May 9, 2021 I I 616-574-7307
The Business of the Council
Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council
Digital Annual Meeting for Members
Monday, May 10, 2021

5:30 pm start time (join any time after 5:15 pm) 
2021 Annual Meeting Agenda

Very brief report on our past year
Secretary’s & treasurer’s reports
Election to the Board of Directors
(scroll down for candidate biographies)
Acknowledging current members stepping down
Very brief look ahead and Q&A 
Who Can Vote?

Since its founding in 1988, the mission of the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council has been to fill the huge gaps in city histories by ensuring that its women citizens from the past are properly credited for their roles as community builders. We have always recruited everyone in the area to enjoy and learn from our programming, publications, workshops, and online materials—so who is actually a GGRWHC member?! 

According to our bylaws, anyone who currently supports us financially is a member entitled to vote on Council business. If your membership/donation is not up to date, please take care of business now on our website! If you use Stripe there (akin to PayPal), be sure to click on the lock at the end to submit payment. (It’s not necessarily intuitive.)
Or you can contact us if you did not receive our recent letter with mail-in forms: 616- 574-7307 or or GGRWHC, P.O. Box 68874, Grand Rapids MI 49516-8874
Board Nominees for 2021

Before tomorrow’s meeting you might want to review the make-up of the GGRWHC’s current board of directors. If you haven’t already met our four board candidates for 2021-2022, either in person or virtually, please scroll down—then meet them tomorrow on screen. Keep a beverage on hand to toast them as new GGRWHC board members tomorrow! 
Cynthia Browne
A native of Seattle, Washington, Cynthia Browne was a transplant to Grand Rapids twenty years ago and has been fascinated by the women's history of her chosen city. She is currently a circulation specialist in the library of the Grand Rapids Community College, where she has the unique ability to connect both non-traditional, older students and younger learners with resources and often to serve as their continuing mentor. Also at the GRCC, Browne has taken the lead in library initiatives, such as the Exam Cram food supply, student employee training, and a library food pantry. A lifelong-student, Browne graduated from Ferris State University in 2019 and is now interested to help the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council unearth and preserve the stories of little-known local women who have impacted our past and to bring them into the city's present. Her special interest is in African American women's history and the many roles they have played in the area. 
Will Katerberg
Currently the curator of Heritage Hall, archive of Calvin University, and editor of its print and online magazine, Origins. A professor of history, Will is also the director of the Mellema Program in Western American Studies and is actively working on a book on nineteenth-century Massachusetts senator Henry L. Dawes and his daughter Anna Laurens Dawes, who were both influential in promoting reform movements and legislation regarding the acculturation of Native Americans to U.S. life and values. His rephotography projects—comparisons of past and contemporary photographs—explore Dutch American and local history sties in West Michigan and throughout the state. Generously, Will has already been contributing to GGRWHC board life for much of the pandemic year.

Gabe LaGrand
A graduating senior in history at Calvin University, with minors in philosophy and German. Throughout his time at Calvin, Gabe enjoyed multiple women- and gender-focused courses starting with Kristin DuMez’s Women and Gender in U.S. History. From former board member Kristin, he first learned about GGRWHC. Then, supervised by Kate van Liere, he began work in early 2020 as an intern on the Women Who Ran project and began learning more about the group. While Gabe was disappointed that his microfilm scrolling in GRPL’s archive and his official internship were cut short due to the pandemic, he has already begun continuing work on the electoral history project, which will continue during his time on the board. But he is also excited to engage with the organization's other projects and pursuits. Bottom line, this Grand Rapids native is curious to learn more about his hometown and contribute to its history.  
Sue Thoms
A writer and storyteller who has enjoyed over thirty years in journalism. In 2014, while writing for The Grand Rapids Press/MLive, she was captured by the story of the Grand Rapids women scientists who created the whooping cough vaccine and saved the lives of countless children. Thoms wrote a feature article pointing a spotlight at the groundbreaking work of these extraordinary women, which was in turn placed on the front page above the fold by the first female editor of the Press and our board member, Julie Hoogland. Together, they have kept up their work on Kendrick, Eldering, and Gordon, starting with a GGRWHC annual reception; then a GRPL exhibit; a Community Legends sculpture unveiling; and, most recently, a presentation for the Historical Society of Michigan. Thoms currently writes medical features for Spectrum Health Beat, the news site for Spectrum Health. She is especially captivated by stories that involve medicine and children and is the author of six children’s books, including The Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan.


Tracing the Steps of Lottie Wilson Jackson
by Sophia Ward Brewer

Virtual program: May 20th, 7:00 pm

Lottie Wilson Jackson (1854-1914) was a well-known artist, activist, and self-made African American woman who defied difficult odds during the Progressive Era. Along with her eye-opening portraits of famous Black Americans, this talented artist became one of America’s noted African American suffragists. During the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention in 1899 at St. Cecilia Music Society in Grand Rapids, the delegate Jackson challenged NAWSA to condemn railroads for discriminating against Black women in the South. Her resolution was addressed and tabled. Join us to learn more about Lottie’s journey.

During 2021, in all aspects of our work, we will continue to honor the long and costly battle for the right to vote and to run for office and continue to reconsider how more fully and effectively to embrace the women’s histories of our entire community. 

Because the challenges of the past year continue, the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council will carry on with all-virtual programming—but stay tuned! And please continue to celebrate with us virtually and in print. Watch for us via this electronic newsletter; follow us on Facebook; find our monthly features in Women’s Lifestyle Magazine; and sign up for our hard-copy newsletter, if you haven’t already, at! Stay tuned, stay safe, and stay exercised! 
Stay home and stay safe--but celebrate with us virtually and in print! 
GGRWHC |  | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who have shaped West Michigan!
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 in order to receive future updates about programming.

Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation. Visit our website for more information and the ability to donate online.