Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975

By Sara M. Evans | Go to book overview

Introduction
SARA M. EVANS

For thousands of young women in the 1950s and 1960s, involvement with the student Christian movement (SCM)— comprising denominational campus ministries, the Student YM and YWCA, and national and international associations such as the World Student Christian Federation—changed their world and their worldview. It took them out of the context in which they were raised and introduced them to radically different perspectives in other parts of the country and around the globe. It also opened them up to their own capacities. As leaders, as thinkers, as organizers, they came face to face with social realities like racial prejudice, poverty, and oppression and with the possibility of action. A primary site of civil rights and student activism in the 1960s, the SCM trained a remarkable generation of leaders who moved directly into the civil rights movement, the student antiwar movement, and women's liberation. 1 For women in particular, the SCM was a unique training ground that offered both female mentors and a greater openness to female leadership than its secular counterparts in the student new left. This collection of memoirs brings to life the experience of a critical generation of young women and a dimension of the social justice activism of the 1960s and 1970s that has been almost invisible until now, despite its deep roots in American history and the large numbers of American youth that it engaged from the early years of the cold war.

That religious engagement offered American women an unusually free space in which to develop leadership skills and a broad vision of their potential to shape history in the cold war era should not surprise us. Historically, women's rights in the United States have deep roots in evangelical reform movements.

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Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Journeys That Opened Up the World *
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • Chapter 1 - Ruth Harris 15
  • Chapter 2 - Jeanne Audrey Powers 45
  • Chapter 3 - Rebecca Owen 66
  • Chapter 4 - Elmira Kendricks Nazombe 84
  • Chapter 5 - Jill Foreman 104
  • Chapter 6 - Charlotte Bunch 122
  • Chapter 7 - Tamela Hultman 140
  • Chapter 8 - M. Sheila Mccurdy 157
  • Chapter 9 - Alice Hageman 174
  • Chapter 10 - Jan Griesinger 191
  • Chapter 11 - Eleanor Scott Meyers 208
  • Chapter 12 - Nancy D. Richardson 226
  • Chapter 13 - The Repairer of the Breach (isaiah 58:12) 237
  • Chapter 14 - Renetia Martin 240
  • Chapter 15 - Frances E. Kendall 249
  • Chapter 16 - Margarita Mendoza De Sugiyama 262
  • Notes on Contributors 271
  • Index 275
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