Telling Our Stories
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014
As the 95th anniversary of the League of Women Voters approaches, our local League is working to capture and tell our stories. The focus is on members who were active when the League was its largest, in the 1960s and 70s.
This plan is to create a documentary to capture the actions of local League volunteers during the 1960s and 1970s and also to highlight the testimonies of today’s female community leaders who can speak to the volunteers’ long term impact on Central Ohio.
A Telling Our Stories committee, conceived by Mim Brierley and chaired by Deb and Bryan Peluso, has been working to get the project underway.
In the first phase, several notable League members gathered at the home of Mary Lazarus on Thursday to talk about their League experiences, and how their activity in the League shaped their own lives and the community. Gloria Davis, Sue Phillips, Virginia Leidheiser, Ruth Schildhouse, Peg Rosenfield, and Mary shared their stories, talking about their experiences working through the League on school desegregation, children's services, juvenile justice, clean water, fair and open elections, government accountability, and more. They also stressed the intellectual stimulation and friendships they formed in the League while honing their skills in volunteer management, fundraising, public speaking, research, and advocacy.
The party was videotaped, and the stories will eventually be available on the League's YouTube channel.
The Telling Our Stories committee is making plans to turn this video and additional footage into a full-length documentary program that will show how the work of the League in the past and present has made a clear, positive impact on our community today.
In an era when media pundits and political parties discourage constructive civil discourse, these women’s stories will help all citizens learn how to effectively tackle the social and political issues facing our communities today.
The goals of the project are to:
• Document what members from the 1960s and 1970s remember about their social and political activism at the time and detail how this activism changed their private and public lives.
• Show appreciation for these members and honor them for their accomplishments during this important era in Columbus history.
• Educate and inspire our community’s future leaders by showing what citizens can do to support and build strong governments.
• Illustrate how the League has functioned in "growing people to grow the community" and how the advocacy skills honed in volunteerism can lead to many other career opportunities.
• Feature current leaders and rising stars in our community who benefitted from the work and accomplishments that these League volunteers achieved in previous decades.
We'll let you know when the Telling Our Stories committee posts the videos!