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Women’s History Month: Activism

March 6, 2009

In honor of Women’s History Month, we will be writing a series of posts highlighting just a few of the amazing women’s history collections that UTSA Archives houses. For the first installment, we’re focusing on activism by both individuals and organizations. The six collections highlighted below document women working to educate and improve the lives of people in their community.

Catherine Fahringer
Catherine Fahringer gained local and national recognition as a full-time activist and author promoting the separation of church and state. Fahringer became actively involved in advocating freethought in 1988. Fahringer co-founded Freethought Forum as a San Antonio chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Fahringer’s efforts resulted in several accomplishments on behalf of freethought, including a proclamation by the Mayor of San Antonio for a Freethought Week in October of 1994.
Angelina Kretzschmar
Angelina Kretzschmar, a social activist and feminist, worked for the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston from 1974-1996. She was active in the National Federation of Federal Employees Union-Local 28, serving as Treasurer of the Union from 1989 to 1991. As a union official, Kretzschmar filed grievances on behalf of herself and other employees, and represented the Union on health and safety issues.
League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area
The League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area is a non-partisan organization promoting active and informed participation of citizens in government. One of the most recognized and visible projects of the League is the Voter’s Guide, published in the local newspaper before election time. The Voter’s Guide provides non-partisan information on candidates and issues on the ballot of an upcoming election.
Katharine Riddle
Katharine “Kittu” Riddle’s work has consisted of helping others, whether as a missionary, or serving on committees and boards, most of which were for women- and children-based programs or initiatives. Riddle founded Nourishing Space on a ranch near Tucson, Arizona. Nourishing Space offered workshops in feminist education and provided a meeting space for women’s groups. Riddle is also the creator of Storyletters, an international publication of women’s writing.
San Antonio Chapter of the National Organization for Women
NOW strives to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the work-place, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism, and homophobia; promote equality and justice in our society. SANOW works towards this mission through a variety of political and educational activities.
Women’s Political Caucus of Bexar County
Women’s Political Caucus of Bexar County, a multi-partisan organization, is committed to electing greater numbers of women to public office. The Caucus endorses candidates and publicly addresses issues relevant to women in Bexar County and San Antonio. One focus of the BCWPC is the legislative process as an important means for women to gain full participation and equality in society.

For those of you in the San Antonio area, be sure to check out UTSA Women’s Studies Institute Women’s History Month calendar of events.

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