In Sisterhood: the Women’s Movement in Pittsburgh is an oral history and multimedia project designed to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of an inspiring aspect of the region’s history and to highlight how progress was achieved through the hard work and determination of a diverse group of local grassroots activists.

In Sisterhood: the Women’s Movement in Pittsburgh is an oral history and multimedia project designed to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of an inspiring aspect of the region’s history and to highlight how progress was achieved through the hard work and determination of a diverse group of local grassroots activists.
  • Lisa Terault, Jessie Ramey and Pat Ulbrich, panelists, with Lilly Ledbetter, keynote speaker at the PA Bar Association Annual ConferencePat Ulbrich with Ellie Smeal at the Feminist Majority Foundations 30th anniversary celebrationGreg Dillensnyder, Judi Siebel, Carol McCullough and Jeanne Clark with Ellie Smeal at the Feminist Majority Foundations 30th anniversary celebration
  • In Sisterhood: the Women’s Movement in Pittsburgh©, 1967-1989, is an oral history and multimedia project designed to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of an inspiring aspect of the region’s history and to highlight how progress was achieved through the hard work and determination of a diverse group of local grassroots activists.


    What's Happening

    Pennsylvania NOW Conference 2018

    Feminist, Pittsburgh

    Saturday, March 24th
    8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

    Doubletree Hilton & Suites
    1 Bigelow Square
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219

    Pennsylvania NOW Election of Officers

    Workshops
    Women’s Movement Exhibit
    Luncheon Speaker

    Eleanor Smeal
    Founding President of Pennsylvania NOW
    Three term President National NOW
    Founder & President of Feminist Majority


    Reservations
    Call Pennsylvania NOW at 814-280- 8571 or visit pennsylvanianow.org


    In Sisterhood Multimedia Exhibit highlights the work of Pittsburgh feminists to gain equal rights for women and girls in our region and beyond during from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. It includes portraits of influential leaders of the women’s movement, a 15-minute video based on excerpts from their oral histories, period photos and memorabilia of historical significance. Featured activists include Wilma Scott Heide, Eleanor Smeal, Christine Niebrzydowski, Phyllis Wetherby, Brenda Frazier and other leading feminists in southwest Pennsylvania.

    The exhibit will be displayed 12:00-2:30 PM at the Pennsylvania NOW Conference, in the Erie Room, Doubletree Hilton


    The YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh is the fiscal sponsor of In Sisterhood: The Women's Movement in Pittsburgh

    The YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh is the fiscal sponsor of
    In Sisterhood: The Women's Movement in Pittsburgh©

  • Ellie Smeal

    Eleanor Cutri Smeal

    Eleanor Cutri Smeal

    Eleanor Cutri Smeal (b. 1939) was raised in Erie, PA. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University (1961) and received a master’s degree in political science and public administration …

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  • Phyllis Wetherby (b. 1928) grew up in Forest Hills, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Her father and most men in the community worked for Westinghouse; her mother was a homemaker. She attended public schools before attending Alfred University where, because of the skewed sex ratio during World War II, she had many opportunities to lead campus organizations. She graduated in 1949 and earned a master’s degree in library science from Carnegie Tech in 1950. Phyllis worked for U.S. Steel Research for 29 years, first as a technical editor and later as a research engineer. As a young adult, she was active in the 18th District Democratic party. She met Wilma Scott Heide during a political campaign and was told You sound like a member of NOW. Why aren’t you? She attended a meeting of the Greater Pittsburgh Area Chapter of NOW, paid her dues and became a major figure in the Pittsburgh Women’s Movement. With other NOW members, Phyllis co-founded K.N.O.W., Inc.(1969-1983), the first feminist press in the United States. She became the Convener of the Pennsylvania Women’s Political Caucus (WPC) and co-convener of the Allegheny County WPC in 1971, but left the caucus in 1974 with the sense that it was easier to make politicians out of feminists than feminists out of politicians. Winning passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) became the central focus for Phyllis and other Pittsburgh NOW members. During the fight to gain extension of time to ratify and then to ratify the amendment in critical states, Pittsburgh feminists traveled to Washington D.C. and to state capitols to lobby elected officials. They became known as “The Wetherby Wonders” because Phyllis paid to rent the buses to insure there would be a critical mass of feminists lobbying for passage of the ERA.

    Phyllis Wetherby

    Phyllis Wetherby

    Phyllis Wetherby (b. 1928) grew up in Forest Hills, a suburb of Pittsburgh.  She worked at U.S. Steel Research for 29 years, first as a technical editor and later as a research engineer.  As …

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  • March 7, 1969 – Members of Greater Pittsburgh Area NOW picketed outside the offices of the Pittsburgh Press to protest the newspaper’s policy of publishing want ads separately for women and men. » Continue Reading