follow url It was like I wasn't a person, I was, I was a walking reminder of rape, and all of the devastation that had unleashed upon the community in one way or another. The status quo narratives were successfully pushing out survivors who spoke up; it is likely that this had a deterrent effect on other survivors, making it harder for them to share their experiences. By there were grand jury requests for information relating to CFD and a number of current or former CFD activists were subpoenaed.
In comparison with Muslim-Americans—targeted because Islam came to be viewed as inherently dangerous and "un-American"—radical environmental activists were deemed suspect primarily because of an adherence to supposedly extremist political beliefs and a willingness to engage in direct action, not for their race or religion, as was the case for Al-Qaeda terrorists. For example, an orientation guide for the regional direct action campaign Cascadia Summer, in which CFD played a central role, advises activists to stay calm in interactions with Forest Service law enforcement officers, because "these are our forests after all.
According to historian Ronald Spores, in the early nineteenth century white settlers and traders introduced diseases to the region that killed off the majority of Native people in the area. In the s the federal government forced the local Kalapuya, Molalla, and Clackamas into reservations, giving white settlers—and the state—access to "valuable farm and timber lands.
The subsection A Few Basic Rights states that the police require "specific reasons not a hunch or a generalization to believe that you have committed a specific crime or to believe that you're about to commit a specific crime. Thus it is unsurprising that survivors and support people in CFD who spoke out about sexual violence almost exclusively pursued non-state solutions, at a time when anti-violence work was increasingly tied to criminal justice and state-based solutions.
At the conference questions were raised about the supposed benefits of criminal justice solutions and the ways in which they strengthened "the legitimacy of an expanding prison system. Women of Color Against Violence. Their alternative strategies emerged from discussions that considered both the needs of women of color—who are persecuted by the criminal justice system—and women with disabilities, for whom the medical system is "as punitive as the criminal justice system. In the keynote address, activist and scholar Angela Davis discussed the need to develop organizing strategies not reliant on the criminal justice system.
She called for a simultaneous challenge to sexual violence by men of color and rejection of characterizations of Black and Latinx men as inherently violent. The mainstream, white-dominated anti-violence movement failed to center their needs or the needs of trans, two-spirit, and non-binary people of color. Not that poc were NOT invited. We didn't reach out to magazines that serve communities of color. No targeted posters, or coalition building happened. It takes effort to get people together for an action.
It takes more effort to reach outside of your community to recruit more diverse help. Anarchists are going to eat your children, a zine put out by eco-anarchists in Eugene circa , discusses police harassment against anarchists. In the run-up to an eco-anarchist protest on June 18, , local police officers profiled and detained individuals who "fit the 'description' of anarchists or punks.
It seems that the police feel comfortable stretching or breaking their own rules in order to "prevent" rules from being broken. The end result is that too many people were stopped, detained, and questioned— and threatened too—simply for looking a certain way. Such a narrative glosses over the reality of increased harassment for eco-anarchists of color while obscuring the significant differences between the profiling of local Latinx and Black residents based on race, and the profiling of predominantly white activists based primarily on their politically linked clothing choices.
The author s expressed outrage for treatments that white activists had likely been sheltered from prior to their involvement in eco- anarchist activism. When considered alongside Cascadia Summer's advice for how to respond to law enforcement, it seems that the dominant narrative within CFD and the wider forest activist movement excluded Black and Latinx experiences of police violence. Rocky suggested that eco-anarchist activists developed movement narratives that obfuscated experiences of oppression, promoting white, physically able-bodied masculinity and increasingly confrontational street protests: As a community people thought "Oh, we're anarchists.
We're oppressed. I can throw a brick at a cop then I run and hide in a house. That cop's going to grab the first marginalized person they see with consequences that are a lot greater. This privileging is evident in movement narratives that celebrated skills traditionally coded as masculine, like the construction and maintenance of tree-sits. The centering of white masculinity, particularly at Fall Creek, was also evident in efforts to deny or excuse abuse and harassment carried out by white male tree-sitters.
Dustin encourages men in the "eco-activist" community to "take responsibility for their privilege" and hold themselves and other men accountable. Although the Against Patriarchy conference offered workshops that were critical of whiteness and white masculinity, Dustin's article suggests that this may have had limited impact on CFD activists, who continued to view conflicts at Fall AAA Press prefers not to have endnote superscripts with subheads. This framing is evident in Denali's account of the status quo narrative at Fall Creek that CFD's feminists were keen to change: It was almost like Eugene was like the laboratory where the scientists were talking about stuff.
Or there, there was the classroom—and then Fall Creek was like the petri dish, you know?
