The “Women, Politics, and Activism Project,” at the Center for Oral and Public History focuses on the political lives and actions of Southern California women from the 1960s to the present. This project centers on conducting more than 100 new oral histories and making accessible another 45 recently recorded interviews with a diverse group of women activists and former elected officials. By recording women’s memories, we are demonstrating the myriad of ways women have participated in politics from formal, elected office to local community-based organizations. These oral histories highlight how as individuals and collectively women have made a difference in the types of policies enacted by county and municipal governments in Los Angeles and Orange County. These interviews also help us understand the reasons why women decide to take political action and, perhaps, shed light on why a gender gap still exists in Americans’ political ambitions (men are still far more likely to run for office than women). This project also explores the important role women have played in influencing politics and policy in Southern California from outside – as leaders and members, for example, of women’s organizations, environmental organizations, and groups that advocate for workers, the poor, and the disabled.
Visit http://coph.fullerton.edu/WPA/index.php for more information.