Our founding mothers
Imagine yourself back in the early 70's - before there were local domestic violence and sexual violence organizations, before there were state coalitions, before there was a national coalition.
At any given moment, you could walk up the stairs above the Hanover Hardware Store (now Ledyard Bank on South Main Street), open the door to the WISE office and see a group of young women, all sitting on the floor, talking.
WISE did whatever they could to support women. People called with questions about how to get unemployment benefits and how to get a job. Many were scared and did not know how to get what they wanted or needed. WISE wanted to show women that they had choices and were empowered to make those choices for themselves. Empowerment was the core value then, and it remains a core value of WISE today.
We are having so much fun combing through our archives and talking with some of the amazing women who helped shape WISE into what it is today. We look forward to sharing more with you as our year of celebration continues.
Above (top row, left to right): Martha Popp (Director) Ramey Fair, Jenny Williams
(bottom row, left to right): Alix Olson, Terryl Stacey, Joanne Martin, Georgia
Below left: 1991 Annual Meeting, WISE Board and Staff with Founders Elaine Selle and Lois Aaron
Below right: WISE's first newsletter: The Wellspring 1973