Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools

Fifty years ago today, fifty-eight women attended the first meeting of the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC) in the Little Rock home of Adolphine Fletcher Terry. The Little Rock schools had been closed by Governor Faubus in an effort to further delay segregation and the women were incensed by the lack of response by community leaders.

First envisioned by Terry, Vivion Brewer, and Velma Powell on September 12th, the WEC was the first organized white opposition to segregation. According to a flyer from the group, the WEC was “dedicated to the principle of free and public school education, and to law and order. [Members] stand neither for integration nor for segregation, but for education.”

There will be a public reception at the Terry House (411 East Seventh Street) commemorating the group today from 4:30 to 6:30, with a program scheduled for 5:15.

Read more about the WEC here and here.

Contributed by Stephanie Bayless, Manuscripts Department.


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