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Activist Women Oral History Project: M

May, Rachel

Interviewee: Rachel May
Interviewer: Hillery Rink
Date of Interview:
Extent: 1:47:24
Transcript and audio


One of Synchronicity Theater's original founders, Rachel May has directed more than 15 productions for it, including In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, Exit Pursued by a Bear, Women + War, 1:23, Language of Angels, Three Sisters and Marisol. Her directing work has been seen in and around Atlanta at Actor’s Express, Aurora Theatre, Theatre Gael, Dad’s Garage and the University of Georgia. Creative Loafing named her best director of 2002 for her work on One Flea Spare and Kia Corthron’s Breath, Boom, the production that led to the creation of our Playmaking for Girls program. In June 2004 she was chosen for the highly competitive NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors and was named a Bank of America “Local Hero.” In addition to her executive role at Synchronicity, she actively teaches and leads workshops across Atlanta, and spent eight summers as director of the Ferst Center’s Drama Camp at Georgia Tech.

In this interview, Rachel May provides an overview of her life and work. She describes her childhood in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., which she describes as an idyllic, if homogeneous, place to grow up. She discusses her grandparents, including her maternal grandfather, who survived Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during World War II. May describes her mother as "quirky" and "bohemian" and details how, as an adult, she has come to appreciate her mother's unconventional tendencies. May talks about how her experiences traveling abroad in college helped her develop a sense of confidence. She briefly discusses an on-again, off-again relationship she had that resulted in her moving to Atlanta, where she met her husband Daniel May. She talks about the process of co-founding Synchronicity Theatre with three colleagues, and the evolution of Synchronicity from an itinerant theater company to an independent theater. May discusses the desire to give back to the community that led her to engage with various community groups through Synchronicity, and she talks about several specific community projects that Synchronicity has participated in. She discusses her children's burgeoning interest in theater, as well as the challenges of parenting while sustaining an intense and demanding career.

May Susan

Interviewee: Susan May
Interviewer: Mary Jo Duncanson
Date of Interview: May 17, 2007
Extent: 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs; 31-page transcript



Born in New Hampshire in 1941, Susan May earned her bachelor’s degree in French and English at the University of California at Berkeley (1964) and her masters in English at Ball State University (1971). She taught English, French and journalism at public high schools in Ohio and Indiana before moving to Atlanta, where she became the Resource Coordinator at the YWCA Women’s Center. It was while she worked at the YWCA (1975-1982) that she established the Council on Battered Women, and, as President of the Board and then Director, she nurtured a small task force to become a broadly-based community organization, and built a comprehensive program of crisis line, shelter, children’s program, and educational services to aid 4,000 battered women a year. From 1982-1990, she was a consultant to non-profit organizations, providing fundraising and organizational training to nonprofit organizations, and from 1990-1996, she served as Executive Director for Project Interconnections, Inc. a housing developer for nonprofit organizations whose purpose is to develop permanent housing with on-site support for homeless, mentally ill adults in Metro Atlanta. Diagnosed with lymphoma in 1997, Susan took time off for treatment and recovery. Since that time, Susan has served as President of Fugees Family, Inc. an organization that helps child survivors of war, and for many years, she was actively involved with the Finance Committee for the Atlanta Friends Meeting.

The interview conducted May 17, 2007, focuses on the life and career of Susan May, a leader in nonprofit work in Atlanta, notably with victims of domestic violence and homelessness. May discusses her early life as the eldest of four siblings growing up in New England, Florida, and Arizona, her family's relocation to California, and her education at San Diego State University and the University of Berkeley. She talks about her experiences as a young wife and mother, her family's years in Atlanta beginning in 1972, and her decision to take a part-time job at the YWCA, where her encounters with victims of domestic abuse led her to create the Council on Battered Women, later renamed the Partnership Against Domestic Violence. May describes her years as President of the Board and then as Director of this organization. Last, she discusses her work with Project Interconnections, a nonprofit that helps mentally ill homeless people. 

