Gender and place – York’s women’s history
It’s right and proper to recognize the efforts by accomplished 21st-century women who are building on the civic work of countless other women leaders from the past.
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The writers, artists
- Samantha Dorm, Tina Charles, Lisa Nelson and Jenny De Jesus Marshall of the Friends of Lebanon Cemetery are continuing restoration work on the historically Black North York cemetery.
- Jane Sutton, retired professor at Penn State York, wrote a story about a pioneering women’s rights activist, Frances Wright, in the first Journal of York County Heritage in 2010.
- Myra “Neicy” DeShields-Moulton is a popular speaker on African American family history topics in York County and beyond.
- Jasmine Vaughn-Hall’s work in 2020 has included perspectives on being part of a family of law enforcement officers and rethinking as a Black woman the prospect of becoming a parent in an era of systemic racism.
- Kim Strong’s 2002 piece about Lillie Belle Allen, slain in the 1969 race riots, is the most authoritative work on Allen’s death. (She wrote a companion piece on police Officer Henry C. Schaad’s death in the riots.)
The civic work
- Logos Academy teens Arlette Morales and Tzipporah Goins organized a peaceful protest in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing. Morales was recognized by the USA Today Network as one of 12 activists nationally who are seeding change in their communities.
- A woman headed the Give Local York fundraising initiative in 2020 that far outpaced the previous year in community giving. Meagan Hess Given-led campaign raised $3.5 million for 305 county nonprofits.
Two women with county ties received honors as among 10 Women of the Century by the USA Today Network. Special Olympian Loretta Claiborne of York was recognized in Pennsylvania for her advocacy for people with disabilities. Dr. Leslie Erin Strausbaugh Strickler, a forensic pediatrician, received similar honors for her work in child abuse in New Mexico.
Underscoring other work
- June Burk Lloyd has written extensively about women’s history on her Universal York blog and on other platforms. Here are her posts about women’s suffrage.
- The York County History Center has thick files about York County women’s history. Contact Nicole Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “Legacies: Remembering York County women,” AAUW, 1984. This booklet profiles 50 accomplished women in the then-past 100 years. Available at York County libraries.
Memoirs, family, and more
- Retired Lt. Col. Sandra L. Kearse-Stockton released her memoir, “480 Codorus Street,” this fall. Her work tells the story of her girlhood home in York’s Codorus Street neighborhood and then on to her career as a military nurse and officer.
- Rebecca Anstine, a respected community resource in genealogy, spreads her family history knowledge in her writing and presentations. She has written a Journal of York County Heritage article on Green Circle founder Gladys Rawlins about Black cemeteries and Civil War veterans.
- June Lloyd, Joan Concilio and Jamie Kinsley write about all aspects of county history. Their collective work in searchable form counts in the thousands of posts on yorkblog.com.
- The York County History Center’s Year of the Woman featured staff-produced events, digital stories and in-person exhibits related to the suffrage movement and the many ways county women have worked to improve the community. A highlight of this observance was the center’s production of a virtual exhibit, “Trailblazers,” that followed four county women on a cross-country journey in 1938.
- Keystones Oral Histories will induct military hall of fame honorees with York County ties: Sandra Stockton, United States Air Force and Army, Kim Bracey, U.S. Air Force; Carman Bryant, U.S. Army; Minnie Green, U.S. Army and Army Reserves; the Rev. Norma Barber-Kenley, U.S. Army (posthumous); Bertha Ellen Lively Jenkins Garnett, Gold Star Mother (posthumous).
- Two women – Joan Mummert and Samantha Dorm – were honored with the military inductees in December for their support for Keystones and other organizations in the community. (Two men, Randy Flaum and Dominic DelliCarpini, also will be honored).
Jim McClure’s York Town Square/YDR.com posts on women’s history include:
- 15 women from York County’s past who influenced, inspired and created change.
- In 1915, York County voted against women’s suffrage. It didn’t dissuade activists.
- Celebrating York County nurses: They do most of the work in a hospital or medical office.
- Delma Rivera: Her community work profiled in AAUW’s “Legacies.”
- Scores of York Town Square posts about women in history.
History in education
- Central York senior Anna Lumsargis’ Girl Scout Gold Award project focuses on development of a digital site, with video, about notable county women from the 1700s to today.
- York County School of Technology teacher Kelsey Wisman developed an app as part of a master’s project about York city sites linked to the York race riots of 1968-69.
- Ophelia Chambliss unveiled an exhibit “Hidden Figures” in 2018, and most of those art pieces are on display at York College’s Center for Community Engagement.
- Shelby Wormley, with colleague Richard Craighead, exhibited their powerful photo story “Assemblage: A Photographic Representation of Black Togetherness” at the Center for Community Engagement.