Like, it's like,. The printed archival material I have accessed also centers on events at Fall Creek. Many narrators spoke of sexual violence occurring in tree-sits and campaign spaces, and Fall Creek became representative of what one narrator referred to as "rape culture CFD.
After the men left, there was a women-only month, where all the tree-sits were occupied by women. From this location they presented themselves as victims of the "Eugene radical feminists," a narrative that justified their abusive behavior and identified local feminists as the antagonists. They reportedly also referred to particular individuals as "feminazis. The deployment of a term like feminazi suggests that the collective action frames deployed by the men of the patriarchy pod helped reinforce racial and gender-based hierarchies within CFD up to Warcry, also known as Priya Reddy, an Indian American woman who enjoyed the "fuck- y'all, flag-burning attitude" at the tree-sits, is one of the few high-profile women of color associated with Fall Creek, but to suggest that her experience was representative of that of all women of color who spent time there would be flagrant tokenism.
Scholar Rachel Luft argues that instances of sexual assault and abuse of white activist women by white activist men "are deeply racialized. The term feminazi—popularized by Rush Limbaugh—was levied primarily against white women at Fall Creek, but framing these white feminists as feminazis is also a white supremacist narrative. In doing so, they reinforced their rights of access—to the physical space of Fall Creek and to women's bodies.
I suggest that use of that term is an example of a white supremacist collective action frame. In CFD's tree-sits the whiteness of most of the perpetrators and survivors impacted the sexual violence occurring there and the narratives of these incidents. Within white-dominated spaces, rape is used to maintain race- and gender-based hierarchies; however, within CFD's movement narratives it has largely been framed in relation to gender-based oppression and sexual violence experienced by white women.
In critiquing these white feminist frames it is necessary to look at how contemporary and historical narratives around sexual violence are racialized in the United States. Freedman's research into media coverage of sexual violence in the United States between and tracks the establishment of racialized "rape narratives," leading to the association of rape with Black men. News reports of rape portrayed African American men as intrinsically predatory, while categorizing white male perpetrators as "exceptional rapists," positioning white men as protectors of white women rather than potential perpetrators of violence.
This notion casts white-dominated tree-sits as safe except in the extraordinary case of Fall Creek. In these framings, whiteness is normalized and not identified as a source of violence and exclusion. The silence around issues of racism and settler colonialism within movement narratives of Fall Creek—and CFD more broadly—is reflective of how whiteness is rendered invisible. In my interviews with white mid-guard activists there was discussion of sexual violence and misogyny at Fall Creek without reference to race or racism.
A statement on CFD's website by Otter, a male tree-sitter, suggests that the moniker was appropriate because it was being used by "a bunch of for the most part white kids who are fed up with the irresponsible, short-sighted, destructive greed of our culture, and who wish to form our own tribe. Both his account and white feminist counternarratives failed to acknowledge the ongoing effect of racist and colonialist violence, land theft, and genocide in the Pacific Northwest. The forest is represented in opposition to "domination, hierarchy, intolerance, or uncontrolled anger and aggression," a dyad that overlooks how the Willamette National Forest exists within a settler colonialist dynamic.
Rachel Luft suggests that "from a dominant racial perspective BBB OK to assume the article title should match how it appears in the endnote? A scarcity of archival material, as well as difficulties in tracking down CFD activists from that period, made it challenging to identify efforts to confront abuse prior to The aforementioned articles and statement about abuse and sexual violence at Fall Creek outline efforts, in and , to confront harassment and abusive behavior at the tree-sits, lending insight into decisions to evict men for exploitative or boundary crossing behavior, and into the challenges of enforcing these evictions.
These narratives also illustrate how access to money, public support, or technical skills could be leveraged to allow predatory or abusive men to remain at, or return to, tree-sits. It appeared that people were reluctant to exclude threatening or violent men because of their "vital skills and resources. These counternarratives depended on white feminist frames focused on empowering women to be more active in the tree-sitting side of the campaigns. Doing so meant that these skills were not solely in the hands of abusive white men or their supporters. The women-only action, which was not open to trans women, provided a space for cisgender women to learn how to climb and do daily maintenance work in the tree-sits.
Some months after her assault by well-known activist Jim-Dawg, Squirrel, a white cisgender CFD activist, requested a meeting to reach consensus on excluding Jim-Dawg from CFD tree-sits; an event that played an important role in CFD's movement narrative, with multiple narrators viewing it as a turning point in how CFD responded to sexual violence. Members were expected to uphold the organization's anti-oppression and safer spaces policies. You gotta read and agree to these terms. People agreed to the terms. That way, when accountability came up, we would just point to the document saying, "This is our brochure saying the things you agreed to.