McCullough, Kaffie

Interviewee: Kaffie McCullough
Interviewer: Morna Gerrard
Date of Interview: June 16, 2011
Extent: 54 pages; 2 compact discs; 1 DVD

Interviewer: Morna Gerrard
Date of Interview: July 21, 2011
Extent: 68 pages; 2 compact discs; 1 DVD


Kaffie McCullough received her masters degree in Community Counseling in 1986 and launched a successful 10-year career as a licensed professional counselor. Her work focused on female clients and issues of self-esteem. While she was in her private therapy practice, McCullough saw a number of middle school clients, and as a result, she identified that age as the pivotal time when the decline in self-esteem begins.

Drawing on experience gained volunteering in a week-long outdoor leadership camp for young girls at Wells, McCullough founded the not-for-profit organization, Girls Opportunities for Adventure and Leadership (GOAL). GOAL's mission was to promote self-esteem, self-awareness and a respect for individual differences in girls and young women, resulting in an enhanced capacity for leadership. GOAL started as a week-long summer camp, and went on to offer a number of programs for girls in grades 6 through 9.

Along with her enrepreneurial successes, McCullough has served the Atlanta community as a speaker, resource, and advisor for other groups working on programs for girls and young women. She now works with the Juvenile Justice Fund, overseeing A Future Not A Past, a program aimed at combating the criminal exploitation of children.

Abstract, June 16, 2011:
Kaffie McCullough begins her oral history by discussing her childhood, particularly her relationship to both her parents and her siblings. She moves on to talk about her time at an all-female college, which led her to meet her first husband. After having their first child, McCullough had to work as a teacher to support her husband’s desire to attend medical school, and she recounts this as a hard time in her life, that ultimately ended in divorce. McCullough examines her time working at Ridgeview Hospital in its Impaired Professionals Program, and then her experiences running a private practice focused mostly on female clientele. After moving to private practice, McCullough re-married, and she reviews the differences between her first and second marriages. GOAL, a camp focused on empowering and educating middle school girls, was both formed and managed by McCullough, and she discusses the process by which she established and maintained the camp. McCullough ends the interview by describing her entrance into the world of child sex trafficking activism.

Abstract, July 21, 2011:
Kaffie McCullough opens her second oral history by discussing her work for the Juvenile Justice Fund. She moves on to talk about hosting former victims of child prostitution at GOAL, a camp for girls that she established. Following her interest in child sex trafficking activism, McCullough was instrumental in the creation of the organization, A Future. Not a Past., and she highlights both the formation and the running of the organization. McCullough discusses the importance of language and rhetoric when presenting information about the issue to the general public and allied professionals, and she talks about implementing training about sex trafficking for police officers and district attorneys. She describes her lobbying efforts, and recounts the passage of HB200 and Senate Resolution 445, and she goes on to discuss studies she was involved in with the Schapiro Group. One of these studies, which examined online demand for underage escorts, resulted in a backlash from the Village Voice Media Group, and McCullough discusses the implications of that backlash. A Future. Not a Past. collaborated with the Governor’s Office for Children and Families in order to create a tool kit to educate the public about child sex trafficking, and McCullough talks about the challenges of partnering with allies. In closing, McCullough reviews her battle with uterine cancer, and how it altered her perspective on life.

Metzger, Janet

Interviewee: Janet Metzger
Date of Interview:



Janet Metzger is adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law, teaching Courtroom Persuasion Drama where students learn vocal, physical, and storytelling techniques to generate interest, maintain juror focus, and motivate jurors. A professional actor, singer, and voice talent, Metzger has been teaching lawyers and law students how to be more persuasive in the courtroom since 1985. For many years Metzger lead the communications team in Emory’s Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques.

Through CLE workshops, presentations, and consulting, Metzger shows both new and practicing attorneys how to be more persuasive in the courtroom and other high performance settings. She has served as a communications consultant for NITA programs at Baker Botts, Jones Day, and the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy. She has presented CLE programs at Alston & Bird, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and Georgia Association of Women Lawyers. In addition, she consults with leading expert witnesses on becoming a first class witness and teacher.

