Women Leaders and Activists
Experiences of Women Leaders and Activists as told by CGCC Students in partnership with Chandler Museum's Public History Program
What would you like to add that we haven't covered?

Narrator: Pam Petty
Interviewer: Summer Rohde

SR: What kinds of community activism efforts are needed to better people's lives today? Or is there anything you'd like to add we haven't covered?

PP: Well I think that there are all sorts of opportunities, rather it be politics or social service. But I still think, that because women are still the primary caregivers for their children, that some of the limitations that we all found in terms of how much time we have to do things were restricted. If you are raising children, especially young children, and are employed then you don't have much time. So you have to be real careful of that. But there is another side to that, and that is a life cycle. So even though for a certain amount of time you may not be able to do it. But you have before and after [the raising of your children]. There is always lots of work to be done.

Narrator: Cindy Barnes Pharr
Interviewer: Trevor Frost

TF: Is there anything else you would like to add?
CBP: Go out and make a difference in anything you ever do. Don't worry about being recognized, just know you're doing the best thing and you're going to make a difference for yourself. If you sit around and wait for the recognition and the raises, then it may never happen. What you have in your heart is what you always have with you, and you can feel good knowing you made the right decision.

Narrator: Susan Bachus
Interviewer: Jacey Henderson

JH: Is there anything else you would like to add that we have not covered in this interview?

SB: I want people to know that there are so many agencies and so many people who can help those in need, and there is so much a person can do whether it be time, money, or anything that can give back to those in need. For those who do need help, don't be afraid to ask for it. There are so many people out there that are willing to help and put their life aside to help start someone else's.

Narrator: AZ
Interviewer: Gabi Porter

GP: Is there anything that you would like to add that we haven't covered in this interview?

AZ: I think the most important movement of the present time, with the exception of the women's movement, which is way out of fashion, the most important additional thing that we should all be thinking about is the environmental movement. Trying to help understand what the heck is going on with this planet and why human beings can't take care of it. Because it's going to kills us if we don't, if we continue to be ignorant in this way, and careless, and selfish. We're acting like infants, and we can't do that. Almost everything else pales in comparison. We're killing the planet.

Narrator: Martha Goddard
Interviewer: Hannah Myers

HM: Any further information that you want to share?

MG: I would say to get involved! I think everyone should find some area where they love to help, and do it. It will change your life forever. We all need to know that we can make a difference. We just have to get out there and try. If you think for one minute that I believed back then, that I could have impacted this many people by just being passionate about something, I would have never dreamed it.

Narrator: Nancy Sheridan
Interviewer: Amanda Butler

AB: Anything else you would like to add? I know I asked a lot of questions…

NS: If I had another life and was asked if I wanted to come back as a man or a woman, I never for one second in my life wished to be a man. It appears that men have a lot more going for them and a lot more opportunities, but that's really not true. I hope I live long enough to see a woman become president. It will happen, and it's too bad that it hasn't happened. I think that if we had more women in government positions we might have less problems.

AB: They do say women are more compassionate.

NS: I think we have more patience and we have a broader ray of looking at how things work, although there are exceptions. But, for me to say that I'm impressed with people in our political world, I'm sorry to say that there are not that many to be impressed of. My sons got married and had families later in life, so I won't be around for great grandchildren, but I certainly hope that they can pass these good morals down.

Narrator: Rita Bresnahan
Interviewer: Esther Baca

EB: Is there any else you would like to add?

RB: I definitely believe in women's studies and I think every young woman, every girl should be exposed to it, and it should be integrated into the curriculum... not just set off by itself... it should be part of history, psychology--we don't realize so many of those studies were just done on men--and we just extrapolate those into women. Finally the health institutes are looking at women's health. Even Piaget just looked at men and extrapolated the findings to women. The women kind of muddied up the studies... and all that needs to be incorporated into education. Amen!

Narrator: Cynthia Dunham
Interviewer: April Rigler

AR: Is there anything else you would like to add that we have not covered in this interview?

