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Alliance Against Women's Oppression Records, 1980-1989
(5.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 699 (12 boxes)

Abstract:
International women of color organization, Welfare rights activists, Reproductive rights and Women's health advocates. The Records are primarily related to the Bay Area Chapter of the Alliance and contain documents that articulate and demonstrate the challenges of developing a revolutionary mass organization through position and discussion papers, drafts, and publications produced by the Alliance. There is abundant documentation of the processes of coalition and social investigation that AAWO engaged in reproductive rights advocacy. The collection is rich in documentation of the organization Somos Hermanas in Nicaragua. Types of materials include committee reports; meeting notes; political discussion papers; study guides.

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 AAOW 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

In August of 1980, the Alliance Against Women's Oppression (AAWO) was formed out of a process of transformation and struggle begun in the Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA) in late 1979. The newly formed organization resolved to focus its organizing activities primarily on the struggle for women's rights and equality and against the racialized, gendered, classed sexism of the developed North. The AAWO announced itself as a multi-racial alliance of lesbian and straight women. Women of color lesbian issues that had been stubbornly ignored by the mainstream women's movement were part of the political line of the AAWO.

Continuing work initiated and produced by the TWWA, the AAWO persistently clarified the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and sexuality in its political analysis of capitalism and the conditions of women in the transnational economy. AAWO work areas included infant mortality, reproductive rights, sterilization abuse, Central American and African Women's liberation struggles, and Lesbian and Gay rights. The AAWO also continued the political education work of International Women's Day (IWD). AAWO members produced discussion and position papers for AAWO members and the public. AAWO had chapters in Boston, New York, Louisville, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

In order to take up the struggle of women's oppression nationally and internationally, AAWO created coalitions and joined their efforts with other social justice organizations locally and globally. Some of the organizations they were closely associated with were Somos Hermanas, the Nicaraguan Women's Association (AMNLAE), MADRE, South African Women's Organization, Line of March (LOM), and the National Campaign to Restore Abortion Funding (NCRAF). The AAWO identified itself with socialist, womanist/feminist politics, and provisionally based their political line on a Marxist class analysis.

The AAWO joined their efforts with the Reproductive Rights National Network (R2N2) to advocate for abortion rights for low-income women while also calling attention to the involuntary sterilization of migrant and immigrant women of color. In 1984 in response to the U.S.'s continuing intervention in Nicaragua, AAWO organized a delegation, Somos Hermanas, in alliance with the Nicaraguan women's mass organization, AMNLAE.

AAWO dissolved by 1990. The Women of Color Resource Center (1989 to present) was formed with some members from the TWWA and AAWO. Activist organizational work stretching back to the civil rights movement, the Black Women's Caucus of SNCC, the Third World Women's Alliance and the Alliance Against Women's Oppression was evident in the activist and advocacy politics of the Women of Color Resource Center.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alliance against Women's Oppression Records consists of 5.75 linear ft. and are primarily related to the Bay Area Chapter of the Alliance. The collection contains many documents that articulate and demonstrate the challenges of developing a revolutionary mass organization. The collection is a good source of position and discussion papers, drafts, and AAWO publications, produced by the Alliance. The "United Front Against War and Racism" is a political discussion paper that articulates some of AAWO's political strategy. Through the Coalition Against Infant Mortality (CFIM), 1979 - 1982, AAWO continued the infant mortality activism begun in the TWWA. For the beginnings of this important project of the AAWO, see the TWWA Records also held by the Sophia Smith Collection.

The collection has abundant documentation of the processes of coalition and social investigation that AAWO engaged in reproductive rights advocacy. The collection is rich in documentation of Somos Hermanas's activities in Nicaragua. Types of materials include committee reports; meeting notes; political discussion papers; study guides.

The bulk of the papers date from 1983 to 1988 and focus on the Alliance's many projects organizing activities primarily on the struggle for third world women's rights and equality nationally and internationally.


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 AAOW 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:

Please cite papers as follows: "Alliance Against Women's Oppression 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 by the Third World Women's Alliance Alumni Association Archives Committee.

Processing Information

Processed by Sharon Davenport, 2005. Revised by Nichole Calero, Fall 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 , Spanish

Series Descriptions
(1979-1988)
4.25 linear feet

This series consists of the organization's reports, financial materials, meeting agendas, meeting notes, histories, and committee reports. The bulk of sub series Committees is comprised of organizational materials from the Coalition to Fight Infant Mortality (CFIM). The CFIM was originally organized within the Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA) and continued its work when the TWWA disbanded and reformed as the AAWO. Among the CFIM files are their community investigation into Alameda County's high mortality rate, correspondence to and from the Alameda County Grand Jury, the Grand Jury report, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency report to the board of supervisors of the Alameda County Hospital, and the house hearings on infant mortality. The subseries, Reproductive Rights contains information from national committees that fought for reproductive rights such as the Action Committee for Abortion Rights (ACAR), the National Committee to Restore Abortion Funding (NCRAF), the Reproductive Rights National Network (R2N2) and the Seattle Reproductive Rights Alliance (SRRA). The subseries Somos Hermanas contains memos, correspondence, publications and planning notes from the organization, as well as photos and details from a delegation's trip to Nicaragua in 1986.

