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March 7 Program: The Portland Women’s Movement Part 2, Building: from Activism to Institutions

Thursday, March 7, 7-8:30 pm
2nd floor Gallery, Urban Affairs Building,
Portland State University, 506 SW Mill, Portland
Panel, Q&A, FREE

The Portland women’s movement of the 70s began with protests and consciousness raising but quickly expanded to include projects and services: bookstores, abortion information and referral, a rape hotline, women’s studies at PSU, a feminist school, a building, a health clinic and more. This panel will cover the Community Law Project, the Rape Relief Hotline, the Red Emma collective, the Portland Women’s Health Clinic, and Prescott House.


Ruth Gundle was one of the founders of the Community Law Project in 1975, a feminist law collective that represented both women and organizations such as the Trojan Decommissioning Alliance and the Portland Tenants’ Union. Ruth won the first lesbian custody case in Oregon, and brought the first sexual harassment case in Oregon. In 1979 she went to work for the state legal services program where she successfully brought suit to strike down Oregon’s refusal to pay for Medicaid abortions and the first successful civil suit nationally against a police department for failure to arrest a battering spouse. She will talk about how they tried to run the CLP on feminist principles.

Ann Mussey was a member of a feminist collective in 1971 Portland called Red Emma (after leftist organizer Emma Goldman)  which was home to some of the early founders of the Portland Women’s Health Clinic. She is currently on the faculty at Portland State University in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies teaching courses related to gender and sexuality including queer activism.
Kristan Knapp joined the Red Emma Collective in 1972. She and Bonnie Tinker worked with others to found Prescott House, a place for women getting out of prison to readjust to society. By 1975, with the development of feminist consciousness about institutionalized violence against women, it evolved into Bradley-Angle House, the first shelter for women escaping violence on the West Coast. From 2002-2009 Kristan worked as Bradley Angle’s Development Director, and helped the organization reconnect with its roots

May Wallace (formerly Susan Crawford) was a member of the Main Street Gathering, a collective of activists working to create a just society. She helped launch the Rape Relief Hotline in 1973 (now known as the Portland Women’s Crisis Line). Presently she is an artist, activist and recently retired art teacher.

January 24 Program: The Portland Women’s Movement Part I: Origins

Thursday, January 24, 7pm
Location TBA
Panel, Q&A, Free

Maureen Gray Hudson is an artist, writer and web publisher. She was active in Portland’s city-wide women’s organizing projects, including the  women’s speaker’s bureau and women’s center. In the late 60s and early 70s she was active at Portland State in the day care organizing project, the chair of PSU Speaker’s Bureau, President of S.D.S.  and co-founder of Women University Members.

Kathleen Saadat has been an activist in Portland, OR since the 1970’s.  She worked with several women’s groups both social and political.  Among them The Black Women’s Rap Group; Las Mujheres de Colores de Oregon; Radical Women; Black Lesbians and Gays United.  She was also part of the group of women who responded to the government’s attack on the Fred Hampton Clinic; participated in consciousness raising groups and community building during that time.

Susan Stoner is a local union attorney and historical mystery writer. She was involved in the early 1970’s with the Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell (WITCHES), started the Women’s Health Clinic in Neighborhood House, Health Rap, Outside In and a whole slew of community activist projects ranging from children and families to prisoner advocacy.

Moderator: Sandy Polishuk is an oral historian, writer and activist. In the late 60s and early 70s she helped organize women’s consciousness raising groups, was a member of both the first women’s studies coordinating committee at PSU and the city-wide women’s movement speakers bureau.

View Past Programs Online

Oregon Farmworkers Organizing

The 1971 PSU Student Strike

The Free Speech Movement at U C Berkeley 1964

Civil Disobedience & Nuclear Power in the NW

The Grange: A Movement Overlooked

Class Schedule

Upcoming classes:

Why No Revolution? A Short History of American Left Movements
featuring Joe  Uris
Part 1: early 1800s to 1945   Thursday, September 27
Part 2: 1946 to present    Thursday, October 18
7-8:30 pm
413 Cramer Hall, Portland State University
1721 SW Broadway

Since the early1800s, there have been labor struggles, struggles against slavery and struggles for a more equitable distribution of wealth in the United States. Uris will briefly examine some of that history, including the formation of labor unions, idealistic and utopian movements for social justice, peace movements and efforts to bring a better share of the resources of this continent to all its people. Lecture, q & a discussion.

