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Third World Women's Alliance Records, 1971-1980 (Bulk: 1971-1977)
7 boxes (3.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 697

Abstract:
Global women of color reproductive rights and social justice organization. TWWA broadened the scope of women's activism to address issues such as sterilization abuse, infant mortality, welfare rights, and low-wage work. The orientation of TWWA towards the "third world" brought the struggles, condition, and status of women in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to the forefront. The bulk of the records focus on the the West Coast and Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area Chapters of the organization and include regional reports and meetings, as well as events sponsored and organized by the TWWA, such as International Women's Day. Major topics found throughout these records are reproductive rights, infant mortality, political education, affirmative action, labor unions, international human rights, and women's liberation.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The Records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the records of the organization. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Individual authors in TWWA publications retain copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College as holders of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Historical Note

The Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA) operated from 1968-1980. It originated in New York as the Black Women's Liberation Committee (BWLC), which was a caucus of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and was created to address the issue of male chauvinism within the movement against racism. From there the BWLC evolved into the Black Woman's Alliance (BWA), independent from SNCC but maintaining close political ties with it. In 1970 the group's common work and dialogue with Puerto Rican women transformed the BWA into the TWWA. Frances M. Beal was a founding member of the BWLC, and stayed with the organization through its various incarnations until 1978. TWWA became bi-coastal in 1971 with the formation of TWAA-Bay Area.

The TWWA was one of several organizations formed by women of color in the late 1960s and early 1970s as responses to the essentialist theories of the early feminist movement. These organizations paved the way for Chicana feminism, Womanism, and Black feminism, among other theoretical approaches to feminism. TWWA broadened the scope of women's activism to address issues such as sterilization abuse, infant mortality, welfare rights, and low-wage work. Through its political activities, TWWA helped to create spaces in racial justice organizations for women's voices, issues and leadership. Although primarily an activist organization, concepts developed by TWWA's members in the course of political organization contributed much to feminist theory. TWWA's ideas of "double jeopardy" and "triple jeopardy" which were elaborated on by scholars as "simultaneity of oppression" and "both/and," advanced the understanding of the intersectionality of race, class, and gender in the women's movement. It also contributed to the experience of building "third world" and "black/brown" unity in opposing racism and sexism. The orientation of TWWA towards the "third world" brought the struggles, condition, and status of women in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to the forefront. TWWA built relations with women's organizations in other countries, pioneering a form of feminism that focuses on the affect of U.S. foreign and military policy on women's lives worldwide, promoting the idea that U.S. women of color had a role to play in the "global sisterhood."

The TWWA-New York folded in 1977. In the same year the TWWA-Bay Area transformed itself into a mass activist organization, and began forming committees for external work. Committees formed during that period include the National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision, the Southern Africa Organizing Committee, the Josina Machel Committee and the Coalition to Fight Infant Mortality. By 1979 the TWWA re-organized to become the Alliance Against Women's Oppression (AAWO). The AAWO existed from 1980 -1989, and then took new form again as the Women of Color Resource Center.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Third World Women's Alliance Records consist of 4.25 linear ft. and are primarily related to the West Coast and Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area Chapters of the organization. Types of materials include regional reports, committee and meeting minutes, political activities and events, and organization files.

The bulk of the records date from 1971 to 1977 and focus on regional reports and meetings, as well as events sponsored and organized by the TWWA, such as International Women's Day. Major topics found throughout these records are reproductive rights, infant mortality, political education, affirmative action, labor unions, international human rights, and women's liberation.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The Records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the records of the organization. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Individual authors in TWWA publications retain copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College as holders of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Third World Women's Alliance Records

History of the Collection

Cheryl Johnson, Vicki Alexander, Barbara Morita, and Melanie Tervalon donated records to the Women of Color Resource Center Collection/Archives which were then donated to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2012 by the Third World Women's Alliance Alumni Association Archives Committee.

Processing Information

The collection was first processed by Sharon DeLaPeña Davenport in 2004 for the Women of Color Resource Center Archives. The finding aid was reviewed by the Archives Committee of the Third World Women's Alliance Alumni in 2012. It was revised for the SSC by Nichole Calero in 2012., December 2012


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English

Series Descriptions
(1971-1980)


consists of the organization's reports between the TWWA-NY and TWWA-Bay Area offices, meeting agendas, meeting notes, histories, and committee reports. The sub-series, Reports, documents many organizational issues such as recruitment, principles, policies, and procedures of the TWWA. In addition, this series contains documents relating to specific mass mobilization political committees and coalitions. In particular, the International Women's Day Committee and the Coalition Against Infant Mortality are rich sources of the TWWA's efforts to combat institutional gendered racism and raise awareness of political issues relating to women of color. This series also contains several histories of the organization beginning in 1971 and ending in 1980. This series is arranged alphabetically. In some cases, manuscripts are accompanied by fliers, posters, or other printed materials.

