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Special Collections and Archives: Georgia Women's Movement Oral History Project: G

A guide to the Georgia Women's Movement Oral History Project collection.

Gaunt, MaryAnne

Interviewee: MaryAnne Gaunt
Interviewer: Amanda Brown
Date of Interview: March 28, 2006
Extent: 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs

Interviewer: Amanda Brown
Date of Interview: April 25, 2006
Extent: 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs

MaryAnne Farnsworth was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1944. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1965, and went to work for the U.S. Department of Labor (1966-1969), first as a systems analyst, and then as a management intern for the Manpower Administration. In 1970, she married Bruce Gaunt and moved to Atlanta. She worked as an Administrative Assistant/Librarian for the Southern Regional Education Board (1970-1973), and in 1985, after taking time off to look after her children (Nathan Sullivan Gaunt b.1973, and Hillary Farnsworth Gaunt Tuttle b.1976) she went to work for Carlston & Associates as a marketing associate until 1988. She worked for Agnes Scott College as a fund raising/development assistant (1988-1989), and then was an executive director at Apple Corps, Inc. (1989-1997). From 1999 to present, she has worked at Georgia State University, as Associate Director, Principals Center, in the School of Education Policy Studies.

During the time that Gaunt was home with her children, she became active in the Atlanta/Fulton County chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV AF). She was president of LWV AF (1983-1985), and sat on the board until 2005, in addition to serving in a number of other positions. Gaunt was also a member of the Atlanta Women’s Network, serving as Program Committee Chair (1987-1988), and she is a 1982 graduate and long-time volunteer of Leadership Atlanta, serving on its Education Committee. Gaunt has also volunteered for the United Way of Atlanta, and was president of Cliff Valley School (circa 1970-1980).

Abstract (March 28, 2006)
MaryAnne Gaunt begins her oral history by describing her experiences growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan after the Second World War.  She also describes her perceptions of gender roles while attending the University of Kentucky from 1961-1965.  After detailing her professional life, working for various departments within the federal government, including the Department of Labor, she talks at length about her experiences with the League of Women Voters, specifically her experiences as a member of various administrative posts within the League.   Finally, Gaunt talks about her involvement with Leadership Atlanta, and how the organization has changed from a gender, racial, and ethnic perspective. 

Abstract (April 25, 2006)
MaryAnne Gaunt’s second interview begins with a recounting of her experiences as President of the Board at Cliff Valley School, which would lead to her involvement with Atlanta Public and Parents Linked for Education (APPLE Corps.)  She talks at length about APPLE Corps and its efforts to improve the education of students in Atlanta.  She then moves on to talk about her experiences as a volunteer at the United Way.   She discusses a number of marches that she participated in during her time as an activist.  Lastly, Gaunt discusses her view of the women’s movement and how it has changed and evolved during her lifetime.

Gibson, Mary Atkeson

Interviewee: Mary Atkeson Gibson
Interviewer: Joyce Durand
Date of interview: August 7, 1997
Extent: 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs; 38 page transcript

Gibson talks about the Alabama Women's Agenda

Mary Atkeson Gibson was born in Dothan, Alabama in 1945. She received a B.A. from Brenau College and a master's in education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She also preformed graduate work at Auburn University (English) and the University of Georgia (Library Science). Gibson worked as a schoolteacher, a Girl Scout Field Director, the Community School Administrator and as the Executive Director of the Gulf County (Florida) Chamber of Commerce. She also served as co-coordinator of Athens N.O.W. (1972-1974) and the state coordinator of Georgia N.O.W. (1974-1978). Gibson also founded and served on the Athens Rape Crisis Line (1973) and the Alabama Women's Agenda (1980).
Gibson begins her oral history by discussing her experiences growing up in the South during the post-war years and her complex relationship with her parents. She describes how after leaving graduate school at Auburn University she was ready to move to New York City but ended up getting a job and staying in Atlanta. Gibson articulates the women's movement as the natural outgrowth of the civil rights movement. She became involved in the movement in Baton Rouge (1971) when she called the President of the local chapter of NOW and soon after, before she even attended a meeting, she was doing volunteer work. Gibson moved to Athens, Georgia and helped to organize the Athens chapter of NOW, also in 1971. Gibson says that there was never one single issue that she was completely interested in, although she was focused on the Equal Rights Amendment, but rather said that she had always considered herself a "feminist," even before she knew the meaning of the word. In the latter part of the interview, Gibson discusses how popular perception of the word "feminist" has changed and also highlights some of the issues that she deems still important to the women's movement.

