Women on the Move
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We want to share about the people in the photos, because they are our heroes! 

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For 35 years I have lived with the women of Houston, their faces and gestures seared into my mind, their issues, their energy, their nobility, their dreams as I acknowledged and preserved them have been my almost daily companions. “Politics is my Bag”; “pro-God, pro-family, pro-ERA”; “Keep ‘Em in the Closet”; “we didn’t burn ‘em”; “Pro-Plan”; “Majority”; Puerto-Rico”; “Alcoholism is a Women’s Issue”.....High Chief Pulu Peneueta , Mayor of Pago Pago, American Samoa; Agnes Dill, of the Isleta Laguna tribe; Freddie Groomes; Gracia Molina Pick; baby Era; Frances Gubbins;
Peggy Kokernot, Michele Cearcy, Sylvia Ortiz; Leah Novick; Alice Bibeau and Colleen Wong...all as close to me, or closer, than Jean Stapleton, Betty Ford, Jill Ruckelshaus, Liz Carpenter. Where are they now? It is a great joy when I do know.

After years of looking into her face, taking inspiration from her "gesture of triumph," I now know the woman on the cover of my book is Vinie Burrows, photographed at the "Celebrating Women" event of the NY State Women's Meeting

And then there is ERA ( here with Gloria Steinem, left, and her mother Judy McCarthey, right) 

Gloria Steinem with Baby E.R.A. daughter of Arizona delegate Judy McCarthey to the First National Women's Conference, at the White House, March, 1978.Photo copyright © 1978 Diana Mara Henry / www.dianamarahenry.com. Right: E.R.A. and her mother Judy, recent family photo. 

"I am so grateful for the gifts the E.R.A. movement and my name have given me. Before the movement I could never have enjoyed the position in life that I do now. Also my name, and everything it stands for, has made me believe in myself regardless of the difficulties I faced in life....

"I truly thank my mother and all of you for what you have done for me. My name has given me strength and confidence throughout my life. I am a self-made person, I began college at 16 and now have 3 degrees. My companies are a foreign language school in Fort Collins, a nationwide marketing company, and a social networking platform I provide to communities throughout the USA and Canada. I have always loved to create, whether through art, music or writing. 
"I was hoping to meet you in New York but unfortunately I couldn't make it. I have two small babies and own three companies. The hurricane made me worry about bringing them to New York. My son is only 4 months old and travel is still a bit hard at this point.    

You can go to my Trinidadwebsite to see my family, artwork and community.

Here is the link to my school's website:


A New “Era” 

from page 150 of

The Spirit of Houston: The First National Women’s Conference:

An Official report to the President, the Congress and the People of the United States.
(THE book to have about the conference!) Click on the link to page through it! 

            Era McCArthey was born shortly after her mother returned home to Phoenix, Arizona from the Houston Conference, which she attended as a delegate even though she was having labor pains.

             “There are two reasons I named my baby girl Era,” explained Judy McCarthey. “ One is for our amendment since the ERA is the most important issue in our fight for true equality for all, and the second is because of the concept which arose out of the Houston Conference, the concept that it heralded the beginning of a new era for women.





            Delegate McCarthey, a 31-year-old Apache Indian, and the mother of six children, has plans for a new life for herself, too. She is enrolled as a criminal justice Major at Arizona State University and hopes to enter law school.

            “ I have been helping mature women reenter education and the job force vis the Association for Women’s Active Return to Education (AWARE) and the Department of Economic Security, Welfare Office,” she told the National Commission. “As a welfare recipient, I am trying to get off the welfare merry-go-round, and I understand many of the problems facing other women in my position.

            “I am very aware of what it means to be an ethnic minority, a divorced mother, a mature college student, and on a limited income. But I know, as we all do, that there can be a fuller life for all of us and our families. That is why I support the National Plan of Action and the Equal Rights Amendment.”

Judy McCArthey, mother of Baby Era held by Gloria Steinem on the home page, seen speaking at the microphone at Houston's First National Women's Conference, 1977

See Diana Mara Henry's photographs at: http://www.dianamarahenry.com

Judy Tallwing MacCarthey today!
Her website is http://tallwing.com/

Native American artist and tribal elder Judy Tallwing-McCarthey is of Apache, Tewa, and African-American heritage. Born in Arizona, she was a former advocate for equal rights. She resides in her home in Baltimore, Maryland, where she experienced renewed creative vision and artistic passion. She has been painting for more than 60 years. Judy is a medicine woman who paints the stories told to her as a child. She uses the knowledge taught her by her maternal grandmother to infuse depth and energy into her paintings. Her hope is to add “more good medicine” to the planet.

 Detail - Corn Lady Copyright © 2012 Judy Tallwing 
Judy's upcoming exhibition is opening October 6, 2012 at the 

American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD.

