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Survivors, Inc. Records, 1982-2011 (Bulk: 1990s)
5 boxes (6.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 687

Abstract:
Welfare rights activist organization. The records document the work of this welfare rights organization based in the Boston area, as well as work done by the grassroots organization Advocacy for Resources for Modern Survival (ARMS). Major topics include welfare reform, economic justice, poverty, homelessness, grassroots organizing, and cross-class and bi-racial women's organizations. Especially well-documented is co-founder Dottie Stevens' 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign. [NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.
  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works of Survivors' Inc. within this collection. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Historical Note

Founded in 1987 as "a group of low-income women and their allies who organize and educate around poverty, welfare and low-income survival issues. [They] offer training in writing, speaking, advocacy, computer skills, desktop publishing, organizing, membership and leadership. With these skills [they] are able to provide a forum for the voices of low-income women to be heard. [They] connect welfare office outreach and campus organizing with local and broader grassroots efforts to eliminate social and economic injustice" [from Survivors, Inc. Web site] Inspired by Professor Ann Withorn's History of Poverty course within the College of Public and Community Service at UMass Boston, original founders included returning students and AFDC recipients Dottie Stevens and Diane Dujon. Reflecting the cross-class nature of Survivors, Inc., Claire Cummings, a professor of sociology and women's studies at Newbury College, and Betty Reid Mandell, a professor of social work at Bridgewater State College, were also founders. Stevens, Dujon and other students also co-founded ARMS (Advocacy for Resources for Modern Survival!) in 1987, a UMass Boston student organization aimed at students who were or had been welfare recipients. Stevens then served as the first director of ARMS while also serving as president of the Coalition for Basic Human Needs (CBHN). Stevens and Dujon were also among the founders of the Mass. Welfare Rights Union. Eventually during the 1990s, Survivors, Inc. supplanted CBHN, and to this day remains active in the Boston area, publishing twice a year Survival News.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records document the work of this welfare rights organization based in the Boston area, as well as work done by the grassroots organization Advocacy for Resources for Modern Survival (ARMS). Types of materials include correspondence; grant materials; copies of and records related to the production of their newsletter, Survival News; other newspapers, clippings, pamphlets, photographs, financial records, transcripts of oral histories, and audiovisual materials. Major topics include welfare reform, economic justice, poverty, homelessness, grassroots organizing, and cross-class and bi-racial women's organizations. Especially well-documented is co-founder Dottie Stevens' 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign.

[NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]


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

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.
  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works of Survivors' Inc. within this collection. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

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

Survivors, Inc. Records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

Additional Formats

Digital copies are available for select recordings. Please contact us for more information.

History of the Collection

The Survivors, Inc. Records were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Dottie Stevens beginning in 2011.

Accruals:

Periodic additions to collection are expected and may not be reflected in this record.

Processing Information

Accessioned by Kathleen Banks Nutter, 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


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
  • Advocacy for Resources for Modern Survival
  • Arise for Social Justice (Springfield, Mass.)
  • Coalition for Basic Human Needs
  • Cummings, Claire
  • Dujon, Diane
  • Homelessness -- Massachusetts
  • Mandell, Betty Reid
  • Massachusetts Welfare Reform Union (Mattapan, Mass.)
  • Poor women -- Massachusetts -- History -- Sources
  • Poverty -- Massachusetts -- History -- Sources
  • Public welfare -- Massachusetts -- History -- Sources
  • Stevens, Dottie
  • Survival news (West Roxbury, Boston, Mass.)
  • Welfare rights movement -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Women in community development -- Massachusetts -- History -- Sources
  • Working class women -- Massachusetts -- History -- Sources


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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