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Anne Marie Pois Oral History Project Collection

 Collection
Identifier: COU:1291

Scope and Contents

The Anne Marie Pois Oral History Project was organized in the manner in which it was received. The student papers, interviews, and tapes are donated following the completion of the class each semester. As the students enrolled in the class complete more oral histories, the collection will expand. The collection has been organized to reflect this growth. The transcripts and papers of each interview have been separated from the tapes in order to minimize the space the collection encompasses. The papers in the project are organized according to semester in Hollinger grey boxes. The tapes have also been organized according to the semester they were acquired in and are located in separate “Tape Boxes” at the end of the collection. In the Fall 2003 semester, the tapes were copied onto compact discs. The audio interviews on the CDs are placed in a separate “CD Box” at the end of the collection.

I. SPRING 1998 contains the introduction, interviews, research papers, and consent forms for the oral histories of the Boulder County Safehouse and the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center. Amanda Arthur and Jami Dennis conducted the research on the Boulder County Safehouse, which was the foundation for their historical papers required, fulfilling the course requirements. Rachel Newell, Kate Moran, Kathryn Richey, and Nikki Snyder conducted the research on the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, which was the foundation for their historical papers required, fulfilling the course requirements.

II. SPRING 1999 contains the introduction, interviews, research papers, and consent forms for the oral histories of the Boulder County Rape Crisis Team. Beth Hoeck and Jill Johnson conducted the research, which was the foundation for their historical papers required, fulfilling the course requirements.

III. FALL 2000 is comprised of the table of contents, interviews, research papers, photocopied newspaper articles, and consent forms for the oral histories of the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center. The oral history interviews were conducted by Carianne Laguna and Jessica Bail, which allowed the students to write the final historical paper required for the class.

IV. FALL 2001 consists of the table of contents and introduction, interviews, student papers, and consent forms for the oral histories of the YWCA of Boulder County. The oral history interviews were conducted by Angela Bush, Zophie Leslea, Melissa Lecrone, Anne Marie Pois, Nicole Moore, and Susan Vlack, allowing the students to write the final research paper required for completion of the class.

V. FALL 2002 includes the table of contents, interviews, the personal data to supplement oral history form, and consent forms for the oral histories of the YWCA of Boulder County. Marian Salley conducted the oral history interviews necessary to complete the paper and mission of the class.

VI. FALL 2003 contains the table of contents, interviews, the personal data to supplement oral history form, biographies written by students of the women they interviewed, and consent forms for the interviews. The oral histories for this semester were conducted by 17 students: Brook Engebretson, Katie Schwartz, Jillian Cleary, Olivia McNair, Kelsey Kazarian, Lauren Gorence, Molly Lauridsen, Myra Wehde, Lindsay Leonard, Katherine Brown, Courtney Spencer, Christina Savage, Blair Young, Jennifer Davis, Sarah Johnson, Sarah Insel, and Andrea Powell.

VII. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- SPRING 1998 contain the taped interviews for the Boulder County Safehouse and the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center.

VIII. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- SPRING 1999 consist of the taped interviews for MESA, formerly known as the Rape Crisis Team.

IX. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- FALL 2000 is comprised of the taped oral history interviews for the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center.

X. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- FALL 2001 & XI. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- FALL 2002 contains the taped oral history interviews for the YWCA of Boulder County.

XII. CDs OF INTERVIEWS- FALL 2003 consist of the taped oral history interviews for Boulder County Safehouse, MESA, Boulder Valley Women’s Resource Center, Peace & Justice Movement, and the Boulder County YWCA. The interviews were originally taped and then copied onto the cds.

Dates

  • 1998 - 2003

Historical Note

Anne Marie Pois is a senior instructor in the Women's Studies Program. The classes she teaches include The History of Women's Activism in the United States and a research seminar on women and social change. Dr. Pois also coordinates the internship program for Women's Studies. She also teaches a course on women and peace work for the Peace and Conflict Certificate Program at CU. Her research focuses on the history of women and peace movements in the twentieth century and in particular. Dr. Pois developed the Oral History Service Learning Project in 1997 as a part of her undergraduate research seminar, the History of Women and Progressive Social Movements.

