Celebrate Love with the WLA
Wrapping Up Our Celebration of Love!
Happy Valentine's Day! To wrap up our "Celebration of Love" WLA Graduate Assistant Kate Johnson reads a selection entitled "Love Poems" from The Feminist Voice Newspaper. In the 1970s poets, artists, and writers from all across Chicago contributed works to this newspaper, one of the first radical feminist publications in the city. The WLA holds the papers of Connie Kiosse, one of The Feminist Voice's founding members.
8th Day Center for Justice
The 8th Day Center for Justice was founded in 1974 in response to a call from the Urban Apostolate of Sisters for women religious to take action regarding some of the social issues rampant in Chicago. The Center's devotion to raise awareness for various causes characterizes the love of humanity felt by many social reformers to serve their communities and make substantive change. Listen as WLA Director Nancy Freeman reads a prayer given at one of the 8th Day Center's past Good Friday Walks for Justice. The reading shows the 8th Day Center's determination to foster love and togetherness for all mankind. The Good Friday Walk for Justice has been an annual event for the Center since 1981.
Mercedes McCambridge Sends Her Gratitude to Sr. Leola, B.V.M.
Showing appreciation to someone that inspires you is one of the most heartfelt acts of love anyone can bestow. Graduate Assistant Megan Bordewyk illustrates this in her reading from a letter written by Oscar winning actress Mercedes McCarmbridge to her teacher and friend Sr. Mary Leola, B.V.M.. McCambridge was a faithful correspondent with Sr. Leola throughout her life and credited Sr. Leola with her acting success, emphasizing how she always hoped to perform in a way that would make the sister proud. The following recording demonstrates "Mercy's" gratitude for her teacher: In 1950, McCambridge sent Sr. Leola an award she won from Look Magazine for her achievement in film.
Celebration of Love Continues!
Our celebration of love continues with a reading from the Lavender Woman by Graduate Assistant Ellen Bushong. In 1971, several contributors of the publication the Feminist Voice saw the need to organize and publish a periodical for lesbians in the Chicago metropolitan area. An announcement for the new publication written by contributors stated, "We recognize that there are many levels of need in the larger Lesbian community, and we want a newspaper to serve these needs, regardless of political or social affiliation among our sisters." The Lavender Woman accepted entries from all over Chicago-land and featured articles, illustrations, poetry, and letters by queer women for queer women. You can read some of the Lavender Woman newspapers that have been digitized here.
Celebration of Love Kick Off!
To kick off our February celebration of love, here's a recording of public historian Caroline Lynd Giannakopoulos reading a love letter written by labor leader, Mollie Lieber West. Mollie sent this romantic letter to her first husband Carl Lieber while he served overseas during WWII. In it she shares some happy news and expresses her sorrow at his being away from her side. To learn more about Mollie and Carl, visit the WLA's digital exhibit of Mollie's life and work Women and Labor: The Story of Mollie West.