Veteran Feminists of America
VFA is a nonprofit organization for veterans of the Second Wave of the feminist revolution. It is the foremost source of information about the modern women's movement for journalists, historians, archivists and writers.
The goals are to document and share our history, honor the achievements of pioneers of the women's movement, and act as keeper of the flame so that the ideals and values of feminism continue to inspire new generations.
VFA Officers and Board
2015 – 2017
Eleanor Pam, President
Muriel Fox, Chair of the Board
Jacqui Ceballos, Founder
Virginia Watkins, Secretary
Pam Ross, Treasurer
Barbara Love, VP Development
Sheila Tobias, VP Events
Mary-Ann Lupa,, VP Membership
Heather Booth, Liaison/Outreach
Joan Michel, Editor at Large
Zoe Nicholson, Intergenerational
Judy Kaplan, Preservation
Karen Spindel, Data Manager
Board of Directors
Mary Jean Collins
Roxanne Barton Conlin
Helen Pearl, Of Counsel
Sally Lunt, Parliamentarian
A brief history by Jacqueline Ceballos, VFA Founder
In the 1980s I was living in New Orleans, recuperating from ten years of heavy feminist activity in New York. It was the Reagan years, the ERA had failed and feminists were dubbed Feminazis by some. Though, as always, men were being honored for their contributions to society, the feminists who'd changed America were practically disdained.
Destiny moved me to South Florida in 1989, where I met old NOW buddy Mary Jean Tully, who had made the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund a thriving reality. Mary Jean was excited about an oral history project for the Schlesinger library involving the history of NOW and Betty Friedan, for which she needed help. So back I went to New York and began interviewing my sisters from NOW and Women's Liberation. To a woman, they expressed a wish to reunite. With the help of Dorothy Senerchia, from New Feminist Theater, and Barbara Seaman, founder of the Women's Health Movement, a committee was organized to undertake the planning of a reunion.
Remembering how my father and brother met regularly with their war buddies, I asked the group to think beyond a single reunion toward an organization to document our history and inspire future feminists. Recognizing that we too are veterans, Barbara Seaman suggested we call ourselves Veterans of the Feminist Wars. Later, warned that we could be sued, we became Veteran Feminists of America.
In May 1993, we organized our first reunion in honor of Catherine East of Washington D.C., the woman Betty Friedan called "the midwife of the feminist movement." Over 250 came to New York to honor the beloved Catherine. After that glorious occasion, Catherine and D.C. attorney Mary Eastwood, both founders of NOW, wanted us to honor other Pioneers, starting with Congresswoman Martha Griffiths, who made it possible to include "sex" in Title VII; Virginia Allen, Director of the Women's Bureau under President Nixon; and Phineas Indritz, the attorney who had advised feminists. In Spring 1994, we honored these, and other greats, right here at the Sewall Belmont House.
1996 was the 30th anniversary of NOW, and Muriel Fox, one of that organization's founders, helped organize a landmark celebration that reunited founders and early leaders. Muriel then became chair of VFA's board, and, when Sheila Tobias, a founder of university Women's Studies programs, became our executive vice president, VFA was able to expand its projects and hold events beyond New York and Washington. Since our founding, we've held over 35 reunions and conferences: in New York, Washington, Boston, Baltimore, Connecticut, Chicago, New Orleans, Boca Raton, Los Angeles, Tucson and Phoenix.
Barbara Love's monumental Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975 , published in 2006, has generated more local celebrations of pioneer feminists. Tonight, we're paying tribute to 140 Washington-based pioneers, with particular attention to White House correspondent Helen Thomas and Elizabeth Chittick, who was eight-term president of the National Woman's Party.
On June 9, 2008, VFA hosted a "Salute to Feminist Lawyers" with special tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, founder of the Woman's Project at the ACLU, and, since 1998, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. We have a fabulous webpage, an archive of news and events collected by our web manager, Jan Cleary, and we send out a monthly ENEWSletter.
Future events will honor athletes, the women's health movement, women journalists, and women in business and finance. DVDs of our events are, or will, be housed at major Women's History libraries.
My hope is that VFA will continue to offer support and camaraderie to pioneers of feminism's Second Wave and provide the recognition, respect and honor they so richly deserve.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE VFA!
You can send a check to keep Veteran Feminists of America going. You can become an:
Activist Angel - $1000
Big time Benefactor - $ 500
Super Supporter - $ 250
Devoted Donor - $100
Other amount $__________
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR:
NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, FAX, E-MAIL
Tell us if you'd like to make your donation in the honor of someone and who that person is.
REMEMBER VFA IN YOUR WILL!
You can also donate stock! VFA 's tax deductible number is 72-1301951
Make Check Out to: Veteran Feminists of America
18 Aberdeen Place
St. Louis, MO 63105
E-MAIL Pam Ross: firstname.lastname@example.org
VFA WEBPAGE: www.vfa.us