Consent, safety, people's safety. You have violated these safety issues which you had agreed you would not: we're kicking you out. There was no grey area where "rape's OK, as long as you're saving the forest," you know? The counternarrative that CFD began to establish—a narrative that challenged rather than centered white masculinity—did not sit well with activists at Fall Creek.
CFD's adoption of a white feminist movement narrative, and efforts to enact anti-violence policies at Fall Creek, are examples of what Robert D. Benford identifies as the use of movement narratives to "control the course of social movements from within. Tom referred to that event as "the great schism. A counternarrative was promulgated by activists associated with Fall Creek who disagreed with CFD's commitment to anti-violence activism and anti-oppression policies. According to Crow, a white feminist activist, "they would do things that were really actively terrorizing, you know, they put a brick through my friend's window.
They would stop my friends on the street and scream at them and call them whores. The women-only sit followed from the women's month at Fall Creek and is an example of how CFD's white feminist frames were used to mobilize support for women-led actions—actions primarily geared toward empowering white, physically able-bodied, cisgender women. Straw Devil would come to play a central role in CFD's movement narratives around oppression and safer spaces.
Further evidence of this shift was the launch of the women-only tree-sit at Straw Devil in July , one of the first sits to be entirely constructed and maintained by cisgender women. And we didn't have the skills to do them all on our own. We always had to go to men to help us with that. Allowing women forest activists to learn these skills also meant that CFD campaigns were not reliant on the expertise of white men who displayed patterns of misogynist or abusive behavior.
According to Owl, Straw Devil "was just as white as any other camp. Cristina, a white cisgender woman involved in CFD, acknowledged that the group still struggles with issues such as misogyny, transphobia, and racism: A good friend of mine who was a person of color ended up leaving CFD because they felt uncomfortable being around white people all the time. Which is super-legit. And there are still all these stories of people not having their gender identities respected, or they experience sexual violence, or one thing or another. It was sort of sad to start realizing that—actually no, it's like not something that's isolated to the past.
It's ongoing. I have traced how a group of feminists in CFD used collective action frames to challenge CFD's status quo narrative around white masculinity and sexual violence from to I have used the term white feminist frame to highlight how their anti-oppression work centered around making the group more inclusive of white, able- bodied, cisgender women and AFAB non-binary people.
These frames were used to legitimize grievances around interpersonal violence and misogyny, grievances they sought to remedy through anti-oppression policies and women-only action camps and tree-sits. By deploying these frames, they were able to develop counternarratives that offered alternative ways of responding to sexual violence and harassment but failed to resolve other issues of oppression within the group.
I have outlined how this was achieved, and how the framing of particular perpetrators, or sites of violence like Fall Creek, have reinforced racialized narratives about sexual violence committed by white men against white women. When CFD distanced itself from Fall Creek in , a schism emerged within the organization, and the group's dominant narrative began to include the tensions and conflicts that accompanied efforts to exclude perpetrators and their supporters as well as including more positive accounts of women-only tree-sits and action camps.
A group of mostly white female survivors of violence played a central role in the transformation of CFD's movement narrative. For the younger CFD activists I interviewed in and there was a commitment to movement narratives and collective action frames that centered feminist values. However, tensions between competing narratives around how to respond to sexual violence erupted once again at the twentieth anniversary of the Warner Creek campaign.
This demonstrated that CFD's movement narratives—particularly around past and present responses to violence and harassment—continued to be unstable and contested. The lack of acknowledgment of the racial dynamics of the situation with Coronado indicate that there is still an ongoing need for intersectional analyses around sexual violence, in order to foreground how sexual violence is a tool of white supremacy, settler colonialism, and heteropatriarchy.
The disputed nature of CFD's movement narratives is underpinned by racialized and gendered understandings of sexual violence. There is a need for further scholarly analysis on the impact of sexual violence in social movements, including how narratives and collective action frames are used as mechanisms of "intramovement social control," to defend or intervene in the use of rape, abuse, and harassment to maintain gendered and racialized hierarchies.
Bassi identify as a wider lack of analysis on the impact of gender within contemporary anarchist and environmental social movements. Michael Loadenthal's recent work outlines links between undercover police officers, activist-turned-informants, and instances of sexual assault and abuse, in particular on how state surveillance extends into the bedroom.
He argues that undercover agents have been able to infiltrate movements more efficiently through sexual and romantic connections with activists and outlines the damaging effect of this. Their work focuses on gendered narratives of trauma and resistance within social movements. This awareness, coupled with community concern about the sterilization of Native women, led Cook to reclaim childbirth as key to community healing and survival, a process of empowerment through which women revive indigenous culture and restore Native peoples' connections to ancestral land.