(1982-N.D.)
.25 linear feet

This series consists of papers created by the AAWO on issues that they recognized as intersecting with their goals.

(1963-88)
.25 linear feet

This series consists of brochures, discussion papers, flyers, the history of the organization and other publications produced by the group.

(1980-1987)
.5 linear feet

This series consists of information on, and publications from, the organizations listed in the finding aid.

(1978-1985, n.d.)
.25 linear feet

This series consists of research materials on the subjects listed.

(1984-1986, n.d.)
.25 linear feet

This series consists of undated group photographs.



Consists of posters from Nicaragua.

Contents List
SERIES I. ADMINISTRATION



Committees



Coalition to fight infant mortality (CFIM)

[hand written notes in CFIM attributed to Barbara Morita and Melanie Tervalon]

1978-1984, n.d.


AAWO assessments, 1979 -
82, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1
ACHCSA report to board of supervisors,
1980

Box 1: folder 2
Children's hospital, 1981 -
82, n.d.

Box 1: folder 3
Community investigation, I-Team,
1979-1980, n.d.

Box 1: folder 4-6
First National Conference on Black Women's Health Issues
1983

Box 1: folder 7
Grand jury correspondence and report,
1979-1980

Box 1: folder 8
House hearings on infant mortality,
26 Mar 1982

Box 1: folder 9
Letters and statements of support,
1978-80

Box 2: folder 1
Newsletter, clippings, press releases,
1979-84, n.d.

Box 2: folder 2
International women's day committee (WCCIWD)



International women's day (IWD),
1981-88 , n.d.

Box 2: folder 3-8
Kwanza committee,
1979-81, n.d.

Box 3: folder 1
Lesbian/gay task force,
1981-86 , n.d.

Box 3: folder 2
Nairobi, third world conference on women,
1985


Notes, articles, and memos


Box 3: folder 3
Conference Materials


Box 3: folder 4
Reproductive rights,
1982-86, n.d.


Action committee for abortion rights (ACAR),
1981-85

Box 3: folder 5-6
National campaign to restore abortion funding, (NCRAF),
1984-87, n.d.

Box 3: folder 7
National campaign to restore abortion funding (NCRAF),
1984-87, n.d.

Box 4: folder 1
Reproductive rights national network (R2N2),
1982-84, n.d.

Box 4: folder 2-3
Rosie Jimenez-coalition, 1982
October 3rd

Box 4: folder 4
Seattle reproductive rights alliance (SRRA),
1985, n.d.

Box 4: folder 5
Steering Committee,
1981

Box 4: folder 6
Somos Hermanas,
1984-88


AAWO memos
1984-1988

Box 4: folder 7
Development plans and memoranda
1985-1987

Box 4: folder 8
Louisville chapter,
1986-1987, n.d.

Box 4: folder 9
Nicaragua delegation, health colloquium,
1983

Box 4: folder 10
Nicaragua delegation, member notes,
1986

Box 4: folder 11
Nicaragua delegation, photographs
1986

Box 5: folder 1
Nicaragua delegation, orientation
1986

Box 5: folder 2
Organization notes, national
1986-1988

Box 5: folder 3-4
Publications
1985-1989, n.d.

Box 5: folder 5-6
World peace congress, Copenhagen
1986-1987

Box 5: folder 7
Financial material,
1983-1989

Box 5: folder 8
Histories,
1980; 1989; n.d.

Box 5: folder 9
Meetings,
1981-88


Chapter meetings



Bay area
1981-88

Box 6: folder 1
Summation meeting,
1988

Box 6: folder 2-3
Boston, MA,
1988, n.d.

Box 6: folder 4
Louisville, KY,
1988-89, n.d.

Box 6: folder 5
New York, NY,
1988, n.d.

Box 6: folder 6
Washington, D.C.,
1985-86, n.d.

