global Center for Women and Justice.
- "Advancing Rights: 1964 Marks the Beginning of a New Era" - This article was published in On The Issues Magazine, Café section, on August 25, 2010, in celebration of Women’s Equity Day, the 90th anniversary of suffrage, August 26, 2010.
- Sonia has written articles for Scitable, a website for women in science, or been introduced as a resource on women and employment law for Scitable, as follows:
- Sonia decries American women’s ignorance of the legal rights they have achieved since the early 1960s and lists those rights. (August 13, 2013)
- Sonia discusses breast implant ruptures and leaks. (Mar. 21, 2011)
- "Sonia Pressman Fuentes on Pregnancy Leave, Parental Care Leave, and the Law" - Sonia explains the law on leave and benefits in connection with pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery. (July 28, 2010)
- Correction to posting of June 3, 2010, introducing Sonia as Scitable’s resource on women and employment law. (June 4, 2010)
- Sonia is introduced as Scitable’s resource on women and employment law. (June 3, 2010)
- "My Life After Divorce" - Sonia discusses her life after divorce for a “Divorce and Women’s Success” series. (2010)
- "A Negative Experience, A Positive Outcome" - The lucky day Fuentes was fired. (2009)
- "First Wedding at the Fontainebleau," an unpublished anecdote, November 23, 2008.
- Added as a Luminary on inspiremetoday.com, Oct. 2009, and updated in Nov. 2013.
- “If You Build It, They Will Come—The Birth of A Yiddish Club,” published in Der Bay, The International Anglo-Yiddish Newsletter (Vol. XVII, No. 9, Nov. 2007). Sonia starts a Yiddish Club in Sarasota, FL. Also published in the Gantseh Megillah. (Nov. 14, 2007, Issue 8.10)
- "My Fortuitous Escape from the Holocaust and My Life Thereafter" - This article is published on a Web site called "Women and the Holocaust." (2006)
- “A Love Letter to Ostuni” (2005)
- "My Visit to Piltz" - A sequel to "A Visit to Piltz." (2005)
- "Three-hour Tour Turns Unforgettable" - This article, by Fuentes, recalling the saga of her trip to the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford estates in Ft. Myers, FL, appeared in The East County Observer, a newspaper in East Manatee and Sarasota Counties, Florida, January 16, 2003.
- "I Lucky Everything: The Story of a Real `Miss Saigon'" - Along with a manicure, a reminder of how immigrants revitalize our nation. (2002)
- "A Visit to Piltz" - This article is about Fuentes' August 2001 journey to her parents' birthplace, a village called Piltz in Poland. (2001)
- "How I Built a Life in Retirement" - Sonia had a difficult time adjusting to retirement, and then she entered the best years of her life. (2000)
- "How I Published My Memoir: A Lawyer-Feminist's Story" - This is the story of the six years Fuentes spent in researching, writing, publishing and marketing her memoir and making the transition from being a lawyer to a writer and public speaker. (Also see: "How I Got Published in South Africa) (2000)
- "A Seder in Shanghai" - Fuentes participates in a seder in a most unlikely city, Shanghai, China. This piece appeared previously in JoyZine and on Harry Leichter's website. (1999)
- "HUD Goes to the Moscow Trade Show" - This article was originally published in Sparks 28. March - April, 1999. (1999)
- Breast Cancer and Ruptured/Leaking Breast Implants - The story of Fuentes' experience with breast cancer. (1998)
- "Three United States Feminists: A Personal Tribute" - This article is about Fuentes' most memorable encounters with Alice Paul, the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, and Catherine East (1998). Later that year, a slightly different version of this article was published in Moondance.
- “Representing Women,” a 17-page article, originally published in Frontiers, a Journal of Women Studies (Vol. 18, No.3, Nov. 3, 1997), by the Washington State University Press, is available by emailing Sonia at email@example.com and asking her to email it to you or by purchasing it at jstor.org. This was Sonia’s first published article about women’s rights.
- "House of History" - A history of the Sewall-Belmont House, one of the oldest houses on Capitol Hill, is the story of the current headquarters of the National Woman's Party. (1996)
- "Magnolias" - A Washington, DC, love story. (1996)
- "Family Past Unfolds Like Detective Story" - Research Leads to Ship's Records, a Movie and Snapshots. (1995)
- “Impressions: The Status of Women in Southeast Asia,” published in the Common Law Lawyer (no longer in existence), Sept.-Oct. 1978. (To enlarge the print on machines using Windows, hold down the control button of your computer while moving the wheel of your mouse. If viewing through Adobe Acrobat, enlarge the text with the plus button, or use the percentage dropdown list.)
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Sonia Pressman Fuentes
Honors and Awards: 1956 through 2013
On Nov. 8, 1956, Dean Rasco of the University of Miami School of Law presented Sonia with the Kappa Beta Pi award given to the woman law student with the highest average.
Sonia came to Washington, DC, in September 1957 as part of the US Department of Justice’s Program for Honor Law Graduates.
Stephen Shulman, chairman of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), presenting Sonia with the Superior Performance Award, sometime between Sept. 14, 1966, and July 1, 1967.
Sonia was the recipient of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Annual Award of the Status of Women Committee in May 1979.
While Sonia worked for TRW Inc. in Euclid, OH, from the beginning of 1982 to about the end of 1985, she was chosen as one of Cleveland’s six top business women by a newspaper there, the New Cleveland Woman Journal (Vol. 1, No. 11, Feb. 1984, p. 14), for its cover story, “Six of Cleveland’s top women executives tell of sweet success.”
