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



March 14, 2016

GGRWHC Board of Directors

Mary Seeger,
Jo Ellyn Clarey,
Ruth VanStee,
Connie Ingham
Jennifer Bryant 
Jo Ellyn Clarey
Susan Coombes
Falinda Geerling 
Sharon Hanks
Connie Ingham 
Kyle Irwin
Mary Seeger
Ruth Stevens
Julie Tabberer
Ruth VanStee 
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Celebrate Women's History Month With Us
Wednesday, March 30,  5-7 p.m.  
5:30 Brief annual meeting followed by 
a celebratory program at the WCC 
Free and open to the public      
Complimentary hors-d'oeuvres      
Wine:  $5/glass    
         To make a Reservation:  click on Eventbrite, or  
    email, or call 616-574-7307  
Shattering Glass Ceilings 
Women's Elective History in Grand Rapids, 1888-2015 
presented by Deirdre Toeller-Novak
Deirdre Toeller-Novak
Join GGRWHC and speaker Deirdre Toeller-Novak at the beautiful Women's City Club on March 30th for camaraderie and to hear about women who have run for and held elective office in Grand Rapids. Meet special guest Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids' first woman mayor! 

Between 1888 and 2015, Harriet Cook, Eva McCall Hamilton, Grace Ames Van Hoesen, Evangeline Lamberts, and Rosalynn Bliss each shattered another of the glass ceilings impeding the full participation of women in government. Their stories are laced with perseverance in the face of scorn, personal sacrifice, fraud, and high adventure. The work of these women points  to the importance of having an accurate record of women's elective history in the greater Grand Rapids area.
Since 1948, this portrait of Eva McCall Hamilton, the first woman elected to the Michigan Senate, is one of six large portraits hanging in the Senate Chamber of the Michigan Capitol.

Grand Rapids is one of a few, if not the only, American city to have a complete history of women running for and elected to office. This data proves that Grand Rapids women ran for office as early as 1888, decades before second-wave feminists believed that they were running for the first time. 

Through the stories of women who were the first to be elected to their respective offices, we will examine the remarkable strategies and accomplishments of trailblazers whose work is far from complete.
Deirdre Toeller-Novak is proofing a compilation of Grand Rapids women's elective history, in whose pages she can be found. Her election to the boards of the Grand Rapids Public Schools and Grand Rapids Community College in the 1980s places her in the line of women elected to local school boards begun in 1888. She will share data from the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council's unique electoral history and illustrate its importance in 2016.
Special Guest: Mayor Rosalynn Bliss

Wednesday, March 30,  5-7 p.m.
Women's City Club (lower level auditorium) 
              254 East Fulton Street  
Parking: on the  west of the building or in the lot on the east side of Lafayette SE, just south of Fulton Street 

Free and open to the public
   To make a Reservation:  click on Eventbrite, or
email, or call 616-574-7307   
For more details about all these events and programs,  
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Join us or Update your Membership!  

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 5:30 p.m. at 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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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!