VFA PIONEER HISTORIES PROJECT: MARY JEAN TULLYveteranfeminists2022-11-20T13:14:04-05:00
THE VFA PIONEER HISTORIES PROJECT
Mary Jean Tully
December 15, 1925 – December 27, 2003
“We are creating a revolution. It’s changed the way women think about themselves, their rights as human beings. I want my granddaughter to be able to study these things. I want books to be written about it. It affected everyone’s life.” Mary Jean Tully on why she established the Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College
Co-founder of Westchester NOW, its first VP and editor of NOW’s first national newsletter, “Do It NOW.” Served as president of the Fund for Women’s Rights, an organization founded with Betty Friedan to work for the ERA. Founding member of the New York State National Women’s Political Caucus, 1971. As president of NOW LDEF, 1971–1977, she was a pioneer fundraiser for the women’s movement, getting the first corporate and foundation grants. A founding member and co-chair of the national committee for responsive philanthropy. Conceived of and founded the Midlife Institute at Marymount Manhattan College and was director from 1981–1986. Established and funded the Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, 1989.
Photo 1. Ruth B. Cowan (left), Mary Jean Tully, Mary Quinn and Betty Friedan at Midlife Institute, 1983. Photo 2. Gene Boyer, Mary Jean Tully and Mary Jean Collins discussing strategy circa late 1980.
Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project – The Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project was initiated and funded in 1990 by Mary Jean Tully in honor of her mother, Maude Gresham Crenshaw, in conjunction with the Schlesinger Library. Its goal was to document the founding and development of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund, as well as the role of Betty Friedan in NOW, and Friedan’s legacy in the women’s movement. Each interview highlights the issues, policies, decisions, events, and participants in NOW’s history from its founding in 1966 to the International Women’s Year Conference in Houston, Texas, in 1977, and beyond to NOW’s role in the lives of future generations of women.