Veteran Feminists of America
From Zoe Nicholson’s forthcoming book, The Engaged Heart.
On June 18, Barbara wrote me back with four bios and “Q’s” to show me how the process worked. On my PC were the entries for Marie C. Wilson, Gloria Steinem, Virginia Carter and Deborah Rogow. I was sailing on the chariot of Boudicca, the needle of Harriet Tubman, the blotter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. My email back was a lesson in restraint looking for a balance between volunteering for service and begging for the honor to contribute. A week later I got my first Q; it was from the woman who founded the first woman-owned art gallery in SOHO.
Over the course of the next two years, I was privileged to transform one hundred and twenty Q’s into biographies but what was actually happening to me was a Christmas Morning Miracle. I was reading, in their own voice, about the founders of NOW, NWPC, AAUW, Planned Parenthood, The Boston Women’s Health Collective, Women’s Studies programs all across the country, librarians, PhD’s, professors, doctors, nurses, authors and artists. It was as if there was a virtual parade of Second Wave Changemakers pouring through my little house, giving me a sacred trust to see that details were protected, stories were relayed, nothing was trivialized; they were safe with me.
And I was safe with them. I was a woman of the Second Wave who had stepped off the curb to seek in another way. I was lifted in their stories, inspired in their triumphs. Their lives were thrilling, one more courageous than the last; sit-ins, marches, protests, the first abortion clinic, the first self-help group, the first in their field. Page after page about publishing, art, music, academics, politics, ministers and rabbis. They were tapping me on the shoulder telling me to wake up, open the door and join in the River of Change again.
Contact Zoe: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoe's Website: onlinewithzoe.com
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