News & Blog

September 2017 Newsletter

 Betta Ehrenfeld Public Policy Forum featuring  2017 Frances Perkins Center

Intelligence & Courage Honoree
Jane Mayer.



Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016) and staff writer at The New Yorker since 1995, will receive the 2017 Frances Perkins Center Intelligence & Courage Award September 23, 2017, at 4 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center, at Bowdoin College. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.   

Dark Money is an electrifying work of investigative journalism that uncovers the powerful group of immensely wealthy ideologues who are shaping the fate of America. Mayer is also the author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals (2008). Following the award presentation, Mayer will be interviewed about her recent work by Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram columnist Bill Nemitz.  

The Intelligence & Courage award title comes from a speech given by Frances Perkins in 1929 as New York State Industrial Commissioner, when she pledged, “I promise to use what brains I have to meet problems with intelligence and courage. I promise that I will be candid about what I know. I promise to all of you who have the right to know, the whole truth so far as I can speak it.”  Jane Mayer is being honored for her intelligence and courage in elucidating one of our nation’s most pressing issues. 

The Betta Ehrenfeld Public Policy Forum is an annual event hosted by the Frances Perkins Center to highlight the principles that guided the life and work of Frances Perkins and apply those principles to today’s economic and social problems. The Center was incorporated in Newcastle, Maine, in 2009 to honor its namesake and to fulfill her legacy by continuing her work for social justice and economic security and preserving for future generations her nationally significant family homestead. The Center inspires people to address current economic and social problems as Perkins would, through work in the areas of education, outreach, and advocacy. The nonprofit, nonpartisan Center is currently headquartered in downtown Damariscotta, Maine, where it offers an interpretive exhibit on the life and achievements of Frances Perkins. The Center seeks to acquire and preserve the place Perkins called home–her family homestead on the Damariscotta River in Newcastle.

This event is also sponsored by the Bowdoin Department of Government and Legal Studies and the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund. Donovan, active in Maine Democratic politics, was an administrative assistant to Senator Edmund Muskie and executive assistant to Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz in the Kennedy Administration, and the first fulltime manpower administrator for the Department of Labor. He was Bowdoin’s DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government, teaching courses in American politics and Congress from 1965 to 1984 and the author of the classic work
The Politics of Poverty.   

  • The event is free and open to the public but tickets are required, and seating is limited.
  • A book-signing will follow the interview.
  • Tickets may be obtained in person at the Frances Perkins Center, 170A Main St., Damariscotta ME 04543,  by calling 207-563-3374, or e-mailing Chris Cash at: 
  • Tickets may also be obtained in person at Bowdoin College at the Smith Union Information Desk, beginning September 4, 2017.






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