Thursday, March 09, 2023

WV Women's History

In observance of Women’s History Month, important stories are being told.

How did it happen that women started working as union coal miners in West Virginia? It wasn’t easy.

In the late 1970s, a concerted effort was made through the United Mine Workers of America and the Coal Employment Project, a non-profit organization that advocated for women’s inclusion in industrial mine workforces.

Those involved fought discrimination that working women encountered and organized around working-class women’s issues.

Their stories are being preserved through the Women Miners Oral History Project and will be archived in the Feminist Activist Collection at West Virginia University’s West Virginia and Regional History Center, a component of the WVU Libraries.

More information about the ground-breaking efforts of those who dealt with economic and social justice issues, health concerns, and professional development challenges for women in our state and nation is needed. From the 1960s on, more and more was happening, but not without significant organizing, planning and follow-through in all fields.

For those who were or know of feminist activists in our region, their records, mementos, photos and other items related to their efforts should be preserved. Contact Lori Hostuttler at the Feminist Activist Collection via or 304-293-3536 to learn more.

With everyone’s help, the Collection will be able to provide researchers, students and our communities with the “big picture” about how the activists who made history did it.

This post is from Deb Miller, Esq.

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