News and Events

Community Builders: Early African American Women in Grand Rapids

Mary Tate, 1906

February 11, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

John F. Donnelly Conference Center, Aquinas College, 157 Woodward Lane SE, Grand Rapids

Open 1890s newspapers and you will find reports of diverse Grand Rapids women hosting state- and nation-wide gatherings, publishing denunciations of racist articles, and reporting on fascinating club activities. Join the Grand Rapids Study Club and Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council to fill gaps and correct errors in accepted Grand Rapids history!


Gert, Grace and the Berkey & Gay Girls: Women, War & Work in 1910s Grand Rapids

The Berkey & Gay Red Cross Girls, April 1917

Co-sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council 
and The Grand Rapids Public Library
Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 7:00 pm, GRPL, 3rd Floor

Kick off Women’s History Month by celebrating the working women of Grand Rapids a hundred years ago. Using unique archival resources, GRPL local history experts will highlight some of the city’s women employed outside their homes. The last decade of the heady Progressive Era opened personal and professional doors for these 11,000 women; the disruptions of wartime provided opportunities in a working world previously off limits. 

GGRWHC Annual Reception & Program

Grace Van Hoesen with her colleagues on the County Board of Commissioners, 1936

Shattering Glass Ceilings –
Women’s Elective History
in Grand Rapids, 
March 30, 2016

Between 1888 and 2015, Harriet Cook, Eva McCall Hamilton, Grace Ames Van Hoesen, Evangeline Lamberts, and Rosalynn Bliss each shattered another of the glass ceilings impeding the full participation of women in the process of governing our schools, the city, county, and the State of Michigan. Their stories are laced with perseverance in the face of scorn, personal sacrifice, fraud, and high adventure. These women’s stories will form the backdrop of a presentation that points to the importance of having an accurate record of women’s elective history and how it has shaped our community in 2016. We will also look at its significance to women in their personal and professional lives.

From the community and beyond


January 17, 2016: Long time champion of women dies. Barbara Wilcox Amberg is remembered as a community leader and former board member of the GGRWHC. See her full obituary here




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