The College of Arts and Sciences awarded Dr. Pois a grant in September of 1997, which was essential for completing the oral histories. She offered the students enrolled in the course the opportunity to conduct oral histories of “founders,” staff, the board of directors and volunteers. This research is the foundation for the historical papers that fulfilled the course requirement. In the fall semester of 2003, the Oral History Service Learning Project began to be offered as an upper division Critical Thinking Course at the University of Colorado. The Oral History Service Learning Project is also located at the Boulder Public Libraries- Carnegie Branch; as well as, the agencies that have participated in the project. Dr. Pois began the Oral History Service Learning Project to allow students a new avenue for research in women’s history and opportunities to learn about the oral history process. Her second goal was to preserve the history of local women and men, who established and maintained grassroots organizations, which served the needs of women and children and worked for social and democratic change. Much of this history has little or no documentation and thus oral histories of the participants become a crucial means of documenting and preserving the past.

A brief history of the agencies that have participated in the project:

Boulder County Safehouse

In 1972, Josie Heath began the “Options for Women” program at the YWCA, which laid the groundwork for the Boulder Task Force on Women and Children. The Boulder Task Force on Women and Children was established in 1973 with the help of Ruth Correll. The task force issued the “Boulder Social Report of 1973-1974,” which showed the need for a Women’s Resource Center and assistance for battered women in Boulder County.

In 1974, Boulder County began to fund the Boulder County Women’s Resource Center and St. John’s Episcopal Church donated a space for the agency. The resource center offered referrals, support, counseling, self defense classes, health education, career counseling, and a directory of services for women. In 1975, the Women’s Resource Center expanded its services to include a volunteer-based program of emergency shelter for women. Because of the high volume of requests for shelter, the 10-12 volunteers became exhausted and this program ended in October.

A Battered Women’s Task Force was formed in order to create a residential battered woman’s shelter in Boulder in 1977. In 1978, Students in the University of Colorado Environmental Design Program developed plans for a Safehouse that would be able to serve 12 women at one time and $68,000 in Community Development funds was donated for the project. The Boulder County Women’s Resource Center became the official owner of the Safehouse in 1979 and on September 21, the Safehouse opened its doors. The agency was fully operational on October 1 and offered 24-hour services. In 1979, the Safehouse operated with three staff members and 25 volunteers.

The Boulder County Women’s Resource Center closed its Boulder office in July of 1980 because of dissent within the organization and financial difficulties. However, the shelter remained open and was officially named the Boulder County Safehouse, Inc. in November. In 1981, the Safehouse became a non-profit independent organization, providing shelter, counseling support groups, information and referrals, and a 24-hour crisis line. In April of 1980, volunteers began to provide limited legal advocacy service to survivors of domestic violence.

One of the major fundraising events for the Boulder County Safehouse began in 1982, The Chocolate Lover’s Fling. In 1984, the Boulder County Safehouse was operating on an increased budget due to fundraising and United Way funding. In 1988, the Boulder County Safehouse Outreach Center was donated and the agency’s offices were established in this location. Throughout the 1990’s, volunteer positions expanded creating roles as: Children’s Volunteer, Shelter Volunteer (which includes work on the crisis line), Victim Advocate, and Court Advocate. In addition to these volunteer positions, Peer Educator was also developed through collaboration between Boulder County Safehouse and MESA. Peer Educators work with Boulder County schools to support and teach fellow students about the issues surrounding both domestic violence and rape. An inter-faith Spiritual Support Team was also established to provide religious support to survivors of domestic violence and to educate the religious community about the dynamics of domestic violence.

In 1999, the Boulder County Safehouse celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Since then, the agency continues to operate within the Boulder community to provide 24 hour crisis line support, shelter for survivors of domestic violence, outreach counseling, victim advocacy, referrals, and domestic violence education.

Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center

The Boulder Valley Clinic was established in November of 1973 after abortion became legal in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The four major goals of the Boulder Valley Clinic were to “provide safe abortions, inexpensive abortions, counseling and birth control information to reduce another abortion, and counseling and birth control information to men so that women’s partners would be informed and take responsibility.”

In 1975, the Boulder Valley Clinic adopted a preventive approach to reproductive health care by expanding into a gynecological and family planning clinic. With funding from the Federal and State governments, the City of Boulder and Boulder County, Boulder Valley Clinic was able to provide subsidized health care for low income women in 1983. In 1984, a federal grant provided the money to begin a Community Outreach Education Program focusing on teens, their parents, and agencies servicing teens. The clinic was renamed in 1988 to Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center (BVWHC) as the organization expanded the services offered.

In 1989, BVWHC served as the lead agency in establish in the Boulder County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project which included over forty youth serving agencies. The Education and Training Resource Program was created in 1991 in response to the community’s request for a teen-directed approach to teen pregnancy prevention. In 1994, BVWHC became an HIV testing and counseling clinic site for the Boulder County Health Department. BVWHC opened the community’s first Teen Clinic in 1995.

Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center is now known as Women’s Health. This new name emphasizes the agency’s goal: to assure quality healthcare for every woman. Women’s Health (Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center) is committed to reproductive freedom and provides a full range of community education and gynecological health care services for all women with respect for differences in income, race, disability, ethnicity, creed, age and sexual orientation, in a caring environment which preserves women’s dignity and confidentiality.

MESA MESA was founded in 1972, as a community response to the abduction, rape, and shooting of two children. Originally called "H.A.R.M.," Humans Against Rape and Molestation, the team was formed to provide victim support and address social conditions that promote violence. The Team was later renamed The Boulder County Rape Crisis Team until 2001, when it became MESA (Moving to End Sexual Assault). The latest name change reflects MESA’s commitment to dealing with sexual violence and working to prevent it before it occurs. MESA is part of the Mental Health Center of Boulder County, Inc., a private non-profit organization. MESA collaborates with a variety of other local organizations, including the District Attorney's Office, Boulder County Safehouse, and the Boulder County School District. YWCA The YWCA of Boulder County was founded in 1922 by a small group of women associated with the First National Bank of Boulder. The group saw a need to organize and take action on social issues concerning women, particularly around housing, employment and childcare. One of the fist endeavors for the women of the YWCA was to raise money in order to establish safe, on-campus housing for female students at the University of Colorado. By the mid-1920s, the YWCA dormitory opened its doors, eliminating an obstacle for young women eager to educate themselves. By the mid-1930s, Boulder, like the rest of the country, was in the midst of the Great Depression. At this time the YWCA of Boulder County, which depended on members for funding, was forced to close its doors. However, agency had attracted the support of many women leaders in the community who continued to meet and plan for the day the YWCA would once again open its doors to serve its community. After World War II, when the economy rebounded, this committed group of women went to work. In 1958 they purchased the building, near downtown at 14th and Mapleton, which continues to house the YWCA of Boulder County today. The building was purchased from St. John’s Episcopal Church and once served as a Sunday school and theater office. In the 1950s and early 1960s, YWCA programs focused on educational services for women who stayed at home. Traditional classes in childcare, cooking, sewing, basket weaving and other homemaking topics were offered. The YWCA of Boulder County quickly became a popular gathering place for women to meet and socialize. Tea parties at the YWCA were once a social highlight for many women in the Boulder community. By the late 1960s, Boulder was swept along with the rest of the country by a radical shift in social consciousness. With the Women’s Movement, the YWCA of Boulder County experienced a rift between members who were more comfortable with the traditional role of women in society and those who sought change, equality, and new opportunities for women. It was at this time in history that YWCA leaders began to seek financial support from sources other than membership, and the YWCA of Boulder County changed its emphasis to provide important human services to low-income women and children. Today, the YWCA of Boulder County’s emphasis remains the same. It is a human service agency offering services to help women and their families gain self-empowerment and success through programs designed to protect children, empower women and girls, and eliminate racism. The name for the YWCA of Boulder County has changed meaning to correlate to this mission. YWCA once stood for Young Women’s Christian Association; in Boulder County it now stands for You Women Children All of us. Currently, the YWCA offers several services to the community, including Children’s Ally, which is the only emergency drop in child care provider in Boulder. With the changing needs of the community, the YWCA also evolves to aid the women, children, and families of Boulder County.

Extent

2.25 linear feet (6 Boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Anne Marie Pois Oral History Project contains the tapes and transcripts of the interviews conducted by University of Colorado students enrolled in what was formerly the research seminar the History of Women and Progressive Social Movements and in 2003 began to be offered as an upper division Critical Thinking Course. It was the goal of this class to collect and preserve the oral histories of activists involved in establishing and maintaining women’s and feminist agencies in Boulder County. The oral histories obtained in this class also allow students to explore a different aspect of research in women’s history and familiarizes them with the oral history process.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into the following series: I. SPRING 1998 II. SPRING 1999 III. FALL 2000 IV. FALL 2001 V. FALL 2002 VI. FALL 2003 VII. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- SPRING 1998 VIII. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- SPRING 1999 IX. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- FALL 2000 X. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- FALL 2001 & XI. TAPES OF INTERVIEWS- FALL 2002 XII. CDs OF INTERVIEWS- FALL 2003

Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Sarah A. Johnson 2003, 2005
Date
May 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

Contact:
1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States