Sonia was selected in 1984 by the Reagan Administration as one of twenty corporate women in Human Resources in the US for a special briefing in Washington, DC, by top officials of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
In November 1996, at a ceremony honoring the founders of NOW, Betty Friedan presented her with the Veteran Feminists of America (VFA) Medal of Honor.
On October 10, 1999, she was one of four recipients of the 1999 Women at Work Award of Wider Opportunities for Women given in recognition of her commitment to women's issues and leadership in the fields of law and business. Prior recipients included Jane Fonda, Katie Couric, Linda Ellerbee, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Induction Ceremony for the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame -- Annapolis, Maryland
Sonia Pressman Fuentes (center). In addition, from right to left are Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Frances Hughes Glendening (First Lady of Maryland), Governor Parris N. Glendening, other awardees, and others involved in the ceremony. March 21, 2000, Joint Legislative Hearing Room, Legislative Services Building, in Annapolis, Maryland.
Click on the photo to enlarge.
Sonia was included in the National Gallery of Prominent Refugees established by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to commemorate its 50th anniversary in 2000. (She is one of four prominent refugees pictured at the top of the website; she is at the furthest right.) Click here to view Sonia’s write-up in the Gallery. She is also included in the books, Women of Achievement in Maryland History, a reference book published in October 2002 and distributed to public and private schools, libraries, religious institutions, and private service organizations in Maryland; Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975; and John Kremer’s Self-Publishing Hall of Fame.
HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) created a Hall of Fame of HIAS in conjunction with its 120th anniversary in 2001, including Sonia.
On March 18, 2005, Sonia was one of four recipients of the Immigrant Achievement Award of the American Immigration Law Foundation. To see a video of Sonia’s acceptance speech, click here and scroll down to the “View video” at the bottom of the screen.
Sonia was one of 10 women honored May 6, 2005, as foremothers of the women's movement at a luncheon at the Occidental Hotel in Washington, D.C., by the National Research Center for Women & Families.
In 2005, Sonia was one of seventy-four Jewish women in the US included in the online exhibit of the Jewish Women’s Archive called “Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution,” which recognized Jewish women activists in the US from 1963 to 1999, at http://jwa.org/feminism/.
On Dec. 7, 2007, Sonia was made the first honorary member of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Sarasota chapter (established in 1984), in its history for "her lifelong dedication to the progression of women's rights." See "Feminist Icon Accepts Sarasota-FAWL's Honorary Membership" in the February 2008 issue of The Docket, the newspaper of the Sarasota County (FL) Bar Association.
In June 2008, Sonia was honored by the Veteran Feminists of America (VFA) at the Harvard Club in NYC for being one of thirty-six living feminist lawyers in the US who made significant contributions to women’s rights in the 1963-75 time period. (Another eleven were honored in memoriam.)
On June 25, 2011, at NOW’s annual conference in Tampa, FL, Sonia was given a Certificate of Recognition by NOW.
On August 1, 2011, Veteran Feminists of America published a salute to Sonia.
In early 2013, Sonia served as a guest celebrity judge for the national essay writing contest for fifth graders of the American Immigration Council’s Community Education Center. The students submitted creative writing entries on the theme, “Why I’m Glad America Is a Country of Immigrants.” After the regional competition winners were selected, Sonia was one of the judges who selected the national winner. Past judges included the late Senator Ted Kennedy and Sen. Charles Schumer.
On April 21, 2013, Sonia was one of five Jewish professional women from the state of Florida who received the Glass Ceiling Award given annually by the Jewish Museum of Florida in Miami Beach at an awards ceremony. Read the press release and the articles in the Sarasota News Leader and the Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee (Photocopies: page 1 | page 2) (Apr. 2013, Vol. 43, No. 4).
(Click images to enlarge)
Sonia with other awardees and museum staffers. To Sonia’s right in a beige jacket is Jo Ann Arnowitz, director of the museum.
Sonia with Barbara Behr, the wife of Dr. Donald Behr. Don and Sonia hadn't seen each other in sixty-eight years when he and Barbara came to see her receive the Glass Ceiling Award.
- "Unique ceremony honors achievement," from the newsletter of the Monticello Central School District, Winter 2013.
- "Monticello graduates will be honored," from the Times Herald-Record, Sunday, November 3, 2013.
- "Monticello High School Hall of Distinction: Alumni make school proud," from the Sullivan County Democrat, Tuesday, November 12, 2013.
On Nov. 3, 2013, Sonia was one of ten inaugural inductees into the Hall of Distinction established by the Monticello (NY) Central School District. The inductees were former students and employees going back to the beginning of the school district in 1894. Sonia graduated from Monticello High School in the Catskill Mountains of NY State in 1946.
Hall of Distinction, Central Monticello (NY) Central School District: Plaque about Sonia and the plaques for the ten inaugural inductees (unveiling on Nov. 3, 2013).
Sonia with three of the other awardees: Roland Paramore, David Kaufman, and Harrison “Slam” Allen.
Sonia with (from l. to r.) Les Kristt, Wall of Distinction committee member and emcee of the event; Allison Ruef, communications specialist, Monticello Central School District; and Daniel Teplesky, Monticello Superintendent of Schools.
Sonia with Allison Ruef, communications specialist, Monticello (NY) Central School District.
Mary Page Lang-Clouse, Public Library Director, Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library, Monticello, NY, holding a copy of Sonia’s memoir, donated by the publisher, Xlibris Corp.
On Nov. 3, 2013, in connection with her induction into the Monticello Central School District’s Hall of Distinction, Sonia received the following:
New York State Assembly Certificate of Merit from Aileen M. Gunther, a member of the Assembly, Certificate of Merit from New York State Senator John J. Bonacic, and Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from US Congressman Chris Gibson.