National Interviews

Recorded in Houston, Texas during the National Women’s Conference November 18-21, 1977, these interviews reflect perspectives from across the country, including some of the 1,440 delegates elected at the state conferences. The collection includes approximately 550 participants’ views on issues important to women and reactions to the conference itself. The voices document the diversity sought at the conference and include interviews across the social and political spectrum.

Click on any name to read or listen to their interview. As digital preservation work continues, more interviews will be added.

Lois Aarons

From Brooklyn, NY
Lived in Austin, TX
30
Lesbian
Director of Staff for the Center for Battered Women in Austin

L. Abernathy

Houston, TX
City government employee
Pro-ERA

Maria Ackerman

Haines, Alaska
Tlingit woman
Attended conference to demonstrate Chilkat blanket weaving

John P. Adams

Washington, DC
Staff member of United Methodist Church Board of Church and Society
Security consultant for IWY

Mike Alewitz

Resident of New Orleans
26
Socialist muralist
Member of Socialist Worker’s Party
Pro-Women’s Movement

Ruth Ann Alexander

Brookings, South Dakota
Delegate from SD
Professor of English at South Dakota State University
Discusses stereotypes of rural women

Ernie Attwell

Houston, Texas
African-American business owner

Marya Attwood

Arkansas
26
Lesbian
Hotel housekeeper
Discusses harassment and violence against lesbians

Taunya Lovell Banks

Houston, TX
Official observer
Lawyer
Member of Black Women for Social Change
Vice-president of the Black Women Lawyer’s Association of Houston

Cathy Banner

Organizer for the ERA America Benefit
Supporter of women’s rights

Dorothy Barker

Texas
Christian Democrat
Anti-ERA
Views on same-sex lifestyles

Lois Black

Syracuse, New York
Psychologist and Director of Affirmative Action, Syracuse University

Barbara Bornstein

Social worker from New Jersey
Married with two young sons
Reproductive health issues

Margaritte Boye

Washington state
Pharmacist

Mavis Brady

US Virgin Islands
Educator

Wilma Brady

Educator
Representing the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’is

Shirley Bronson

Delegate from California
Civil Servant
Pro-ERA
Discusses women in the workplace

Michelle Brown

Houston, TX
Steelworker
African-American

Teresa Tellez Brown

Hawaii
Mexican-American
Active in NOW and the Women’s Equity Action League (WEAL)
Former aid worker and science/technology program adviser in South American countries

Keller Bumgardner (Barron)

Columbia, SC
Delegate from SC
Board member of League of Women Voters
Active in the Equal Rights Ratification Coalition of South Carolina

Madeline Burke

Baton Rouge, LA
43
Employed in real estate

Patricia Hill Burnett

Michigan
Artist
Served as President, Michigan chapter of NOW and served on national board of NOW

Maria Canfield

From Laredo, TX
Living in Houston
41
Mexican-American community activist
Member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Sue C. Pungen Carberry

San Diego, CA
Media Task Force Chair of San Diego NOW
Member of IWY press staff
PhD Candidate in Human Behavior

Gwendolyn Carey

Social worker from Houston
29 years old
Pro-ERA

Mary Margaret Carney

Indiana
Involved in the Indiana women’s movement
Women’s equity education in education and honor societies for educators

Irene Carr

Union/labor issues

Stanley Cassar

Ridgefield, CT
Worked in Long Island
African-American
Deputy EEOC Officer for Naval facility

Janice Cate

Bellevue, WA
Peace activist
Official observer
Member of Church Women United and WILPF

Joleen Cate

Washington, delegate’s assistant
Native American, age 28
Evergreen State College student

Alicia M. Payan Cedillos

Chicana caucus member

S.M. (Solita) Chase

Houston, TX
29
African-American
Social work student at Texas Southern University
Case manager for Aid for Dependent Children program

Naomi Christensen

Hastings, Iowa
Delegate-at-large
Worked on rural women’s issues
United Methodist Women member

Judy Christianson

California
Substance abuse educator

Eldridge Cleaver

From Arkansas
Living in Stanford, California
42
Writer, lecturer, and political activist
Early leader of the Black Panther Party

Claudia Cole

Roselle Park, NJ
Worked at Kean College
President of Union County NOW chapter
Feminist organizer since late 1960s

Roxanne Conlin

Des Moines, Iowa
Delegate
Workshop leader on marriage, divorce, and separation
Discusses ERA

Becky Copple

Lincoln, NE
19
University of Nebraska student
NOW member

Jean Marshall Crawford Clarke

Virginia
Delegate
Lawyer

Ellen Coppedge

Fort Valley, GA
30
Concerned about ERA
Against same-sex marriage

Wilma Crumley

Lincoln, NE
Professor of Journalism, University of Nebraska
Pro-ERA

Lydia Cruz

New Jersey
Delegate
Puerto Rican

Anne Culhane

New Jersey
Delegate
Puerto Rican

Melerson Guy Dunham

Tylertown, MI
73
Retired professor from Alcorn A&M College
Alternate delegate from Mississippi
Active in civil rights and women’s organizing

Paula Dyan

Atlanta, GA
27
Master’s student in Psychology at West Georgia College
Sex worker
Organizer for sex worker union PASSION (Professional Association Seeking Sexual Identification Observant to Nature)

Alice Eckelhawk

Native American
Minority activist

Zenobia Ellis

Kansas City, MO
50
Supervisor for the Department of Agriculture
Delegate from Missouri

