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

By Sara M. Evans | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12
Nancy D. Richardson

When the police drove black students shouting “Duke is racist!” out of the Administration Building at Duke University in the spring of 1968,I knew that something significant had happened, not only for those students and for Duke University, but for me. It was some time later, at a National Student YWCA meeting, that I began to realize what that something was, and it has taken years of reflection and action for me to understand what a transformative experience that incident was for me. It came at the midpoint of my experience in the student Christian movement; I had entered college in 1958, become involved in the Student YWCA in my first year, and continued to work in campus ministry until 1977. This event turned out to be a pivotal point that not only laid the foundation for my professional future, but gave me the tools with which to analyze my past.

I was an unlikely candidate for getting involved in campus politics. I had been raised in a fairly sheltered working-class community, was active in the Southern Baptist Church, and was the first member of my family to go to college. My father was a carpenter who became a draftsman's apprentice with the Appalachian Electric Power company just prior to Pearl Harbor and, as a result, was never called to serve in the armed forces because he was working in a job considered essential to the war effort. My mother was a pieceworker in a garment factory, later a nurse's aide, and by the time I was in college, was working as a sales clerk in a department store. Obeying the rules, staying out of trouble, working hard, getting an education, earning a living were “norms” that were assumed, more than explicitly taught, in my family. Family life was deeply rooted in the church, which reinforced these values. No one would have expected me to challenge any of these norms, least of all the “staying out of trouble” one, and, interestingly enough, they were right. When I began to get in “trouble”—that is, “break the rules”—it was not defiance but naïveté that led the way.

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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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