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Council on Appalachian Women


In October 1976 approximately 200 women from seven states of Appalachia met in Boone, North Carolina, at the National Advisory Council on Women's Educational Program. Thirty-five of these women met again at Mars Hill College in December and created a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the needs in education, services, and research of women from the thirteen states of Appalachia. On February 23, 1977, the organization was incorporated under the title, the Council on Appalachian Women. The office was located at Mars Hill College, and Ms. Jeanne Hoffman was selected as the first president of the board of directors. The council operated for eighteen months on a tight budget, and in 1979 received a three year $54,630 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

One of the council's most important projects was the series of educational forums held in western North Carolina between 1978 and 1980. On July 14, 1978 the North Carolina Humanities Commission awarded the Council a $12,565 grant to conduct a series of thirty-two forums called "Images of Appalachian Women." In July 1979, the Council received a second grant to hold a second group of programs entitled "The Essence of the Appalachian Woman." Twenty-nine forums were held between O tober 1979 and June 1980. In addition, the council published a booklet based on the presentations of the distributed to the regional state universities.

The Council on Appalachian Women also published the magazine, Appalachian Women which first appeared on October 1, 1979. In November the council purchased five hundred back issues and subscribers list of Magazine of Appalachian Women, MAW from Miriam Ralston. The board of directors discontinued the publication after two issues in order to remain solvent. In February 1981, the board agreed to give the magazine to the Women's Counseling Center of West Virginia.

The Council on Appalachian Women remained in operation until May 1981 when the office closed due to the lack of funding. During this time the council was served by three executive directors. Ms. Jeanne Hoffman held the office from May 23, 1978 until June 1979. Upon her resignation the council was without an executive director for seven months. Ms. Constance Mahoney served from January until June 1980. For the next seven months the council was again without a director; and in the latter half of 1980, the board voted to eliminate the position. However, in January 1981, Ethelene Brasington was selected to serve as executive director for the duration of the contract with the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Council on Appalachian Women Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-101
Scope and Contents The papers of the Council on Appalachian Women reflect the council's day to day operation from 1977 to 1981, interaction with other organizations on issues concerning Appalachian women, collection of reference material on women and Appalachia, presentation of humanities forums from 1978 to 1980, and publication of the Appalachian Women magazine. The first two executive directors, Jeanne Hoffman and Constance Mahoney, created most of the papers; however, the collection contains scattered papers...