Box 6: folder 7
National meetings



First national congress,
1983

Box 6: folder 8
Second national congress,
1986

Box 6: folder 9
Second national congress, continued
1986

Box 7: folder 1
National council,
1983-84

Box 7: folder 2
National council,
1985

Box 7: folder 3
National council,
1986

Box 7: folder 4
National council,
1987

Box 7: folder 5
National council,
1988

Box 7: folder 6-7
Executive,
1983

Box 7: folder 8
Executive,
1984

Box 7: folder 9
Executive,
1986

Box 8: folder 1
Executive,
1987

Box 8: folder 2
Executive,
1988

Box 8: folder 3
Member's notebook, Diane Jones, Bay area,
1983-88

Box 8: folder 4-9
Membership,
1981, n.d.

Box 8: folder 10
Miscellaneous



Chants and songs,
n.d.

Box 9: folder 1
Stationary,
n.d.

Box 9: folder 2
Propaganda and educational work,
n.d.

Box 9: folder 3
South African women's day,
1985

Box 9: folder 4
Study guides



Study guides
1981, 1982, n.d.

Box 9: folder 5-6
Member's notebook, Diane Jones, Bay area,
1982

Box 9: folder 7
Orientation seminar,
n.d.

Box 9: folder 8-9
Substance abuse task force,
1985

Box 9: folder 10
Zionism,
1983

Box 9: folder 11
SERIES II. POLITICAL PAPERS



Israeli invasion of Lebanon,
1982

Box 9: folder 12
Reproductive rights,
1982

Box 9: folder 13
United front against war and racism, (UFAWR)
n.d.

Box 9: folder 14
Women's liberation and the worldwide struggle against imperialism,
n.d.

Box 9: folder 15
SERIES III. PUBLICATIONS



Brochures,
n.d.

Box 9: folder 16
Discussion papers,
1983-87

Box 9: folder 17
Flyers,
1987, n.d.

Box 9: folder 18
Our History, [also located in history folder]
n.d.

Box 9: folder 19
Women's voices from Nairobi,
1985

Box 9: folder 20
SERIES IV. AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS



AssociaciĆ³n de mujeres de El Salvador (AMES),
1983, n.d.

Box 10: folder 1
AssociaciĆ³n de mujeres Nicaraguenses (AMNLAE),
1980-88, n.d.

Box 10: folder 2
Jesse Jackson presidential campaign(JJC),
1984-88, n.d.

Box 10: folder 3
Rainbow coalition (JJC),
1985-87

Box 10: folder 4
Line of March (LOM),
1984; 1989; n.d.

Box 10: folder 5
Publications, LOM, Frontline,
1983-87

Box 10: folder 6
Women's commission, LOM,
1988-89 , n.d.

Box 10: folder 7-8
Madre,
1984

Box 10: folder 9
Women's Building of the Bay Area,
1984

Box 10: folder 10
SERIES V. SUBJECTS



Feminization of poverty,
1978, 1983, 1984, n.d.

Box 11: folder 1
Gay/Lesbian,
1981

Box 11: folder 2
Middle East/Palestine,
1985, n.d.

Box 11: folder 3
Reproductive rights,
1985, n.d.

Box 11: folder 4
Socialist feminism,
1981

Box 11: folder 5
South African women,
1984, 1985, n.d.

Box 11: folder 6
Soviet women,
1985

Box 11: folder 7
Zimbabwe women,
n.d.

Box 11: folder 8
SERIES VI. PHOTOGRAPHS



MEP,; IWD, 1986 [some photos in Somos Hermanas; Louisville chapter]
1984

Box 12
SERIES VII. OVERSIZE



Posters



Women to Women: Guatemalan Women Speak
1983

Flate file
Guerilla Madre


Flate file
CPF #2


Flate 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
  • Abortion -- United States
  • African American women -- Social conditions -- History -- Sources
  • Alliance Against the Oppression of Women (U.S.)
  • Asian American women -- Social conditions -- History -- Sources
  • Birth control -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Civil rights -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Ethnicity -- United States
  • Hispanic American women -- History -- United States -- Sources
  • Indian women -- United States -- Social conditions -- History
  • Infants -- Mortality -- History
  • International Women's Day -- History
  • International economic relations
  • Jones, Diane
  • Latin American women -- Social conditions -- History -- Sources
  • Minority women -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Morita, Barbara
  • Reproductive health -- History -- Sources
  • Sterilization (birth control) -- History -- Sources
  • Tervalon, Melanie
  • Third World Women's Alliance
  • United States -- Race relations
  • Welfare rights movement -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Women -- Economic conditions -- 20th century
  • Women -- El Salvador -- Social conditions
  • Women -- Health and hygiene -- Developing countries
  • Women -- Health and hygiene -- United States
  • Women -- International cooperation
  • Women -- Political activity -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Women's health services -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Women's rights -- Developing countries
  • Working class women -- United States -- History -- Sources


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