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

By Sara M. Evans | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Charlotte Bunch

When I was in the sixth grade at Hermosa Elementary School in Artesia, New Mexico, in the 1950s, I earnestly bet my teacher, Mr. Damron, that when I grew up I would be a missionary in some faraway country. He was skeptical, but I was insistent. As a bright, adventurous girl growing up in a small rural town, I saw the missionaries who occasionally came to our local Methodist church to show slides and talk of their work in distant places as my role models—especially the women. They seemed to have exciting lives as women who traveled and yet also did good works. The next year someone gave me a book called Girls' Stories of Great Women, and I began to imagine that I might become a social worker, like Jane Addams, helping people in the United States. I was restless, searching for something that I did not know how to name. It was through the student Christian movement in the 1960s—the YWCA and the Methodist Student Movement in particular—that I was able to transform my vague ideals into a life as a political activist.

Now, in the early part of the twenty-first century, I direct the Center for Women's Global Leadership, which seeks to bring more women from all parts of the world into leadership in the global arena. I think a lot about what enables and encourages women to take action and leadership for justice and change in the world. Therefore I look back on my life and my generation of women activists in the 1960s and 1970s with a special interest in what propelled us forward and helped us to imagine that we could move into arenas where women were not expected to go and even change the world.

My childhood was full of mixed messages about what it meant to be female. The imperative that I should become a responsible, active citizen, however, was never in doubt. My parents were open-minded Methodists and middle-class professionals whose commitment to fairness and moderate politics often made them controversial in the conservative West Texas atmosphere

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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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