Gibson, Sharon

Interviewee: Sharon Gibson
Interviewer: Morna Gerrard
Date of Interview: April 7, 2006
Extent: 5 audio cassettes; 3 compact discs


Sharon Gibson was born in 1954 outside of Paris, France.  As a young child, she lived in various places, then, after the death of her father, she spent the remainder of her childhood in Mississippi.  While she attended Oklahoma State University (1972-1975), she married, and worked with the McGovern presidential campaign.   In 1975, she moved to Iowa, and then to a commune outside of Colorado Springs.  After relocating to Tifton, Georgia in 1979, she worked at the Georgia Agrirama (1979-1982) before becoming involved in local politics and efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.  In 1989, while living in Nebraska, Gibson returned to school and completed her education by earning Bachelors and Masters degrees.  She worked with the Girl Scouts until 1997, before taking a job with Family Connections Partnerships in Tifton.  Since 1998, she has served as Public Service Associate at the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences. 

Gibson begins by discussing her childhood experiences, particularly her relationship with her stepfather.  She describes her childhood education, and her perception of roles ascribed to women at that time.  She then discusses her life at Oklahoma State University, in particular her marriage to her husband and her political interests.  She then talks about her experiences living in various parts of the country – including a commune in Colorado – before describing her move to Tifton, Georgia, where she became involved with the women’s movement and was mentored by local political strategist, Eunice Mixom.  Finally, Gibson talks about her work in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia and her views on the current state of the women’s movement.

Gibson-Ferrey, Dorothy

Interviewee: Dorothy Gibson-Ferrey
Interviewer: Dana Van Tilborg
Date of interview: May 9, 1996
Extent: one audio cassette; 1 compact disc; 15 page transcript
Dorothy Wiggins Gibson-Ferrey was born in New London, Connecticut in 1917. She attended Southern Seminary (Buena Vista, VA), then moved to California with her mother and brother. Graduating from the University of San Diego, she married her first husband -- a salesman for Coca Cola.  The couple lived in California and Texas before settling in Atlanta. In 1972, while Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia, Gibson-Ferrey was elected as the first chair of the Georgia Commission on the Status of Women, having served on the board of the Fulton County Department of Children and Youth and the Georgia Committee on Crime and Delinquency. She was a member of Mayor Andrew Young's Civilian Review Board from 1986 to 1989, and also served as a board member of the Council on Battered Women. Gibson-Ferrey died in 2014.
Dorothy Wiggins Gibson-Ferry begins her oral history with a fascinating account of life in interwar New England. Her father was a painter, her mother an early English Suffragette, and her family interacted actors, artists, and writers. Gibson-Ferry says that she became politically active in 1973: After volunteering for the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services for a number of years, she was asked to serve as the first chairperson for the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. Gibson-Ferrey recounts some of the issues dealt with by the Commission, including sexual stereotyping in vocational training agencies, sexual discrimination in state government, and the poor conditions of women's prisons in Georgia. Gibson-Ferrey believes that one of the major successes of the Women's Movement is that women now have access to a greater choice of professional and executive careers.  She feels however, that as a society, we still need to be concerned about poverty among elderly women, as well as women's education and health.

Graves, Mary Vick

Interviewee: Mary Vick Graves
Interviewer: Janet Paulk 
Date of interview: February 25, 1997
Extent: 1 audio cassette; 1 compact disc; 24 page transcript

Graves talks about inequality and the law

Mary Vick Graves was born in Pensacola, Florida in 1925 and lived there for most of her childhood. Although she began her college career at Auburn University, Graves went on to receive her BA at the College of William and Mary in 1972. Her interest in the women's movement began when she was working for the state of Virginia and realized that the state's inheritance laws did not recognize the financial contribution of women. Graves attended her first NOW meeting while living in Virginia, but she did not become active in the women's movement until she moved to Georgia and joined the 1981 campaign to pass the ERA. She volunteered at the ERA Georgia, Inc. office, distributed leaflets and marched in honor of the suffragettes. After the defeat of the ERA, Graves went on to become involved in number of causes that focus on gender issues.
Graves describes her childhood and college education, as well as her work as an activist for the ERA Georgia campaign. She articulates what it was like going back to school 1967, "during the hippie era," and how up until that point she had spent her life as a daughter, a wife and involved in church activities. Graves says that she feared that her affiliation with the ERA campaign could potentially threaten her career as a professional CPA. She not only discusses what the women's movement meant to her, but also what the movement has accomplished for women. She says, "I think it has changed the way that a lot of women feel about themselves’ and has created an environment where women are more often taken seriously." Graves also describes what she recalls as some of the major obstacles to the women's movement.

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Special Collections and Archives

Oral Histories at GSU

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