What We’ve Gained
More than simply gaining practical experience in using oral history or a better understanding of “The Women’s Movement,” the three of us feel as though we have grown a tremendous amount as a result of this research project. When we started the process, the three of us self-identified as “the feminism group.” We initially thought we would focus on the struggle for reproductive rights, for it continues to be one of the most divisive issues around women’s rights today. In fact, during the course of the semester Planned Parenthood faced an epic battle as conservatives attempted to cut off all funding. Although we continued to talk about feminism, Max Krochmal, the course instructor, urged us to extend the scope of our research to include not just reproductive rights, nor just feminism. Rather, he advocated that we broaden ourselves to explore feminisms, plural. By taking his advice, we have found ourselves considering the plurality and spectrum of feminism in a way that challenged our previous notions.
Additionally, while Baye is a native of North Carolina and therefore has felt connected to this state and region for her entire life, Risa and Crystal, who hail from other parts of the country, have developed a fondness for and appreciation of Durham, Chapel Hill and North Carolina in general. Risa, especially, feels connected to this place, its history and its residents, more than ever as a result of completing this project.