Judy Tallwing | Native American Artist - http://tallwing.com/connect 

"Thank you again for your decision to show our history, it helps me when I talk to my grandchildren and great grandchildren to let them see the faces of the women who've made a difference in their lives and there were so many!Will see you soon in NY.Judy" (10/18/12)

"I have so much respect for your work. Without our photographers and journalists we'd be another lost generation of women of knowledge.

E.R.A.'s specialty in college was women artists in history and I found it amazing that there were so many of them that few had ever heard of. What a loss of our history. You are one of the important people who keep us all alive to history. Thank you! "(10/16/12) 

"I now live in Baltimore, Md and am full time working on my art, since I retired from working in the domestic violence prevention field. E.R.A. now runs her own company in Trinidad Colorado, with her husband and children. She was the second of my family to graduate from college, me being the first :-).  ( 9/29/12) 

That whole time was a true awakening for me and has had a great impact on my life. Thank you for all you've done for women.

Judy T McCarthey"

Judy's daughter E.R.A. is following in her mother's artistic and creative footsteps with a magazine and artwork of her own....

Through the Maynard Institute Diana Mara Henry reconnected with Melba Tolliver, photographed above as she was composing her report at the NY State Women's meeting, Albany, 1977.

"Melba Tolliver got the assignment of the year in 1971

President Nixon's daughter, Trisha, was marrying Eddie Cox, and Tolliver was to go to Washington D.C. to cover the presidential event. Reporting for WABC in New York, at the time it was unusual for a local station to send a reporter out of town on a national story.....Perhaps it was the beginning of entertaining news. The station took great pains to make sure the staff was ethnically diverse. Tolliver, an African American and Geraldo Rivera, Puerto Rican, were some of the "identifiable ethnics" on staff.

Tolliver had been thinking for some time of changing her hairstyle. She was tired of processing her hair, and using wigs. So she decided to go natural, and made the switch the week of her assignment to Washington D.C. It was a modest afro....

Management threatened to keep her off the air if she didn't change her hair back. She went to Washington D.C. for the wedding, covered it the only way she knew how using live shots of herself, and let New York decide what to do with the footage.

When she returned, management was insistent that she had to straighten her hair or she'd have to wear a hat or scarf if she wanted to get back on air. Now the New York Post had gotten wind that something was happening at the station, and people were beginning to wonder why they hadn't seen Tolliver on air. When the Post began calling people at the station, including the news director, the station backed down and put her on the air. But by now word had gotten out what had happened. It was bad publicity for the station. People wrote letters supporting Tolliver's right to wear her hair as she pleased, even if no one liked it.

It was a defining moment in television history as African Americans grappled with how to define themselves. The struggle spilled over into other realms of journalism, but Tolliver insists this was not the defining moment of her career...Complete story here. © 2011 The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education | 663 Thirteenth St., Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612 | (510) 891-9202 

The Mayor of American Samoa photographed at the First National Women's conference, Houston, 1977

"Subject: High Chief Pulu PeneuetaMessage: Aloha, could you please tell me how I can purchase a photo of my grandmother High Chief Pulu Peneueta? And do you have other shots of her? Please contact me the email address above at your earliest convenience. Mahalo!"

and again: "Aloha Diana,
Thank you so much for responding so quickly! Naturally I can't fit everything in an email concerning my grandmother who WAS a very extraordinary woman, mother and grandmother. Not only was she that but was also a pillar in our village and a force to be reckoned with..." Hilo, Hawaiii....

and then 6 years later, from another member of the tribe:

"Thank u.... I luv it! I am thinking of using dis photo on r t-shirts 4 da "Filigataula & Tuugasala Kuaea" reunion 4 Aug 5th & 6th, 2011 & Jan 2012."

And from another relative:

" I had a brochure used by the airlines with her photo on it but I returned it to my oldest brother who is still alive in L.A. I'm actually the youngest in the family. I will let you know as soon as I find anything.
Thanks for responding and taking the time to write about her. She was an amazing woman that taught me a lot on how to survive....

"She was great woman of faith and belief in womens equal rights. Hope to meet you in person one of these days. 
Blessings to you and your endeavors in life."


Thank you, Vanessa Oruska!

