Commemorating the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, the panel to discuss how these women’s lives have changed post-9/11 and how women are faring in NYC’s emergency services

Captain Brenda Berkman, second left, with a group of women firefighters

In commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, in cooperation with the Frederic Ewen Center, will host a roundtable discussion on “Women 9/11 First Responders.” The event will be held at NYU’s Tamiment Library & Wagner Labor Archives on the 10th floor of Bobst Library at 70 Washington Square South on September 13, 2016 from 6-8pm.

The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP: or call Maria Mejia at 212-998-2635. For more information, the public should contact Sarah Moazeni, Tamiment Library & Wagner Labor Archives at (212) 998-2639.

The narrative of the national tragedy of 9/11 is often expressed through a gendered lens, with frequent references to “policemen” and “firemen.” However, hundreds of women firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel were among the first responders and three women first responders – PAPD Captain Kathy Mazza, EMT Yamel Merino and NYPD officer Moira Smith – lost their lives trying to save the lives of others. The women first responders’ stories have rarely been told. Now, fifteen years after 9/11, a panel will discuss how these women’s lives have changed and how women are faring in NYC’s emergency services.

In conjunction with the panel discussion and the 15th anniversary of 9/11, there will be an exhibit drawn from the “Brenda Berkman Files Regarding September 11, 2001” and the “United Women Firefighters Records and Photographs” Collections from the Wagner Labor Archives, which will be on display until December 16, 2016.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Brenda Berkman, a first responder to the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. Berkman was the pioneering firefighter responsible for filing the lawsuit which resulted in the first women being hired by the New York City Fire Department in 1982. In 2012, she curated and exhibited at the group show “The 9/11 Decade” at Westbeth and her print series “Thirty-six Views of One World Trade Center” will be exhibited at District Council 37’s gallery September 12-27, 2016. She retired in 2006 at the rank of Captain.

Mary Carouba, an investigative social worker and co-author of the book, Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion, will join Ms. Berkman on the panel. The discussion will focus on the contributions of women as 9/11 first responders and the ongoing struggle for gender equality within police, fire, and emergency services.

Additional participants will include NYPD Inspector Terri Tobin, EMS Captain Doreen Ascatigno, Firefighter Regina Wilson, the first woman President of the FDNY Vulcan Society, and Firefighter Sarinya Srisakul, President of the United Women Firefighters. Other women first responders will be part of the Q&A.


For Media Only: Contact Christopher James, 212.998.6867 or

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University form a unique, internationally-known center for scholarly research on Labor and the Left. Tamiment has one of the finest research collections in the country documenting the history of radical politics: socialism, communism, anarchism, utopian experiments, the cultural left, the New Left, and the struggle for civil rights and civil liberties. It is the repository for the Archives of Irish America, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, the Estela Bravo Archive, and a growing LGBT and Asian American labor collections.

The NYU Division of Libraries is a global system comprising five libraries in Manhattan and one each in Brooklyn, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, receives 2.6 million visits annually. For more information about the NYU Libraries, please visit  


Press Contact

Christopher James
Christopher James
(212) 998-6876