Greater Grand Rapids Womens History Council
  P.O Box 68874, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-8874                     Phone: 616-574-7307



February 20, 2017

GGRWHC Board of Directors

Mary Seeger,
Jo Ellyn Clarey
Susan Coombes
Connie Ingham
Ruth VanStee
  Newsletter editor 

Jennifer Bryant 
Jo Ellyn Clarey
Kristin Du Mez 
Connie Ingham 
Kyle Irwin
Mary Seeger
Ruth Stevens 
Amy Dunham Strand 
Julie Tabberer
Kate van Liere   
Ruth Van Stee

Deirdre Toeller-Novak
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Ebony Road Players Performing
Randy Wyatt's  A Simple Question

Thursday, February 23, 7-8:30 pm
Aquinas College Wege Center Ballroom

Co-sponsored by Aquinas College's Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center  and the Center for Diversity & Inclusion,  A Simple Question is a thirty-minute celebration of the landmark court case overturning miscegenation laws. (Seen the movie
Loving ? This is the case: Loving: The Real Story
Wyatt's five-woman ensemble piece includes a kaleidoscope of stories about interracial love and marriage in America, beginning with the famous Richard and Mildred Loving and flashing forward to real experiences in present day West Michigan. To consider how things have--or haven't--changed in fifty years, the performance will be followed by a discussion with Randy Wyatt, author; Edye Evans Hyde, founder of the Ebony Road Players, and Latoya Booker, director of the Aquinas Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
Free and open to the public; no reservations necessary. Parking is available in the lot behind the Wege Student Center or in the lot adjacent to Sturrus Fitness Center, 1700 Fulton St. East.
Edye Evans Hyde's Ebony Road Players offers high quality professional performances focusing on the black experience.    For a nice article by Rapid Growth on the play and Ebony Road, click here:  Rapid Growth on the Ebony Road Players.

The  GGRWHC congratulates Edye  on her 
2017  Ethel Coe Humanities  Giants Award!
See our website for more:

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Beginning this Week
& Sliding into Women's History Month~
The 6th Annual WMEAC 
Women and the Environment Symposium
Sponsoring six events between February 23rd and March 2nd, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council's  Women and Environment Symposium will feature renowned activist Winona LaDuke on March 2nd, when WMEAC will also present its Hidden Heroine awards celebrating West Michigan women who work to protect our environment. Complete information at

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Then See You for Women's History Month!

Find the Midwife! 
Discovering Midwives in Online and Offline Records 

Saturday, March 4th, 1:30 pm
Grand Rapids Public Library

On Saturday, March 4th,  Janet Sjaarda Sheeres will build on her January program at  History Detectives  with a workshop for the Western Michigan Genealogical Society. To date, Janet has located over forty-five immigrant midwives who served in Dutch colonies across the United States. She will use her findings to aid in the discovery of midwives from other early ethnic communities and share practical research tips to overcome the difficulties of finding these women who were often sidelined in early historical and census records. 

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STAY TUNED!  Annual Reception and Program
Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council

Wednesday, March 29th, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
ICCF Assembly Hall,
the former Blodgett Home for Children
920 Cherry Street SE 

We will honor the nineteenth-century women's organizations that created and managed the children's programs behind the construction in 1908 of the Blodgett Home--currently the ICCF, our host building for the day. Guided by local historians Cindy Laug and Diana Barrett, we will see how those programs proliferated in the twentieth century and led to Mary Free Bed taking over the building for rehabilitation projects. 

Appropriately, our event on March 29th will offer an opportunity to visit a building beautifully rehabilitated itself. There we will toast the recent 125th anniversary of the Mary Free Bed Guild, whose members in 2016 were inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. Free admission and free parking. Please join us, but please reserve: 616-574-7307 or [email protected].

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Not a current member of GGRWHC?   Register or renew your membership and help offset the expenses associated with annual research and programs. Your membership helps to set the record straight on the women who've made history here in our community.

GGRWHC Board Meetings

Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. in the Vanderveen Center for the Book at the Grand Rapids Public Library. If you have suggestions for programs, oral histories, or other items, please email us or plan to attend a meeting.



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Please take a moment to forward this message to others you know who may be interested in Women's History.  If you've received this message as a forward, consider joining our mailing list (click on the button in the left column above!) in order to receive future updates about programming.

Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomonal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a member of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider showing your support through annual membership.  Visit our web site for more information and the ability to register using Pay Pal online!

Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!