CD: You can make a difference. We had training yesterday for a group of teenagers at Chandler High School to become peer mentors. These were not easy-going kids; I mean, they had tons of energy, but most of them were kids that had been in trouble. Through the course of a couple of days, their whole attitude changed from stirring the pot, causing problems on campus, to how I can make it better. How can I help people get along? How can we help work out their issues? That same energy and enthusiasm that they had that they were using to be destructive had now been channeled into a very productive way. I am very excited. You can make a difference and the difference that that is going to make is something you can't quantify. Because they will take those skills and they will go home and use it with their families and their friends and their neighbors, and the bank teller, whoever they come in contact with, when they go to work. It is just incredible. I really believe you can make a difference. I am not a defeatist in any way. That is our own individual responsibility to find out where that is and do it.

Narrator: Donna Elsworth-Bolen
Interviewer: David Kerzie

DK: Is there anything else that you would like to add that we have not covered in this interview?

DEB: Well not really, you seemed to have covered most of everything, but I would like to add that everyone needs to get involved in the community government. It can really help to change things for the better.

Narrator: Frances Pickett
Interviewer: Elias Ewert

EE: Is there anything else you would like to add that we have not covered in this interview?

FP: I became an artist on my own. I didn't ever have any classes on art. I became interested in drawing and painting when my little girl was sick and I couldn't get out like other women. I found that very frustrating to be housed at home to take care of her and so I would go to the doctor and complain and he could see how near to a nervous breakdown I was, and he said that I needed a hobby, something to relieve my mind from my drudgery work tending to my little girl. So he asked, "Did you ever want to do something?" I said, "Yeah, I would like to either paint or play piano." He said, "Well how about painting?" I said, "I don't know a thing about it, but I can just close my eyes sometimes at night and if I had a paint brush I think I could paint something." So he said, "You go down to the paint store and I want you to get a beginner's oil set and I want you to paint me a picture and bring it the next month when you come." So I did. And he looked at it, and he said, "This is damn good, can I have it?" I said, "Sure." And he ended up giving that to the governor of Senora Mexico for his home... From then [on] I started painting.

Narrator: Nancy Marion
Interviewer: Ashley Kearn

AK: Okay, last question: is there anything else you would like to add to this interview?

NM: Too many people think work is Monday through Friday, 8-5. If they can squeeze volunteerism in that same time period, they will do it. Volunteerism, reaching your hand out to the less fortunate, needs a resurgence. Protect your personal boundaries. Don't overload your life with clutter, but prioritize and leave enough time to improve the world around you. This is the world we will be leaving to our children and grandchildren. When you go to bed at night and lay your head down on your nice, soft, clean pillow, you need to ask yourself, "What did I do today to make sure that everyone has the same nice soft clean pillow?" Find your passions and invest your time, talents and money into them.

Narrator: Shirley Tung
Interviewer: Katharine Couitt

KC: Is there anything else you would like to add that we have not covered in this interview?

ST: I just hope that in your studies and in your writing a paper that you can inspire someone else to step up. You know you're busy, you're trying to do your school and make a living at the same time. Now is the time to start letting these things percolate in your life because one of these days it will affect you. I mean you may think--well why do I need to stop the war, but one day you're going to have sons and daughters, do you want them going off to kill people or to be killed? Those are the things that need to be thought of early on and hopefully you're going to inspire somebody else with this paper or whatever you're going to do or whatever your presentation is. Just say that we have the power to change the world and it's up to us and not to anybody else, not even the next-door neighbor. It's up to us. Anytime we pass along and see someone kick a dog to not just say--well that's their problem; it isn't their problem, it's your problem too. You need to go up and say something. People who get stabbed and the neighbors hear it and don't do anything, get involved! Hopefully you can get people involved. Whatever I say and you take hopefully will help somebody to get involved to be the change. Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Narrator: Sandra Simmons
Interviewer: Lia Troisi

LT: Well this is actually the end of the interview; is there anything else you would like to add before we finish?

SS: Well that was a good interview, I covered all my notes!

LT: Well good I'm glad. It was a great interview.

Narrator: Mary Tucker
Interviewer: Cara O'Dowd

CO: Is there anything else you'd like to add we've haven't covered?
MT: I must say it's nice to meet someone I was fighting for all those years ago.
CO: It's nice for me to meet someone who fought for me all those years ago. Thank you.

Photos courtesy of the families.

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Pam Petty

Cindy Barnes Pharr

Nancy Sheridan

Nancy Sheridan

Cynthia Dunham

Frances Pickett

Shirley Tung

Sandra Simmons