This fall, the PSU’s Center for Women, Politics and Policy will complete its goal of putting 14 history-making Oregon women in all public and private schools in the state.
The women are pictured in a poster titled “Oregon Women Firsts” that the center developed to make school children aware of Oregon’s women leaders. The center received financial help from the Oregon Commission for Women, which helped pay for production of the poster and its distribution last winter to all middle schools and high schools in the state.
The center is in the midst of a financial drive to complete distribution to all elementary schools in Oregon. For $15, individuals can send one poster to an Oregon classroom and have a copy of their own to keep. See cwpp.pdx.edu/poster for details.
Sunny Petit, executive director of the center, said the poster fills an awareness gap in the classroom about Oregon women – one she was aware of growing up in Eugene.
“I didn’t see women represented on the wall when I was in school,” she said. “As a kid, you look around and you see pictures of all the presidents and depictions of history, and you don’t see women. We did this because it’s important for both boys boys and girls to see women in leadership.”
The poster includes a diverse group of women, from voting rights activist Abigail Scott Duniway to Marian Towne, the first woman elected to the Oregon legislature, to Margaret Carter, the first African American woman elected to the Oregon Legislature, to Gov. Barbara Roberts, Oregon’s first female governor, to Peggy Fowler, the first female CEO of an Oregon Fortune 1000 company.
Petit said the women pictured represent not only the span of Oregon’s history, but it’s geography as well. The women shown are from all regions of the state.
“The poster reminds all students that anyone, regardless of gender or ethnicity can become a leader,” she said.