Named to Who’s Who of American Teachers for 2006, Janet received her degree in music education from Florida State University. She is a member of the professional performers’ unions SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity. Her theater credits span over three decades in the Atlanta area. She is a cabaret and jazz vocalist with two vocal jazz recordings: So Many Stars and Small Day Tomorrow: Janet Metzger Live At Churchill Grounds.


Miller, Lee

Interviewee: Lee Miller
Interviewer: Robin Morris
Date of Interview: December 1, 2011
Extent: 60 pages; 1 DVD

Interviewee: Lee Miller
Interviewer: Robin Morris
Date of Interview: May 31, 2014
Extent: 60 pages; 1 WAV file


Lee Ague Miller was a Republican political organizer and strategist, active in multiple states including Georgia. Born and raised in New York City to a family of Polish descent, she grew up during the Second World War and graduated from Brooklyn College at age sixteen. At the University of Miami Law School, she met her first husband, Bob Ague, and continued her legal education at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Wisconsin where she earned a law degree. As young attorneys in Washington D.C. during the 1950s, both Agues became active in Republican politics. Before moving to Smyrna GA, in 1964, Lee Ague Miller served for six years as the first female trial attorney for the Federal Trade Commission. Upon her arrival in Georgia, she established the Cobb County Federation of Republican Women (GFRW; now called the Cobb County Republican Women’s Club), and in 1965 was elected president. In this role, she restructured the organization, which, by 1966, had increased in size to include 69 new clubs and 1,642 new members. During the 1966 (Bo) Callaway for Governor campaign, Miller served as director for women’s activities, recruiting approximately 3,000 volunteers who conducted 40,000 interviews in 13 weekly surveys.  In 1970, Miller was appointed chair of the NFRW’s Education Committee, and in the position, she developed and conducted a national survey to identify problems in education. In 1984, Miller was one of two women who won the bid to co-chair and organize the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Atlanta. That same year, Miller was responsible for 1.7 million automated voter ID and turnout calls for the Reagan and Republican Party campaigns. Miller continued her work with the GOP for 17 years as a paid consultant for the RNC.

In 1997, after her daughter recovered from a traumatic brain injury, Miller established  the Georgia Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. She continues to serve as CEO of the organization.

Abstract, December 1, 2011:
The interview, conducted on December 1, 2011, focuses on Lee Ague Miller's childhood and education  and her early efforts as a political activist in support of the Republican party. Miller speaks about her childhood in New York City including the impact of World War II during her formative years, her education at Brooklyn College, and her path to a legal education. She discusses her career as an attorney with several federal agencies in Washington, D.C. in the 1950s and her decision to step back from law after becoming a mother - a decision that helped lead her to political organizing. She describes her role as founder of the Cobb County Federation of Republican Women and her work with the National Federation of Republican Women. Notable events described in this interview include her work for Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign where she trained "Goldwater Girls" and her role as Director of Women's Activities in the gubernatorial campaign of Bo Calloway when Calloway, then a congressman, ran unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia.

Abstract, May 31, 2014:
The second interview, conducted May 31, 2014, focuses on Lee Ague Miller's political activism of the 1960s and 1970s. She speaks about the 1967 schism in the National Federation of Republican Women between supporters of Gladys O'Donnell and supporters of Phyllis Schlafly. She describes her work in the field of political polling. She shares her opinion of political officials including Spiro Agnew and Gerald Ford and her views about the Watergate scandal and its impact on Republican organizing. Much of the interview concerns her opposition to forced busing of public school students, an issue she embraced after moving to Columbus, Georgia with her second husband, Gene Miller. She founded Citizens Against Forced Busing and Operation Lend-an-Ear to support school choice. 