When Cook and Barreiro returned to Akwesasne in , the sovereignty movement was militant and the community was under siege. Cook helped develop the Akwesasne Freedom School and continued midwifery practice. With a grant from the Ms. Foundation, she introduced the Dance Health Program to Akwesasne When concern arose about the safety of breastfeeding, Cook launched the Mother's Milk Project in to monitor the environmental impact of industrial development created by the St. Lawrence Seaway Project of the s.
The Mother's Milk Project provides direct services and advocacy in Akwesasne, which Canada has singled out as the most contaminated of 63 Native communities. As a result of Cook's efforts, Akwesasne became the first community to include human health research in the Superfund Basic Research Program. The Mother's Milk Project is cited as an example of an emerging reproductive rights activism that challenges the "pro-choice" movement to expand its focus beyond abortion and adopt a broad social justice agenda.
Cook has participated in national and international women's health movements, including service on the board of the National Women's Health Network, involvement in the Nestle boycott, and work with Mayan midwives in Guatemala. She monitors indigenous rights in the drafting of midwifery legislation and is the founding aboriginal midwife of the Six Nations Birthing Centre where she assists with student training, curriculum development, and community education.
Supported by a Ford Foundation grant, she is currently developing the First Environment Institute to restore indigenous puberty rites as means of advancing maternal and child health on the Akwesasne and Pine Ridge reservations. Cook and Barreiro are relocating to Washington, D. They have 5 children. Abstract In this oral history, Cook traces her family roots to the encounters among African, indigenous, and European peoples in the colonial era. She describes her early formal and informal education and her decision in the s to "bail out" of the assimilation track and embrace indigenous culture and political struggle.
She details the development of the Mother's Milk Project and its community-based research. Midwifery is the persistent theme of the interview as Cook recalls her attraction to the work, recounts the Mohawk origins story and its application to her own practice, and offers examples of births in which she integrates biomedical protocols with traditional customs including dreams, Mayan methods, and peyote.
The oral history is a passionate statement by a leader of a transitional generation who practices midwifery as a process of restoring cultural integrity and achieving environmental justice through the empowerment of women. Her parents, who both had doctorate degrees, set strong examples of hard work and concern for others. She graduated from high school in From to , she was a lay health worker at the Feminist Women's Health Center in Atlanta, where she was the only woman of color on staff. At a time when AIDS was considered a risk primarily for gay white men, SisterLove provided safe space for women, especially women of African descent, to confront the realities of living with the disease.
SisterLove began with education and outreach programs and has moved well beyond a prevention model. By adopting the Self Help process of the black women's health movement, SisterLove encourages women to break through the strong stigma in southern culture against speaking up about sex and race. Using a human rights framework, the group combines women's empowerment with action on the multiple challenges and risk factors that women confront, including housing, drug use, poverty and violence, as well as reproductive health and sexual rights. She has taught at area colleges and has hosted a progressive women's radio program for many years.
From to , she was married to Elimane Amadou Diallo. Dixon remains a leader of the reproductive justice movement. Abstract In this oral history, Diallo discusses the family and spiritual sources of her commitment to activism and describes her early involvement in feminist health work. Transcript 56 pp. Joanne Edgar b. Graduate study brought her to New York City and there she found the women's movement. Edgar was the founding editor of Ms. Edgar was at the founding meeting of the National Women's Political Caucus. She now works as a consultant and lives in New York City. Abstract In this oral history Edgar talks about her family background and childhood, the impact of the civil rights movement, and her experiences in college during the movement's heyday.
The majority of the interview focuses on Edgar's connection with Gloria Steinem and her tenure at Ms. Transcript 38 pp. She is a native of San Francisco, born and raised in the Chinatown community, where she began working as a garment worker in a sweatshop at the age of She went back into a garment factory to work after college, this time as a union organizer.
She then became a hotel worker and was a leader in the citywide strike of San Francisco hotel workers. After graduating from law school, she worked for a private labor law firm representing unions. Foo's numerous litigation successes as an attorney for the Caucus include the case of Anna Chan et al v. Moviestar , in which she obtained the first judgment from a California court holding a garment manufacturer responsible for the wages of its subcontractor's employees.
In she won the Cuadra et al v. In she led a statewide coalition of garment worker advocates in passing the California Garment Accountability Bill, which holds retailers and apparel firms strictly liable for the minimum wage and overtime violations of their contractors. Foo stopped litigating in , returned to school, and obtained a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in She is also a co-founder of the California-based Sweatshop Watch and served as its Board President from to Born in Birmingham, Alabama in , Marge Frantz is a lifelong activist.
