Friday, March 21, 2014

Action Alert: Save the International Women's Day History Project

Please find below an Indiegogo campaign from a friend and mentor and long-time NOW member. I hope you will please support and forward. Thanks!

Our fabulous International Women's History Archive began on International Women's Day in 1969. International Women's Day had been publicly ignored since 1947 in the U.S. (it began in Europe over a hundred years ago, honoring the women in the U.S. who had been protesting child labor, sweat shops and the lack of the right to vote). News got out from our parade in Berkeley on March 8th, 1969; by the next year there were parades in thirty cities and materials were flowing in to our archives from forty countries.
Laura X came up with the idea for Women's History Month and began providing materials and resources for it, including these "firsts": The anthology "Masculine/Feminine" in 1969 with all the great manifestos, "The Women's Songbook", "Female Artists Past and Present", "Films by/and/or about Women Internationally, Past and Present", "Bibliography on Rape" and "Women and Religion Bibliography."
The collections up to June of 1974 were published on microfilm, nearly a million documents. The microfilms Women in Law, Women's Health/Mental Health and Herstory (serials) are in 450 libraries in 14 countries.
The Current Project:
The exciting new initiative is making accessible the materials collected from 1974-2014. They were recently donated to the State Historical Society branch at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (happily in Laura's hometown, where her mom is about to be 95), making these resources available to empower girls and women, and those who care about them, via books, documentaries and exhibits. The original documents of court and legislative campaigns can also inspire them to do their own.
(The National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape began in 1978 as a project of the Women's History Research Center, which Laura founded in 1968 and directed throughout its 21 years. She led the successful 1979 California campaign to make marital  and date  rape a crime, was a consultant to the 45 other state campaigns on date and marital rape, and maintains documents about the status of exemptions from prosecution in the rape laws. Her final success, the 50th state, was North Carolina in 1993. She has been a guest on the "Phil Donahue," "Sally Jessy," "60 Minutes," and "Today" shows, among others)

With the recent push toward implementing women's studies in not just all higher education but high schools as well, we also hope to serve as a resource for new curriculum which will open students' eyes to a rich and vast history of women and their hopes, dreams, and achievements.
What We Need:
We need funding for a curator of the project and the archives assistant currently in place. The $8000 represents the bridge money until the end of the fiscal year (so, May and June) at UMSL. The monthly project budget is currently $4000 (which explains our 'Angel' perk tier).
Every donation counts, and we at the International Women's History Archive are extremely grateful for your thoughtful and kind efforts to keep the history of women alive. (At UMSL, the archive is known as the Laura X Archive Project) If you cannot donate at this time, would you still help get the word out about our campaign? Use the Indiegogo 'share' tools and let your friends on social media know that we need all the help we can get!
Best wishes for all you do,
Laura X and fellow volunteers

[Note: Laura X took that name in 1969 to symbolize her rejection of men's legal ownership of women and our history being anonymous because it was stolen from us]

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