Dr. Joe Uris is an associate professor (ret.) of history and sociology at Portland State University, a journalist, and KBOO (Tuesday am) talk show host. From the early 60s on, Joe organized for peace and social justice in New York and Portland.

Past Classes

March 13

The Portland State Student Strike of May 1970
featuring Dory Hylton, Ph.D. & Cathy Wood

Tuesday, March 13th 7 pm
Peace House, 2116 NE 18th Ave.
Speakers, film clips, Q & A discussion  Free

On May 4, 1970, four Kent State University students protesting the American invasion of Cambodia were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard. In reaction, students struck at more than 450 campuses across the country. At PSU students set up barricades and occupied the university park blocks for six days until violently attacked by Portland police.

Dory Hylton was a student at Columbia University in 1968 when students shut down the school for five days in protest against the University’s compliance with the Vietnam War. Hundreds of students occupied buildings on campus until they were violently removed by police. Focusing on the parallels in protest actions across the  country following the Kent State tragedy, Hylton wrote her doctoral dissertation on the PSU Student Strike of May 1970, interviewing many participants including Cathy Wood.

March 28

The Free Speech Movement at Berkeley
featuring Hugo du Coudray

The spark that ignited the social and political activism of young people in the decade known as “the 60s” flashed on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley in 1964. The FSM grew out of the Civil Rights movement of the previous decade and from resistance to the excesses of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). du Coudray will discuss the FSM and the many similarities between it and the Occupy movement today.

Hugo du Coudray is Professor Emeritus of Psychology in Portland State University and Adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine, Oregon Health and Sciences University. He participated in the anti-war movement of the 1960s in the California Bay Area and in Portland.

April 24, 2012

The Oregon Farmworker Movement
featuring Abel Valladares & Larry Kleinman

Based in Woodburn, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) is Oregon’s farmworker union and the cornerstone of a broader movement for farmworker and immigrant justice in Oregon. PCUN’s mission is to improve the living and working conditions of Oregon farmworkers.  PCUN work includes collective bargaining and other workplace justice organizing, consumer education and organizing for farmworker rights, immigration representation for families who qualify for legal status, and advocacy for a new legalization program. In 2006, PCUN established its own low-power noncommercial radio station known in the community as Radio Movimiento.

Larry Kleinman was a co-founder of both the Willamette Valley Immigration Project (1977) and Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (1985). Larry has served as PCUN Secretary-Treasurer since 1988. Abel Valladares took up a leadership role in Oregon’s immigrants’ rights movement in the spring of 2006, during his senior year at Salem’s North High School, when he co-led a walk-out by more than a thousand students to protest anti-immigrant laws. He serves as a PCUN field organizer and coordinator of the “CAPACES” collaborative, fostering leadership and uniting nine grassroots organizations based in the Latino communities of Salem and Woodburn.

May 22, 2012

Learning from Success: Civil Disobedience & Nuclear Power in the NW
featuring Nina Bell

During the national wave of anti-nuclear protests in the 1970s, Oregon’s Trojan Decommissioning Alliance (TDA) was the only group to target an operating nuclear plant for non-violent civil disobedience. Claiming headlines both for its demonstrations and its analysis of Trojan’s safety and costs, the work of the TDA was complemented by that of the Coalition for Safe Power, which participated in Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing proceedings. The Coalition became Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) in the 1980s. Nina will compare the anti-nuclear movement and Occupy, discuss outreach before and after the internet, and talk about the balance between taking actions outside and within the system.

Nina Bell has been the Executive Director of NWEA since 1985. She was an organizer with TDA while simultaneously representing the public interest in licensing proceedings for numerous nuclear plants in the region.

History of Social Justice Organizing is an ongoing series of presentations by activists and scholars covering a wide variety of social justice organizing both in Portland and elsewhere.