Introduced to radical politics and the Communist Party by her father, Joe Gelders, Frantz began her activism early, with the Young Communist League in Although Frantz left the Party in , her agitation far from ceased. She was an organizer for the United Electrical Workers, campaigned for Wallace, worked for Planned Parenthood, participated in the free speech movement in Berkeley, and became a stalwart of the peace movement. After she and husband Laurent also a radical and former CP member had four children, Frantz returned to college, graduating from Berkeley in , and went on to a PhD from UC Santa Cruz, where she spent three decades as a celebrated and inspirational teacher.
Frantz has retired from teaching, but not activism, and lives with her partner Eleanor in Santa Cruz. Abstract In this oral history, Frantz describes her family background in Birmingham, highlighting her father's intellectual and political development and subsequent career in radical politics. She discusses her early days in the Popular Front and as an organizer. Frantz recalls the extensive network of friends and comrades that have made the work so engaging and sustaining. She also describes her family life in detail-her marriage to Laurent, their four children, and her partnership with Eleanor.
The interview concludes with her life in Santa Cruz, both on the campus and in local organizing efforts, and her passion for teaching.
So we started at the Civil Rights hearings and then we moved forward. Liberta 4. Note Chapter four provides a thorough discussion of these legal efforts. Introduction 2. Such an identity is usually formed through political organizing and coalitions with other women at her place of employment, in her home and her community. Feminist struggles since the s have made important gains in how state and interstate organizations respond to gender-based violence, challenging structural inequalities that increase vulnerability to gendered, racialized, geographic, and socioeconomic violence. Furthermore, these two forms of privacy are often complementary and mutually reinforcing.
Her parents, who had grade school educations, owned and ran a small women's clothing store together. She grew up in a middle-class Jewish family of shopkeepers in Philadelphia. Marlene graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls, a public college-preparatory school, in , and attended Northwestern University for two years before entering a brief first marriage and moving to Ohio. She earned a B. She earned a Ph. Louis , Dartmouth College , and Bentley College She has been married to William Bill D. Fried since They have two sons. Fried considers herself an "accidental activist" initially and attributes her politicization to the vibrant social movements of her college years.
She has continuously combined social activism and academic work. In the s and s she engaged in anti-war and civil rights protests and was active in the New American Movement. She and her husband Bill lived in a communal household in Boston. As one of the first women in philosophy, she struggled against sexism and other hierarchical practices in higher education and became a founder of the Rhode Island Women's Union and the Society of Women in Philosophy. By the late s, Fried was devoting her energies to socialist feminist reproductive rights work. Campaign to reverse the Hyde Amendment and restore public funding of abortion.
From her base at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program, Fried continues to teach, organize, and write about abortion and its place in a comprehensive plan for reproductive health and social justice. Abstract In this oral history, Fried recalls the loneliness of growing up as an only child and details the conventional class, gender, and racial norms that shaped her world in the s. She describes her involvement in cultural and social movements of her day, with telling anecdotes of political experiences in New Left and women's liberation groups, personal life in a communal household, and professional challenges as a pioneering radical female academic.
Her story highlights setbacks and breakthroughs in the struggle to sustain race- and class-conscious reproductive activism over the last 30 years. Fried also assesses her role as a white ally in a movement increasingly led by women of color and as a mentor to younger activists. Ronnie Gilbert grew up in and around New York City in a leftwing household.
She is best known for her role in the singing group The Weavers, which worked to popularize folk music in the U. In the s and s Gilbert worked as an actor and a psychotherapist in New York, California, and Canada. Transcript 49 pp. Sara Gould b. Gould's work in economic development ultimately brought her to the Ms. Gould's legacy at Ms. Abstract In this oral history Gould describes her childhood in Michigan, growing up and into a family business, and her mother's struggles with depression and addiction.
She describes finding both the women's movement and her passion for economic development work in Cambridge in the s and her journey to the Ms. Foundation for Women, where she has spent more than twenty years of her career. This interview focuses on Gould's tenure at Ms. Transcript 63 pp. The family moved to Seoul in Several decisive changes occurred in Her older sister committed suicide. Within months, her parents separated and her father migrated with the children to Orange County, California. In the U.
After high school, Chung attended California State University Long Beach, where she was exposed to feminist ideas and literature. After moving to Oakland, she combined ongoing college study of Asian American history and culture with employment as a bookkeeper and community involvement in feminist, civil rights, and Asian American women's reproductive rights and anti-violence organizations. Chung remained profoundly influenced by her sister's suicide. She chafed at the silencing effects of Asian gender and cultural norms on the one side, which enforced silence about sexual and mental health and personal matters in general, and the U.
The first national organization dedicated to improving the health status of Asian Pacific Islander women in the U. More recently Chung founded the Iris Alliance Fund, a mental health foundation dedicated to youth suicide prevention. In she married David Hayashi, a civil rights attorney. She also discusses her path towards becoming the first Korean American elected to the California State Assembly. Transcript 34 pp.
