March 23, 2010
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
'In Sisterhood' display opens Women's History Month
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - "In Sisterhood: The Women's Movement in Pittsburgh," an oral history project will open at Slippery Rock University March 15. The project is designed to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of this inspiring aspect of the region's history and to highlight how progress was achieved through the hard work and determination of a diverse group of local grassroots activists.
The show, organized by SRU's Women's Center and co-sponsored by SRU's Women's Studies Program and the art department, is part of Women's History Month. It will be displayed in the Martha Gault Art Gallery located in Maltby Center through April 2. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
An opening reception, organized by Sean Macmillan, SRU assistant professor of art and gallery director, will be from 5-7 p.m.
The overall project is directed by Patricia Ulbrich, a progressive social scientist, independent scholar and visiting scholar in women's studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
For more than three decades, Ulbrich's research has focused on women's studies and women's issues, including how individuals' race, class and gender shape their life chances, the history of the women's movement and its impact as a catalyst for change. In addition to her broad knowledge and skills, she also brings personal experience to the project, having co-founded The Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania.
Other project team members include: Two Girls Working, multimedia artists; Bill Fuller and Mia Boccella Hartle, videographers; Dino DiStefano, sound recorder and documentary photographer; Marie Skoczylas, research assistant and interviewer; and Jenny Wolsk Bain, Webmaster.
"We have interviewed 16 influential local feminists � representing a diversity of age, gender and race � who organized an explosion of actions to break down barriers to social and economic inequality in the 1960s and 1970s. During these interviews, we recorded their oral histories on digital video to capture their expressions and gestures along with their words and glean valuable insights about the strategies they employed and the organizations they created in pursuit of social justice for women of all races. This collection, consisting of 92 hours of digital video, will be archived at the University of Pittsburgh Library when the project is completed, providing a rich new source of data for scholars studying social movements and/or regional and national history," Ulbrich said.
"Our multimedia exhibit highlights the work of local feminists to gain equal rights for women and girls in our region and beyond. It includes a portrait gallery of 16 influential leaders of the women's movement during the latter part of the 20th century, a 15-minute video based on excerpts from their oral histories, period photos and memorabilia from private collections. Featured activists include Ann Begler, Alma Speed Fox, Eleanor Smeal, Barbara Hafer and a dozen other leading feminists in southwest Pennsylvania," she said.
"Pittsburgh has a long history of producing entrepreneurs, philanthropists, artists and musicians. What is less well known is that the region was also the birthplace of some influential leaders of the women's movement and was home to several pioneering feminist organizations during the latter part of the 1900s" Ulbrich said.
More information is available at: http://insisterhood.info/.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.