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Activist Women Oral History Project: W

Weddington, Sarah

Interviewee: Sarah Weddington
Date of Interview: April 15, 1998

Interviewee: Sarah Weddington
Interviewer: Morna Gerrard
Date of interview: July 9, 2011


Sarah Weddington was born in Abilene, Texas in 1945. After receiving her J.D. degree from the University of Texas, School of Law in 1967, Weddington began a career in law and politics, with a strong interest in women's rights. In 1973, shortly after completing law school, Weddington worked pro bono to represent a group of women who had established an abortion referral program at the University of Texas. Through this association, she successfully argued the landmark case Roe v Wade, and in doing so, became the youngest person to win a case before the Supreme Court. Also in 1973, Weddington began her political career by becoming the first woman elected to the Texas House of Representatives. She continued to serve in this position for three terms. From 1978 until 1981, Weddington served as Assistant to President Jimmy Carter and directed the Administration's work on women's issues and leadership outreach. In 1977, she became the first woman to hold the position of General Counsel of the US Department of Agriculture, and was the first female Director of the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations from 1983 until 1985. In addition to her successful political career, Weddington worked with the community to establish women's equal rights by helping to establish the Foundation for Women's Resources. This organization sponsored activities such as the Leadership Texas and Leadership America programs and created the Women's Museum that opened in Dallas in September 2000. Because of her extensive work in politics and community service, especially through women's advocacy, Weddington has received numerous awards and honors: In 1999 she was named Texas Woman of the Century by the Women's Chamber of Commerce of Texas and in 1998 was given the Leadership America's Hummingbird Award for contributions toward the advancement of women's leadership. Also, the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders awarded Weddington the Woman of Distinction Award (1993), and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America gave her the Margaret Sanger Award, the highest award of the organization. She was named one of Esquire Magazine's top ten ""Outstanding Women in America"" and was given the Ladies' Home Journal Woman of the Future Award. Weddington also holds honorary doctorates from McMurray University, Hamilton College, Austin College, Southwestern University, and Nova Southeastern University.

Witt, Elise

Interviewee: Elise Witt
Interviewer: Franklin Abbott
Date of interview: July 16, 2021

Interviewee: Elise Witt
Interviewer: Franklin Abbott
Date of interview: July 23, 2021

Elise Witte is an educator, composer, singer, recording artist, and community activist. Born in Switzerland, she grew up in North Carolina and has been an Atlanta resident since the later 1970s. Her musical career includes twenty years as a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. She has toured the United States and internationally with her performances of "Global, Local & Homemade Songs." A legendary singing teacher, she represented the State of Georgia at the Kennedy Center's 25th anniversary celebration. 

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives

Oral Histories at GSU

Donna Novak Coles Georgia Women's Movement Archives

Lucy Hargrett Draper Collections on Women's Rights, Advocacy, and the Law

Archives for Research on Women 

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