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

February 19, 2013

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.


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