Fran Henry b. Henry's employment history includes a variety of feminist positions in government, including executive director of the first Massachusetts Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, director of the President's Citizens Advisory Committee for Women under Gerald Ford , and Northeast Conference coordinator for the President's International Women's Year Commission under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter Abstract In this oral history Fran Henry describes her childhood in a working-class family and community on Long Island and her experiences as an activist college student working to put herself through school in the s.
The interview focuses on her work in explicitly feminist positions in state and national government organizations in the s, her experiences as a woman at Harvard Business School in the early s, her work as a business consultant, and the ways her unique combination of skills and experiences gave her the ideas and tools to found Stop it Now! Henry's story details the ways she used the advantages and challenges from her childhood and family experiences to make important and unique contributions to the women's movement and the movement against child sexual abuse. It also illustrates mainstream women's movement's path through the s and s and the emerging influence of the Christian Right in the late s and beyond.
Transcript 78 pp. Amber Lynne Hollibaugh b. Hollibaugh's movement politics date back to Freedom Summer in and she's been a fulltime movement activist-whether New Left, feminist, or queer-ever since. For the past two decades, Hollibaugh has been at the center of feminist debate over sexuality and a leader in the fight against AIDS.
Abstract In this interview Hollibaugh details growing up in a mixed-race Romany and Irish , working-poor family in rural California. Her family stories are incredibly rich-from tales of her grandmother Gypsy's fierce independence-and incredibly painful, from the Klan to her mother's loss of a child. Hollibaugh describes a sexually fraught and complicated adolescence, boarding school in Switzerland, dancing in Vegas and sex work in San Francisco, and finding radical politics and alternative communities. The interview focuses on themes of sexuality and politics and Hollibaugh weaves her changing consciousness and desire through the details of her marriage, coming out process, relationships, and women's movement politics.
Lastly, Hollibaugh talks about her life as a writer and filmmaker and about the class politics of doing both. Eva Kollisch b. She and her siblings escaped from Nazi-led Austria via the Kindertransport in and settled with their parents in New York City in From Kollisch was a member of the Trotskyist organization the Workers Party, and in that role worked in factories in New York and Detroit.
A graduate of Brooklyn College, Kollisch later did graduate work in German at Columbia University and joined the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, where she co-founded the women's studies program with Gerda Lerner and Joan Kelly. In Kollisch published Girl in Movement , an autobiographical account of her years in the Workers Party. She has also written extensively about her experiences as an Austrian Jewish refugee in the U.
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Her political work includes participation in the peace and antiwar movements, the women's movement, and the movement for gay and lesbian rights. The interview focuses on her socialist activism in the s, her life as a bohemian wife and mother during the s, her political reawakening in the s, her personal and professional experiences as a feminist and lesbian professor at Sarah Lawrence College, and her participation in the peace movement, the feminist movement, and the gay and lesbian movement.
Kollisch's story illustrates the complex relationships among identity, political activism, and the larger political context, and the activities that radical activists undertake in both periods of political upheaval and political downturn. Transcript 57 pp. Marian Kramer b. Recently, she has led the charge against the privatization of water in Detroit, Michigan.
Abstract In this interview Marian Kramer talks about developing an understanding of injustice and racism as a young girl growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Dallas, Texas. Kramer remembers some of her early experiences organizing and participating in successful economic boycotts. Her drive for activism led her to drop out of school and become a full time organizer with the Congress of Racial Equality, as well as talking in detail about her first arrest. Kramer talks about the development of social, class, and racial consciousness in young organizers, and provides invaluable insight into the successful strategies and lived experiences of a lifelong organizer.
Kramer details her transition to advocating for Welfare Rights, and her introduction to water access work. Gerda Lerner b. Abstract The interview focuses on Lerner's grassroots organizing through the Congress of American Women in the post-World War II years, the relationship of the Congress to the Communist Party, and the evolution of Lerner's political thought from Marxism to feminism. Transcript 92 pp. Barbara J.
Love b. Abstract In this oral history, Love reflects on her childhood and family of origin, her introduction to lesbian life and politics, and her activism in the s. This interview pays particular attention to the National Organization for Women, the Houston conference in , Radicalesbians, and her published writings. Transcript 43 pp. Anne MacKay b. Her activism began with her first Daughters of Bilitis meeting in Most of MacKay's feminist engagement has been "community" oriented rather than "political," in her words. A writer, poet, and theater producer, MacKay put together a number of lesbian musicals and published two books: Wolf Girls at Vassar: Lesbian and Gay Experiences St.
The MacKay Papers include a interview with her. She also reflects on her childhood, family background, and coming of age sexually.