(1971-80)


consists of the organization's newsletter, newspaper and other publications of the TWWA. The newsletter and newspaper are good sources of news articles and position papers written by TWWA members and coalition partners.

(1971-80)


consists of documents relating to organizations associated with the TWWA as coalition partners in various political actions or for specific work projects. The Agbayani Work Brigade and the July Fourth Coalition demonstrate the range of alliances the TWWA formed with other revolutionary political activists for human rights and social services.




consists of printed materials relating to local, national and international political issues primarily relating to women.




consists of some undated group photographs.




consists of posters relating to mass meetings, rallies and events sponsored by, or associated with, the TWWA.

Contents List
SERIES I. ADMINISTRATION



Committees



Ad Hoc
1974-75

Box 1: folder 1
Coordinating



Agendas
1976

Box 1: folder 2
Evaluations
1975

Box 1: folder 3
Guidelines for rotation
1976

Box 1: folder 4
Leadership
1975-76

Box 1: folder 5
One-year plan
1977

Box 1: folder 6
Permanent work areas
1976

Box 1: folder 7
Reaching organizational decisions
n.d.

Box 1: folder 8
Towards defining our political direction
1976

Box 1: folder 9
Cultural
1977

Box 1: folder 10
Family Development
1972-76

Box 1: folder 11
Health



Coalition to Fight Infant Mortality



Brochures
1978-80

Box 1: folder 12
I-Team
1980, n.d.

Box 1: folder 13
Newspaper clippings
1978-79, n.d.

Box 1: folder 14
Press releases
1979-80

Box 1: folder 15
Propaganda Committee
1979

Box 1: folder 16
Statistics
1977-79

Box 1: folder 17
Support letters
1979-80

Box 2: folder 1
Letters from the CFIM
May-Nov 1979

Box 2: folder 2
Third party correspondence
1978-1979

Box 2: folder 3
Yearbook
1979

Box 2: folder 4
Internal Education



Asian women's history
n.d.

Box 2: folder 5
Black women's history
1978

Box 2: folder 6
Chicana history
1978

Box 2: folder 7
Combat liberalism
1976

Box 2: folder 8
Democratic centralism
1971

Box 2: folder 9
Dialectical materialism
n.d.

Box 2: folder 10
Evaluation of the internal education committee
1976

Box 2: folder 11
Historical materialism
n.d.

Box 2: folder 12
On contradiction
n.d.

Box 2: folder 13
Program proposal
1976

Box 2: folder 14
Six-month plan
n.d.

Box 2: folder 15
Women's movement, n.d


Box 2: folder 16
Woman question
1977

Box 2: folder 17
International Women's Day



Committee evaluations
1974-76

Box 2: folder 18
Cultural evening
1975

Box 2: folder 19
Endorsements
1975-77, n.d.

Box 2: folder 20
International Women's Day

[See also poster in OVERSIZE MATERIALS]

1974-80

Box 2: folder 21-23
Meeting announcements
1974-75

Box 2: folder 24
Potluck speech
1975

Box 3: folder 1
Task sign-up sheets
1973-76

Box 3: folder 2
Reconstitution
1975

Box 3: folder 3
General correspondence
1971-75

Box 3: folder 4
Evaluations
1975-77

Box 3: folder 5
--Financial materials


Box 3
Fund raising
1972-79

Box 3: folder 6
Vanguard grant
1979

Box 3: folder 7
Women's building rental agreement
1980

Box 3: folder 8
Histories
1971-1980, n.d.

Box 3: folder 9
--Meetings


Box 3
Consciousness-raising sessions
1972

Box 3: folder 10
General Alliance Committee
1973

Box 3: folder 11-12
Mobilizing meetings
1973-75

Box 3: folder 13
Membership Committee
n.d.

Box 3: folder 14
Notes
1972-74

Box 3: folder 15-16
Noon Series
1976

Box 3: folder 17
Policies, core group
1972

Box 3: folder 18
Principles
1973-1975

Box 3: folder 19
Rallies and demonstrations guidelines
n.d.

Box 3: folder 20
--Reports


Box 3
Bay area chapter
1973-75

Box 3: folder 21
Bay Area chapter
1973-75

Box 4: folder 1
New York Chapter
1971-74

Box 4: folder 2-3
Seattle Chapter
1972

Box 4: folder 4
West Coast Chapter
1971

Box 4: folder 5
Resignations
1972

Box 4: folder 6
Security forms
1973

Box 4: folder 7
Six-month plan
1976

Box 4: folder 8
Subcommittee reports
1975

Box 4: folder 9
--Miscellaneous


Box 4
Ann Arbor incident
1974

Box 4: folder 10
FBI File of TWWA
1971-74

Box 4: folder 11-12
Movement songs
n.d.

