Clark, Karen

Founding Board Member of Women in Leadership (WIL)





An oral history with Karen Clark, retired law partner with the multi-national firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and founding board member of Women in Leadership (W.I.L.) a political action committee dedicated to getting pro-choice female candidates elected to public office. This interview was conducted for Dr. Natalie Fousekis’ History 492A course focusing on women’s community activism. Specifically, this interview talks about why Clark went to law school and joined the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; talks about how her political ideology aligned between her law practice and activism; shares why she became an activist; recalls experiences campaigning for fair housing and Roe v Wade in Michigan; talks about the creation of Women in Leadership (WIL) with Louise Adler, Carol Barnes, and Marilyn Brewer; explains how WIL defines “moderate” and why candidates have to be pro-choice; describes how WIL vets potential candidates; discusses why WIL supports local candidates; explains why WIL decided to support Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; comments on how Marilyn Brewer’s political ideology has changed since founding WIL; talks about the Republican Party’s “War on Women”; explains why she opposed the merger between St. Joseph Health and Hoag hospital and how WIL got involved; explains why these mergers challenge reproductive rights for women; discusses the importance of WIL’s legacy in the 2013 (and beyond) political climate; talks about why “choice” issues will remain relevant in the future and why she thinks Roe v. Wade will be overturned; and finally, reflects on how to encourage young women to become activists.


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Description> Karen Clark, 2013.