Miller, Phyllis

Interviewee: Phyllis Miller
Interviewer: Hilary Morrish
Date of Interview: November 16, 2007

Extent: 35 pages; 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs

Interviewer: Hilary Morrish
Date of Interview: November 20, 2007

Extent: 23 pages; 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs


Phyllis Miller was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and was raised in Newport News, Virginia. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Lafayette College. In 1978, she began working at Grady Hospital as a social worker, and remained there for the next 28 years. During her time at Grady, Miller including chaired the child abuse team, supervised pediatric services, worked in the burn unit and obstetrics, and worked as an OB/GYN social worker in the high-risk nursery. Her time at Grady sparked her interest in the issue of sexual assault, and in 2007 she took over as the Executive Director of the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center. Miller is the mother of three children. Other than sexual assault, she has interests in children’s rights and racial equality.

Abstract, November 16, 2007:
Phyllis Miller opens her oral history by discussing her childhood in Virginia. After completing college, she gained extensive job experience through her many different roles at Grady Hospital. She talks about the impact of her work at Grady in pediatrics, as well as her transition later in life to working in the high-risk nursery as a full time OB/GYN social worker. Miller details her transition to the DeKalb Rape Crisis center, highlighting the services they provide, her role as Executive Director, fundraising initiatives, as well as the importance of volunteers and volunteer-based activities they organize. She then describes her children and her opinions about the family unit. She transitions into focusing on the changing views of society pertaining to date rape, as well as the link between the media and sexual violence. Going beyond the realms of sexual assault, Miller explains her passion for other issues including child abuse and the downfall of education. In closing, she offers her opinions about feminists, the current generation of young women, and the discrimination she has experienced as an African-American.

Abstract, November 20, 2007:
Phyllis Miller begins her second oral history by discussing the racism her and her family have experienced in their lifetimes. She discusses her experience attending graduate school at Lafayette College as one of the youngest students in the social work program. She transitions into her most prominent work achievements, highlighting her work with the first child diagnosed with AIDS in Georgia and her efforts to establish Medicaid waiver programs. Using her father as an example, Miller talks about the importance of role models in children’s lives. She concludes her oral history by detailing her opinions about the issues currently affecting youth, and how she believes we could address them.

Mixon, Eunice

Interviewee: Mixon, Eunice
Interviewer: Christine Tibbetts
Date of Interview: July 3-5, 2007
Extent: 5 sound cassettes; ? compact discs; 92-page transcript



Eunice Lastinger Mixon was born in Tifton, Georgia, in 1931 to a family of farmers. She married Albert Mixon in 1948, and beginning in 1956 she attended the University of Georgia, attaining a master’s degree and specialist degree in education. She taught eighth-grade science, and high school biology, chemistry and physics for thirty years in the Tift County School System, and was an instructor at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. In 1974, gubernatorial candidate George Busbee, acquainted with Mixon through his advocacy for teachers in the legislature, appointed her as his Tift County campaign chairman, and her success at grassroots organizing gained her a reputation as a valuable political ally in South Georgia. Since then she has campaigned for President Bill Clinton, Senator Sam Nunn, Congressmen Charles Hatcher and Roy Rowland, and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin. She served as a delegate to the 1988 and 1992 National Democratic Conventions, and as a member of the Georgia Democratic Executive Committee. The Georgia House of Representatives named her one of the twenty-five distinguished women for the twenty-first century. She has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Georgia Student Finance Commission, Vocational Education Task Force, Advisory Council on Consolidation of Education Programs, Georgia Civil War Commission, Joint Board Liaison Committee, and the Georgia State Bar Disciplinary Board. She is currently the doorkeeper to the state senate.

This interview, conducted from July305, 2007, centers around the family life and political career of Eunice Lastinger Mixon, a Democratic activist from Tift County, Georgia. Mixon speaks of her childhood in an agricultural community of South Georgia, marriage to a tobacco farmer, her decision to attend college following the births of two sons, and career as a science teacher in the public schools. Most of the interview focuses on politics, especially her organizing efforts for two candidates elected Georgia governor in the 1970s-80s, George Busbee followed by Joe Frank Harris. Mixon also speaks of her efforts in support of other Georgia politicians, the presidential campaigns of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, her appointment to the state Democratic platform committee, and her attendance at the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta.  

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