Box 4: folder 13
Plexus, Misidentification

[photocopy, original in Box 5]

Aug 1976,

Box 4: folder 14
Poems


Box 4
"Third World Women," Ellice Parker Price
1976

Box 4: folder 15
"Let America be America Again," Langston Hughes


Box 4: folder 16
Sisters in the news
27 Jul 1976

Box 4: folder 17
SERIES II. PUBLICATIONS

[See also poster in OVERSIZE MATERIALS]




Newsletter



Vol. 1 No. 1 (3 copies)
June 1976

Box 4: folder 18
Vol. 1 No. 2 (3 copies)
July 1976

Box 4: folder 18
Vol. 1 No. 3 (3 copies)
August 1976

Box 4: folder 18
Vol. 2 No. 3
September 1977

Box 4
Black Woman's Manifesto (photocopy, Duke University)
n.d.

Box 4: folder 19
SERIES III. AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS



"Third World Women's Alliance: smash! capitalism, racism and sexism,"

[photocopy, original in Box 5]



Box 5: folder 1
"Women in the work force"


Box 5: folder 2
African Liberation Support Committee
1972

Box 5: folder 3
Agbayani Work Brigade, United Farm Workers (UFW)
1973-74, n.d.

Box 5: folder 4
Angela Davis Defense Committee
1972

Box 5: folder 5
Bay Area Farah Strike Committee
1973

Box 5: folder 6
California Coalition on Medical Rights
n.d.

Box 5: folder 7
Concilio de Mujeres: La Razón Mestiza
1974-75

Box 5: folder 8
Inez Garcia Defense Committee
1974

Box 5: folder 9
--July Fourth Coalition


Box 5
Correspondence
1976

Box 5: folder 10
Evaluation
1976

Box 5: folder 11
Pamphlets and postersposter in Oversize, Box 9
1976,

Box 5: folder 12
Preliminary recommendation
1976

Box 5: folder 13
Regional structure
1976

Box 5: folder 14
Working papers
1976

Box 5: folder 15
--Katipunan ng mga Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP) [Union of Democratic Filipinos]


Box 5
ang aktibista [newsletter]
1975-76

Box 5: folder 16
First National Congress
1973

Box 5: folder 17
Miscellaneous
1974-75

Box 5: folder 18
Lolita Lebrón Committee
1974

Box 5: folder 19
National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision
1976-77

Box 5: folder 20
Native American Project
1976

Box 5: folder 21
Third World Socialist Feminist Organization
1975

Box 5: folder 22
Union of Vietnamese in the U.S.
1973

Box 5: folder 23
Venceremos Brigade
1976

Box 5: folder 24
SERIES IV. SUBJECT FILES



Afro-American women
n.d.

Box 5: folder 25
Chicanas
n.d.

Box 5: folder 26
Cuban Family Code
1976

Box 5: folder 27
International Women's Year Committee
1975

Box 5: folder 28
Legal rights information
n.d.

Box 5: folder 29
Racism
n.d.

Box 5: folder 30
Reproductive rights, n.d


Box 6: folder 1
Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership, Mao Tse-Tung
1967

Box 6: folder 2
Women of the Whole World
1970-75

Box 6: folder 3
Women in Asia
n.d.

Box 6: folder 4-5
Women in Africa
n.d.

Box 6: folder 6
Women in Latin America
n.d.

Box 6: folder 7
SERIES V. PHOTOGRAPHS



Group, no identification
n.d.

Box 6: folder 8
Copy of finding aid and additional research materials


Box 6: folder 9
SERIES VI. OVERSIZE MATERIALS



Triple Jeopardy
November 1971-Feb 1975

Box 7
USE COPIES (Volume 1, Number 2; Volume 3, Numbers 1-4)


Box 7: folder 1
Originals FRAGILE Volume I-IV
September to October 1971-Summer 1975

Box 7: folder 2-8
"Third World Women's Alliance" from NATIONAL SNCC monthly


Box 7: folder 9
Issues of Ebony, Plexus, Union W.A.G.E., and Synapse with articles about TWWA
1971-1979

Box 7: folder 10
"International Women's Day" poster


Flat File

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • African American women -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • African Americans -- History -- United States -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Alliance Against the Oppression of Women
  • Asian American women -- History -- United States -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Beal, Frances, 1940-
  • Black Women's Liberation Committee
  • Burnham, Linda
  • Economic development -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Hispanic American women -- History -- United States -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Infants -- Mortality -- History
  • International Women's Day -- History
  • International economic relations
  • Louie, Miriam
  • Minority women -- United States -- Services for
  • Racism -- United States
  • Reproductive health -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Sterilization (birth control) -- History -- Sources
  • Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
  • United States -- Race relations -- 20th century
  • Welfare rights movement -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Women -- Economic conditions -- 20th century
  • Women -- Health and hygiene -- Developing countries
  • Women -- Health and hygiene -- United States -- 20th century
  • Women -- International cooperation
  • Women -- Political activity -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Women -- Social conditions -- 20th century
  • Women of Color Resource Center
  • Women's health services -- United States -- 20th century
  • Women's rights -- Developing countries
  • Working class women -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources

Contributors
  • Women of Color Resource Center


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