Vanessa Oruska, Pennsylvania delegate, was 16 in 1977! She answered the questionnaire, 2/14/2011:

                    •                    Your name, address, phone, email and URL : Vanessa Oruska - 267-330-3369

                    •                    What was your name and address at the time of the FNWC? : Same as above

                    •                     What was your occupation, age and schooling at that time? : I was a student, age 16

                    •                    Were you a delegate or in what other way were you involved in the conference? : I was a PA delegate

                    •                    Did you attend a State Meeting prior to attending the conference, and if so, which one? : I don't remember

                    •                    Do you have ephemera (fliers, buttons, schedules, articles) from the meeting or the conference? If you have donated them or otherwise disposed of them, please tell us how. : I do not have any memorabilia

                    •                    Did you write about the meeting and/or conference and or photograph/film it and do you still have those writings/photographs/films? Do you have any intentions of placing those materials in an archive and if so, which one? : NO

                    •                    Please share with us why you attended the FNWC and state meeting. : Not sure why- I was in a program

                    •                    Please share what you experienced there. : I met C. Delores Tucker, Coretta Scott King, Barbara Jordan

                    •                    Please share your use of what you learned/did at the conference in future years:: I went on to campaign for C.Delores Tucker.

                    •                    What was your subsequent schooling/reading/research? Did the FNWC impact that in any ways? N/A

                    •                    What has been your career path or paths? Did the FNWC impact that in any ways? : NO

                    •                    What was your family configuration in 1977 and how did that change until now? Did the FNWC impact that in any ways? : I was in a foster home in 1977

                    •                    What was your work situation in 1977 and how did that change until now? Did the FNWC impact that in any ways? : I was working for Teen-Aid, Big Sister Big Brother program part time.

                    •                    What were your civic/philanthropic/volunteer paths then and how did they change until now? Did the FNWC impact that in any ways? N/A

                    •                    Could you share a photograph with us of who you are today, either with family, in work setting, leisure occupation or any other representation of you?  I will get back to you on the picture

                    •                    Would you like to see another Women’s Conference on the scale of Houston, 1977 and do you think State Meetings would be a necessary component? Who should sponsor/fund such a conference?

                    •                    What part(s) of the Plan of Action concerned you most in 1977 and what issues would be most important for you to see voted on today?

                    •                    Has your political, religious, gender affiliation changed since 1977 and in what way? Did the FNWC impact that in any ways?

                    •                    Are there any other changes in your life path that were or were not attributable to your experience at Houston that you would like to share?

                    •                    Could you share a perspective on the women’s movement then, now and a recommendation on women’s issues for young women today?

                    •                    Please share anything else with us not covered in these questions that you think is important to you or others.

23.  May we publish your answers, along with others, on this website? : YES

Thank you very much. Diana Mara Henry

188 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA 01108   413-736-6414 dmh@dianamarahenry.com


Please "get with the program," join Vanessa, answer the questionnaire, and let's keep the conversation going!


"Diana…I was a delegate at the 1977 National Women’s Convention and I am in one of your photos online.
I am on the bottom row, third from right. My name then was Arceneaux....I was a delegate from Louisiana. Yes, I saw your article and am in the process of answering your questionnaire. I was tickled to see the other 16 year old from the Convention. I don’t think there were many of us that were that young and participating... 
All the best…Dottie Arceneaux...." January 17, 2012


Read Dottie's responses to our questionnaire here

Thank you, Dottie!

Agnes Dill, of the Isleta Laguna tribe, born in 1913 and here photographed as a delegate to the First National Women's Conference, became a University of New Mexico graduate and received her BA in 2009, as reported in a feature story with this photograph in The American Indian Graduate Magazine:

Suzy Chaffee writes to DMH:
"HAIL TO THE PIONEERS OF WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT                                                                                                                               
Native American women were the first champions of Women’s empowerment.  I learned this in 1977, when Donna deVarona and I joined First Ladies Johnson, Carter and Ford in running with the torch into the Houston Astrodome to finish the 2,000 mile Women’s Relay for "Women's International Year.   The run started in NY’s Seneca Falls, birthplace of the Suffragettes, like Susan B. Anthony, who was first adopted by Seneca Clan Mothers. Their love for sports over the eons developed their wisdom to train and choose (and if necessary remove) the great Chiefs.  This high level of collective intelligence resulted in the first equalitariandemocracy now "spring-ing" up worldwide!  

"Did you know that I also brought sports to the International Action Plan for the First International Women's Year, at Mexico City in 1970, with my Olympic mother Stevia. It was coincidentally funded by the sister of the Shah of Iran and possibly Farah Diba too, whom I did a film skiing with her and Billy Kidd - synchronized skiing - in Iran just before their downfall. Got a great photo skiing with her in case you want some roots like that. Thanks soooo much and what a difference our Women's event made! When and where is the 30th Reunion? Bless you and your Valiant Team, Suzy Chaffee." More from Suzy Chaffee here.

PLEASE HELP Diana get to HOuston for the 40th Anniversary of the conference! Through her Fiscal Sponsor, the NY Foundation to the arts, YOUR DONATION IS TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! THANK YOU!

Or email Diana Mara Henry : dmh@dianamarahenry.com

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