Activism

The Politics of Health Care

The Politics of Health Care

Health Policy Advisory Center (Health/PAC) records (Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center):  The Health Political Advisory Center, a health advocacy and research organization, was based in New York City and active from 1968 until 1977. The policies advocated by Health/PAC were largely left-wing and socialist health care programs, with special attention given to national health insurance, patients’ rights, and health care for disadvantaged, minority, and/or immigrant populations. The main purpose of Health/PAC was to spread information and foster activism through publications, conferences, and other events. Health/PAC published a variety of pamphlets, newsletters, bibliographies, and two books: The American Health Empire (1971) and Prognosis Negative (1976). The organization’s newsletter, The Bulletin, was published regularly from 1968 until the late 1990s. After Health/PAC closed in 1977, The Bulletin’s publication was carried out by a volunteer board of editors. This collection contains papers relating to Health/PAC’s primary functions and operation. The materials date from 1945 to 1985, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1965 to 1977. This collection includes research on various health and health care issues gathered by Health/PAC, Health/PAC’s newsletter ( The Bulletin), and correspondence with doctors, activists and politicians. Though the organization was based in New York City, Health/PAC was interested in health and health care globally, the materials collected by the organization reflect that interest, with records covering health care events and issues throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Of particular interest are the materials about changes in women’s health care during this time period; mental health and the treatment of mental illnesses; drug abuse; the Marxist, Socialist, and Communist movements within the United States and their relationship to health care issues; and specific health events that occurred during the 1960s and 1970s, such as Legionnaire’s Disease and the swine flu outbreak of 1976.
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Inequality in Education

Inequality in Education

Helen Oakes papers (Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center):  Helen Oakes was a nationally recognized activist for public education from the 1960s to the 1980s. Oakes was chairman of the West Philadelphia Schools Committee from 1965 to 1970, chairman of the Education Committee of the League of Women Voters in 1965, and in 1968, she wrote “The School District of Philadelphia: A Critical Analysis.” From 1971 to 1980, she was a member of the board of the Citizens Committee on Public Education in Philadelphia. She was a member of the Philadelphia Board of Education from 1982 to 1989. From 1989 to 1998 she served as liaison in the educational partnership between ARCO Chemical Company and James Rhoads Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also wrote, published and distributed the “Oakes Newsletter,” from 1970 to 1989, which addressed issues affecting the Philadelphia School District. This collection contains the professional papers of Helen Oakes. The materials are for the years 1958 to 2002 and include correspondence; printed materials, such as newsletters and pamphlets; newspaper clippings; educational and statistical reports; meeting minutes; financial reports and memoranda. The materials relate to Helen Oakes’ long-term involvement with a wide-range of educational institutions and initiatives, specifically in Philadelphia. Of particular note, are significant materials related to Oakes’ research, writing and publication of the “Oakes Newsletter.”
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(Please ask Presbyterian Historical Society for permission to use photographs)

(Please ask Presbyterian Historical Society for permission to use photographs)

Maggie Kuhn papers (Presbyterian Historical Society): Margaret E. (Maggie) Kuhn (1905-1995) was a lifelong American activist, most famous for founding the Gray Panthers, an advocacy organization for a wide range of social and political issues, especially senior citizens’ rights, in 1970. She started the organization at age sixty-five, after being forced into retirement by the United Presbyterian Church. The Gray Panthers became known for advocating nursing home reform and fighting “ageism,” claiming that “old people constitute America’s biggest untapped and undervalued human energy source.” She also dedicated her life to fighting for human rights, social and economic justice, global peace, integration and an understanding of mental health issues. The Maggie Kuhn papers, 1880 to 1989, consist of correspondence, administrative documents, printed matter, reports, books, photographs, and other materials documenting Kuhn’s personal life and professional work. The collection is particularly rich in materials related to Kuhn’s work with the Gray Panthers and the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
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Robert Pierre Johnson papers, 1894-1974 (bulk 1940-1974) (Presbyterian Historical Society):  Robert Pierre Johnson (1914-1974) was a Presbyterian minister who, in 1967, was elected Executive Presbyter of New York City. He was the first black man to be elected to the position. He served pastorates in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., where he also served as Moderator of the Presbytery of that city. He also served as the pastor of 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., and he served as a field representative of Negro Work in the North and West for the Interboard Commission of New York and as Assistant Secretary to the Department of City and Industrial Work. The Robert Pierre Johnson papers, which dates from 1894 to 1974, consists primarily of sermons and lectures authored by Mr. Johnson, as well as correspondence that he both sent and received. This collection documents the breadth of Mr. Johnson’s pastoral career, with a particular emphasis on his activities as Executive Presbyter of New York City and Moderator of the Presbytery of Washington, D.C., in addition to his involvement with the Civil Rights movement.
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The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger

Safe Energy Communication Council (SECC) records (Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center):  Safe Energy Communication Council (SECC) was a national, non-profit council of ten environmental and public interest media groups, founded in 1980 after the 1979 partial meltdown of Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Harrisburg,Pennsylvania. From 1980 to 2003, SECC educated the public and the media about energy efficiency and renewable energy’s potential to produce a larger share of our nation’s energy needs, as well as the economic and environmental liabilities of nuclear power. SECC provided local, state and national organizations with technical assistance through media skills training and outreach strategies. Scott Denman served as Executive Director for the majority of SECC’s existence. This collection contains the records of the Safe Energy Communication Council. The collection dates from 1974 to 2003, and covers a wide range of materials and subjects. The bulk of the collection is comprised of administrative records, which include internal communications, meeting minutes of the Board of Directors, and extensive financial and fundraising materials. Other records in the collection include newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, internal communications and planning materials, SECC publications and press releases, video and audio tapes, and the results of public opinion polls and surveys about energy and environmental issues.
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Society for Social Responsibility in Science records, 1948-1976 (Haverford College): The Society for Social Responsibility in Science was founded in 1949, the convening meeting and Constituting Assembly both held at Haverford College. It was conceived as an organization of workers in the natural sciences to maintain free inquiry concerning the relations of science and society. The collection provides an in-depth look at the founding, history, activities and correspondence of the Society for Social Responsibility in Science.

United Political Action Committee of Chester County records, 1958-1996 (Chester County Historical Society): “In 1966, several black civil rights workers decided to form a small organization whose purpose was to end racial discrimination in Chester County.” So began the United Political Action Committee of Chester County (UPAC). The founders included Charles A. Melton, Charles H. Butler, Norman W. Bond, Robert L. Wright, Willie Stokes, James Ward, Alston B. Meade, W.T.M. Johnson, Ernest Spriggs and Charles V. Hamilton. The records, 1958-1996, include biographical material on committee members and others associated with UPAC as well as correspondence, minutes, hand written notes, legal documents, newspaper clippings, news releases, memos, scrapbooks, programs and photographs of activities. Also in the collection are papers of Dr. W.T.M. Johnson. These include indexed compilations of his published letters as well as papers related to his time as a member of the faculty at Lincoln University.
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