Seeking Equity for Women in Journalism and Mass Communication Education: A 30-Year Update

By Ramona R. Rush; Carol E. Oukrop et al. | Go to book overview
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Donna Allen:
A Real S/hero for Real People
Ramona R. Rush

When you listen to people talk about Dr. Donna Allen, how and when they knew her during her physical life's journey, it becomes abundantly clear that she had the stuff of which heroes are made, at least as they have been described to most of us. Donna spent her life trying to make life easier for the vast majority of real, live people for whom the bell tolled as they toiled—children, women, laborers, oppressed persons, people of nations other than her own, those who tried to uphold a civil democracy against less than democratic institutions and traditions; the list goes on.

Most of us only knew a small part of this “wonderous” woman's complex but interwoven life of education, activism, economics, activism, family, activism, media, and activism. Many of us in this book knew of her efforts from the 1970s on when she turned to being a media activist, including starting her own mass medium; this is reflected in Dr. Susan Kaufman's comments. Her daughter, Dr. Martha Allen, tells Donna's story as only another activist can. Actually, each chapter in this book tells a Donna story one way or another, whether or not the author knew her.

Donna would be so thrilled, so humbled, so joyous to see this book's existence, let alone that it was dedicated to her. She would have written a chapter for this book, were it not for her unexpected death in the summer of 1999.

Since I co-edited two books with Donna, I would like to take the liberty here to tell how I got acquainted with her. It is written at the beginning of

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