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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Changing Structures, Retaining Purpose

In 1929 when I decided to form an organization to help remove barriers limiting the advancement of women educators, I was reacting to my aversion to discrimination. You likely know of two stories that festered and spurred me to act. One is that my brother told me I could not be a lawyer because I was a woman and not “supposed” to be a lawyer. The other occurred when I worked at the Texas Department of Education: a man told me that the reason women did not accomplish more is that they would not work together.
    Those remarks gnawed at my good sense, and I decided that if women could bond in a unified organization, they could fortify one another in accomplishing worthy endeavors. Therefore, for several months, I pondered what the framework of such a society should be. I considered a desirable pattern of finance, drafted a tentative constitution that outlined purposes and policies, and wrote an initiation ceremony and the lyrics for an official song. In that time I also convinced eleven other women that this medium of improvement for women would have value. We laid plans for consummation of this organization on May 11, 1929.
    I marvel that this dream of mine has survived almost 89 years! Being a woman who appreciates solid planning and considered thinking, I am proud of this Society. My continuing dream is that the thousands of members in modern times realize the power that comes from the bonds realized in a unified organization. Details change to adapt to the environments, but the substance remains. Governing documents change, but the bonds of an organization of unified women who can change the world do not. 

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