April 22 , 2020 I www.ggrwhc.org   I 616-574-7307
A Century of Voting Rights & Fifty Years of Earth Day
Today, we can’t crack open a bottle of champagne together, but the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council asks you to raise a celebratory glass to our website’s new suffrage history landing page and the brand new Women’s Suffrage Resource Guide!
From our website’s homepage, push the green suffrage button—or just click here to open up a world of suffrage history! Since GGRWHC has been unable to carry on in-person programming, we’ve been busy creating resources to help you celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment from home. 

Until today, the green suffrage button opened exclusively onto our digital suffrage exhibit. Launched in January, it is filled with historical timelines, images, resources, and vignettes. Now, the image on the upper left of the new landing page will take you to “ Taking Center Stage ,” a now-popular resource. The image at the center top will open onto its timeline intersecting the local, state, and national histories of voting rights.

Now the digital exhibit has company! On the right of the top tier, presided over by our iconic suffragist, Minnie R. Mickel, is a brand new resource guide prepared by GGRWHC board member Ruth Stevens. We’ll be telling you more about it soon; but take a look now at its narrative overview of the U.S. suffrage movement, with emphasis on Michigan and Grand Rapids; copious resource links, and educational activities. The new Women’s Suffrage Resource Guide has something for everyone!
That “everyone” includes the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore ! In the bottom tier center, see its colorful new centennial badge, designed by GGRWHC illustrator LibbyVander Ploeg—and click through to see how Ruth Stevens shaped resource guide materials for the Girl Scouts! Ruth also fashioned a Michigan suffrage quiz , bottom left. See what you have left to learn!

On the bottom right, “more” is right! Julia Bouwkamp, creator of our digital suffrage exhibit, has beefed up its resource links into a tidy listing, including video resources, books for further reading, digital archival collections, and much more. For the shaping of these resources, thanks in particular to GGRWHC board members Julia and Ruth, but also to contributing friends like Wendy Marty and to museums, libraries, and 2020 national initiatives. We honor them all!

Now, dive in and check out everything on GGRWHC’s new suffrage landing page !
Women’s History Wednesdays!
Many women community builders in Grand Rapids raised buildings to house the institutions they had founded. Environmentalist Joan Luedders Wolfe took a next step and looked out the windows! We honor her on the 50 th anniversary of Earth Day!
When Joan Wolfe founded the West Michigan Environmental Action Council in 1968, she had realized that many groups caring about the environment had undertaken action on different fronts and were getting little done. So WMEAC began as an umbrella organization to enable their cooperative work. Not only a coalition of conservationists, however, WMEAC embraced church groups, unions, and PTAs, as well as student and minority organizations. Its first big fight took on the indiscriminate use of infamous pesticide DDT and resulted in the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA), a 1970 law that gave standing to private citizens to sue as defenders of the environment. It became a model nationwide. 

For five years under Wolfe’s leadership, membership in WMEAC grew to 700 individuals and 60 organizations. Then in 1973, Governor William Milliken appointed her to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, as the first woman to serve and its first female chairperson. Despite setbacks to MEPA in the 21 st century, WMEAC’s strong foundation ensured that it would continue to thrive. Lift a glass to Joan Wolfe today, too!
GGRWHC’s program year honoring the 19th Amendment centennial has been interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. We regret especially the loss of the August 26th celebration, but please stay tuned. And, for now, please stay home and stay safe. Celebrate with the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council virtually and in print!

Watch for Women’s History Wednesdays via this electronic newsletter, follow us on Facebook, watch for our monthly features in Women’s Lifestyle Magazine , and click here to receive our hard-copy newsletter and become a supporting member of GGRWHC!
Stay home and stay safe--but celebrate with us virtually and in print! 
GGRWHC |   www.ggrwhc.org   | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who have shaped West Michigan!
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Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation .  Visit our  website  for more information and the ability to donate online.