Women’s history in alleyways?! The Women’s Way project is as bold as the local women it features. It endeavors to acknowledge women’s complicated history in alleys by reclaiming ownership of these spaces and enhancing them for a positive public purpose.
omen’s Way initiative
kicks off with four downtown murals featuring
Ethel B. Coe, a
community activist, musician, actor and civil rights leader; the
Grand Rapids Chicks 1945 All American Baseball Team
Angeline Naw Kay o say Yob, an educator, community activist and citizen of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians; and
Harriet Woods Hill—but s
croll down to meet her and the mural in process!
Four currently nameless alleyways will be marked with commemorative street signs to honor the highlighted women--an intentional gesture calling attention to the fact that women’s names are rarely assigned to public and private buildings and property. Other improvements, depending upon the spaces, will include furniture for seating, planters, lighting, biographical plaques, and periodic pop-up programming to further energize the space.
The Women's Way Initiative is a collaborative effort by the City of Grand Rapids, the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, Lions & Rabbits Creative Arts & Events Space, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and several local businesses and institutional partners.