Rene Epstein

Daughter inspired activism

Hedy Ferreria

Massachusetts
Alternate delegate
Union organizer

Mary Finnerty

Springfield, VA
Attended Pro-Family Rally
Secretary of March for Life
Discusses Human Life Amendment

Nancy Cusick Fox

Washington, DC
Artist and instructor

Franciscan Priest

New Jersey
Worked to help prostitutes in New York City
Pro-women’s rights and reproductive freedom, with the exception of abortion

Dorothy Franklin

South Carolina
Delegate
NAACP

Jacqueline Frost

Charlotte, NC
30
Director of Purchasing and Import for Carolina Color & Chemical
Company
Served as Southern Regional Director of NOW for 3 years

Ranelle Funk

Louisville, KY
President of Concerned Citizens of Louisville
Active in conservative women’s movement
Anti-ERA

Carol Gaddy

Little Rock, Arkansas
Feminist
Official observer with the Arkansas delegation
Worked in employment agencies

Dottie Geare

Virginia
Community college counselor
Rural women issues

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice

Lucy Gonzalez

California
Military wife
Filipino activist

Carol Greenspan

Missouri
Professor of Chemistry and Medicine
Conservatism in the South

Eleanor Haney

Delaware & Minnesota
Feminist theologian and activist
PhD from Yale

Larry Hatteberg

Kansas
Reporter
Male observor

Helen Havens

Houston, TX
42
Episcopal Priest
Helped organize interfaith worship for IWY participants

Betty Hickey

Nebraska
Psychologist
Mental health care

Dianne Jackson

Brooklyn, NY & Sumter, SC
28
African-American
Domestic violence survivor
Vice chair of the board of directors of Center for the Elimination of Violence in the Family

Gloria Julagay

From Brooklyn, NY
Lived in Buena Park, California
Delegate from California
Filipino American woman
Founded an Asian American center in Orange County

Gretchen Kafoway

Ardmore, Oklahoma
55
Conservative activist
Secretary of the Church of the United
President of the Latin Council of Catholic Women

Eva Lee

Nuclear physicist
Volunteer at conference

Jean Maack

Illinois
Biochemist

Elise MacBride

Nebraska
Engineer
Emigrated to U.S. from Ireland at age 2

Rose Marie McDuff

California
Delegate
African-American minister

Olive Merlin

Jackson, Michigan
Director of Vocational Education
VP of the Michigan Federation of Business & Professional Women’s Clubs
Pro-ERA

Kate Millett

Saint Paul, MN
43
Feminist writer, artist, educator, and activist
Author of Sexual Politics (1970)

Sherrie L. Moran

Chesapeake, OH
32
Public information specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers
NOW organizer

Sandra Murphy

Fort Wayne, Indiana
A feminist and member of the organization Fort Wayne Feminists
Co-director, Women’s Studies Program at Purdue University

Kathy Parker

Phoenix, Arizona
Previously opened a women’s center in the Australian Outback
Long-term feminist activist

Viola Peterson

Michigan
Supporter of Native American rights
Commissioner of Michigan Commission on Indian Affairs
Partly pro-plan

Theola Petteway

Texas
Social worker
Women’s and African-American organizations

Christine Nestrase (with Laura Polla Scanlon)

New York
Activist for working class women

Joan Neuwirth

New Jersey delegate
47 years old
Civil Servant
Feminist

Otoria O’Rear

Lexington, Kentucky
African-American
Civil rights and women’s rights activist

Linda Ragsdale

Illinois
Pro-ERA
Social worker

Amy Raskin

Houston, Texas
High school student
Volunteer at the Conference

Bea Rodriguez

Kansas
Mother of eight
Chicana activist

Nancy Sablan

Guam
Delegate
Pro-women’s rights/anti-feminist label

Keith Sanborn

Wichita, Kansas
Husband of Kansas delegate
Helped organize Kansas state level conference

Ann Savage

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
A feminist delegate who opposes the conservative attitude of the overall delegation
Homemaker and President of the Oklahoma League of Women Voters

Laura Polla Scanlon (with Christine Nestrase)

New York
President of the National Congress of Neighborhood Women
Representing working class women’s issues

Betty Bone Schiess

New York
Chaplain at Syracuse University
Episcopal priest, one of the first to be ordained in US

Paula Seddon

Illinois (Chicago)
Amtrak driver, age 32
Union member

Belen Serra

From Ponce, Puerto Rico
Social Worker
Dean of Studies at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras

Meri M. Smith

Business and Professional Women’s Club
Activist

Jean Stapleton

California
Commissioner, International Women’s Year
Actress, most notably as Edith Bunker on “All in the Family”

Laurie Steiner

Alabama
Doctoral student in Houston

Nancy Sterling

Houston, Texas
Moderate feminist
Discusses the exhibits and attitudes of Houstonians towards the conference

Judy Stietly

Pennsylvania
Physical therapist
Enlisted in the Army

Joanne B. Thomas

From Salt Lake City, Utah
Mormon
Radio Show Host

Irene Tinker

Professor
Women and Gender Studies

Mollie Tremain

Therapist
Mother of 6
Earning PhD

Grace Ware

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
African-American social worker and consultant and PhD student
Education, health, and the unequal treatment of white and black communities

Edna Williamson

Tillatopa, Mississippi
43
Delegate at Large
Retirement home nurse