Because this interview is intended as a complement to MacKay's papers housed at the SSC which include an unpublished memoir, our discussion of her earlier years is light. Transcript 45 pp. Elizabeth Betita Martinez was born December 12, As the child of a dark-skinned Mexican-born father and a white Euro-American mother, Betita met discrimination as she was growing up in segregated Washington, D. After graduation in , she worked at the newly-established United Nations, where she researched decolonization efforts and strategies.
She also became active in the U. From to , Martinez lived in New Mexico where she became founding editor of El Grito del Norte The Cry of the North , a monthly community newspaper that linked the Chicano land movement to similar struggles around the world. She served as founding director of the Chicano Communications Center in Albuquerque to teach Chicanos about history and contemporary issues.
After moving to California in , Martinez joined the Democratic Workers Party, a Marxist group led by women, and became involved in Central American solidarity work, local struggles for social justice, and grassroots organizing to save public services. In she ran for Governor on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket. In addition to teaching ethnic studies and women's studies on several campuses, she traveled extensively to observe efforts to create socialist societies.
Her travels included trips to China, the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Hungary, and Poland, in addition to several trips to Cuba beginning in In Martinez co-founded the Institute for Multiracial Justice which promotes alliances among communities of color on a range of issues. She edited the Institute's newsletter, Shades of Power. She is completing another bilingual book, Five Hundred Years of Chicana History , a pictorial survey [published ]. She is a frequent contributor to anthologies, including The Feminist Memoir Project , and to Z and other progressive magazines.
Martinez has received numerous awards for her social justice work. In she was a nominee for the Women for the Nobel Peace Prize. Martinez lives in San Francisco where she continues to write, lecture, edit and teach. After a brief first marriage, Martinez married Hans Koning, author of 40 fiction and nonfiction books. In they had a daughter, Tessa, before divorcing.
Tessa, an actress, lives in San Francisco. Abstract This oral history offers a general overview of Martinez' life and work. Martinez reviews her childhood and her political experiences from SNCC forward. She discusses the difficulty of sustaining left groups in the face of sectarianism and government infiltration. Martinez comments on current domestic and international politics and reflects on tensions between her activism and her role as a single parent. Transcript 70 pp. Luz Alvarez Martinez b. Her father was a carpenter, and the family spent summers in farmworker camps harvesting crops.
Luz graduated from St. Elizabeth's Catholic High School in She married in and had four sons, combining childrearing with community support for farmworker organizing. She divorced in In the late s, Martinez began college study to become a nurse midwife.
She became involved in the Berkeley Women's Health Collective, serving on the board and helping to establish its women of color clinic. Inspired by the health activism of African American women, especially the Spelman conference, Martinez co-founded the National Latina Health Organization in , the first national organization by and for Latinas working on health issues and using the Self-Help framework pioneered by the National Black Women's Health Project. Martinez also came to incorporate indigenous dance and mestiza spirituality into her community organizing. Among women of color she championed lesbian issues, and within mainstream reproductive rights groups she advanced a broad health agenda; she served on the board of the National Abortion Rights Action League NARAL.
Martinez was active in early efforts to form and sustain multiracial coalitions among Latina, Native American, Asian Pacific American, and African American women in the late s and early s. At the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, she played a key role in asserting the standing of U. She is currently president of the Hispanic United Fund. Abstract In this oral history, Martinez describes her childhood immersed in the Catholic culture of Mexican immigrants in California. She describes an emotionally difficult marriage.
She traces her decades of political work and details current programs of the National Latina Health Organization. Martinez recounts moments of cooperation and tension between women of color and mainstream women's groups as well as among women of color. Her story underscores the centrality of Self-Help to her life and work. Transcript 98pp. Geraldine Miller was born in Sabetha, Kansas. In she founded the Household Technicians' Union for domestic workers in New York City, which won the national right for domestic workers to be covered by the Federal Minimum Wage Act.
As an early African American feminist, she received many awards for her tireless activism on behalf of domestic workers. With a story spanning eight decades, Miller pioneered work that crossed boundaries of race, class and gender and demonstrated the power of working-class women in the feminist movement. Abstract In this oral history Geraldine Miller describes her life as an African American child born in the Midwest in the s.
As a child of incest between her mother and her mother's stepfather, Miller focuses on her struggle to lift herself out of poverty, overcome the murder of her mother, and launch her career as a national organizer of domestic workers and leading feminist with the National Organization for Women and the National Congress of Neighborhood Women. Transcript 79 pp. After a brief period in New York City and the birth of Kitchen Table Press , Moraga returned to her California roots, turning her creative energy and political vision towards playwriting, including a six year residency with San Francisco's Brava Theater.
