CWLU Herstory Project Mission Statement
the Internet to tell the history of women's liberation from the
up, the Chicago Womens Liberation Union (CWLU) Herstory Project documents
the role of the CWLU in the movement for women's liberation and
justice of the late 1960s and 1970s.
members and new friends of the CWLU, we believe that women continue
daily to make history and that we need to support each other. We find
our lives constantly shaped by our experiences in the CWLU in our
friendships and family, at work, on the streets of the city, in our
travels and our quest for justice.
our history we hope others are inspired to act today. "Don't
mourn, organize," said Mother Jones. We say that a small group
of three to five women can make mountains move. That was a lesson
of CWLU workgroups in health, education, employment, and gay rights,
to name a few. There we created the ideas and actions that helped
women liberate each other from oppressive beliefs and old social habits.
goal is to connect with women today who are becoming conscious feminists.
We want to work together to develop women's leadership and improve
the safety and quality of womens lives in the larger struggle for
purpose of our organization is to document the role of the Chicago
Liberation Union (1969-1977) in the movement for women's liberation
and social justice of the late 1960's and 1970's. This project is
history from the ground up. With the help of other women interested
in feminist issues, former CWLU activists are developing a website.
Though the CWLU was active just a generation ago, an understanding
of its impact on women in Chicago, as well as the national feminist
movement of the times, is largely unknown.
of the gains that women have made (in work, education, child care,
health and reproductive rights, and as active participants in all
aspects of public life) are often taken for granted today. As with
so many other movements for social justice in American history, the
history of the women's movement is often hidden, not taught in schools,
and distorted by the mass media. As former members of the CWLU, we
want to share this history.
to the site will learn how the organization worked its structure,
goals and projects,multiple strategies and tactics, successes and
failures. This website will make a historical archive available and
accessible to activists, researchers, and anyone who is interested
in the history of women's liberation in the United States during the
1960's and 1970's. The archival record will include organizational
documents, position papers, newsletters and newspapers, letters, notes,
photographs, art work and a variety of other resources not available
before. CWLU archives exist in the Chicago Historical Society and
other academic libraries
will enable a broader variety of interested people to access CWLU
documents and history. The internet is important as a communications
and research medium. The site can be continually expanded and updated
as new material and funding become available. The web site will be
a source of inspiration to documentarians researchers, students, filmmakers,
playwrights, novelists, artists who will have both primary and secondary
source material available for their own projects. The site will serve
as an example of "living history."
activists will tell their stories and share their memories and reflections
through audio, video, and written text. Further, through the technology
of the web, girls and women who are interested in feminist issues
can talk with former members, encouraging inter-generational dialogue.
Members of the CWLU can rediscover each other and share their current
projects and passions.