Abstract In this oral history Moraga describes growing up with a Mexicana mother and an Anglo father, discusses the significance of family to her life and work, and reflects upon the nuances of race, class, language and skin color. Moraga talks about her own politicization and her introduction to and sustained leadership in liberation struggles.
The interview focuses on Moraga's involvement with the women's movement and feminisms, and her cultural activism, particularly around This Bridge and Kitchen Table Press. Moraga concludes with a discussion of her current work as a writer, her commitment to teaching and to young people of color, and to creating familia.
Transcript 89 pp. Raised on the island and then in Chicago, Levins Morales was surrounded by political debate and intellectual engagement. A poet and writer, Levins Morales work has been widely recognized among both North American feminist and Puerto Rican literary traditions. Levins Morales has written a prose poetry book on the history of Puerto Rican and related women and a collection of essays.
Her fiction, poetry and non-fiction have been widely anthologized. She is recognized as an important contemporary Puerto Rican writer. As a historian, she has focused on documenting the history of Puerto Ricans in California through oral histories, collection of archival materials, and an exhibit. She is currently working on a novel and lives in Berkeley, California.
Abstract In this oral history, Levins Morales details her family heritage and describes her childhood in Puerto Rico, particularly in relation to her parents' political activism and Communist party membership. The majority of the interview focuses on Levins Morales activism, her experiences as a woman of color in both male-led nationalist organizations and the predominantly white, middle-class feminist movement, and her work as a writer and educator. The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, Rosario Morales b.
Together they moved to Puerto Rico in where they became active in the Puerto Rican Communist Party and the Fellowship of Reconciliation while working a small farm in the mountains.
They eventually returned to the U. Morales and her daughter Aurora Levins Morales became active in the women's movement in the late 60s, were a part of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, and co-authored a book of poetry and prose called Getting Home Alive in Morales is recognized as a major contemporary Puerto Rican writer. Abstract In this oral history Morales discusses her family background and childhood in New York City, discovering radical politics, and her work as a writer and poet. Morales details her experience within the Communist Party, both in New York and in Puerto Rico, and her developing feminist consciousness.
She speaks to the roles of women in the Party, the Left in general, and in the academy. Morales is forthcoming about her relationships with her husband and children, particularly her daughter and co-author Aurora. Her work as a writer and poet is the predominant theme of the latter half of the interview. Marjory Nelson b. She married at age 19 and defined herself primarily as a wife and mother for the next 20 years.
Inspired by Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, Nelson returned to college in the mids and began to participate in the radical political movements of that decade. She graduated from the University of Akron with a B. She was awarded a Ph. Nelson has been involved in peace, civil rights, feminist, and lesbian activism; her most notable political activities include lobbying for the ERA in Congress, organizing to free Joann Little and the Wilmington Ten, and co-founding the Women's Building in San Francisco. Her articles and essays have appeared in a wide variety of feminist publications including Sinister Wisdom , Sojourner , and off our backs.
Since the s Nelson has lived in San Francisco where she works as a hypnotherapist and a lesbian feminist activist. Abstract In this oral history Marjory Nelson describes her childhood in the s and s in an upper middle-class academic family in New Brunswick, NJ, her life as a typical white suburban housewife and mother in the s and s, her transformation into a middle-aged white academic feminist and leftist political activist after , and her experiences as a lesbian activist living and working in San Francisco since the late s.
The interview focuses on Nelson's transformation from married housewife to activist academic, her work with the National Woman's Party and its founder Alice Paul, her personal and political relationship with old left lawyer Mary Kaufman, her involvement in interracial feminist organizing in the s, and her work as a lesbian activist in California since the s. Nelson's story details the ways the social and political upheavals of the s and s, especially the second wave of the women's movement, changed many women's lives. It also illustrates important connections between feminism and a variety of other twentieth century movements for social change.
Karen Nussbaum was born in Chicago April 25, , the daughter of Annette Brenner Nussbaum, who "did public relations for educational institutions and organizations for the public good for many years," and Mike Myron Nussbaum, an exterminator and actor and director present. She attended the University Chicago for a year and a half and became involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement. She moved to Boston, working for the antiwar movement there while supporting herself as a clerical worker at Harvard University.
In Nussbaum and some friends organized 9to5, an organization for women clerical workers, initially in Boston. By , Boston 9to5 had joined other similar groups across the country and they reached out to a mostly unreceptive labor movement. SEIU, however, welcomed them and Local was born. Nussbaum was president of the union and executive director of 9to5 until Department of Labor. She lives in Washington, D. Abstract The oral history focuses on the various phases of Nussbaum's life but is especially strong on her role as a co-founder of 9to5 and her work on behalf of working women, both as a government official and within the trade union movement.
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