Feminist organization that seeks to document the achievements and rekindle the passion of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s
Founded in 1992 by Jacqui Ceballos, Veteran Feminists of America(VFA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring "veterans of the Second Wave of the feminist movement." VFA explains that this "Second Wave" of feminism had its heyday during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights era of the 1960s. (The "First Wave" was the pre-1920 movement for women's suffrage, and the "Third Wave" refers to the modern-day feminist movement.)
The goals of VFA's members are "to enjoy the camaraderie forged during those years of intense commitment [the 1960s and 1970s], to honor [them]selves and [their] heroes, to document [their] history, to rekindle the spark and spirit of the feminist revolution and act as keeper of the flame so that the ideals of feminism continue to reverberate and influence others."
The organization had its roots in a 1990 reunion of activists formerly affiliated with the National Organization for Women. Since its founding, VFA has organized annual reunions of feminist activists and has launched a number of Internet projects to record, in pictures and words, the achievements of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
One of VFA's principal campaigns is its "Pioneer Feminists Project" (PFP), which is dedicated to documenting "the contributions of early Second Wave feminists active in 1975 or earlier." The organization states that "all early participants in the Second Wave Women's Movement are invited to be included in a definitive reference work documenting [their] activities and achievements." This work, says VFA, "will consist of [activists'] first-hand account[s] of what [they] did, where and when, for reference and research by historians, teachers, journalists, librarians, ourselves …" Photos already included in this project show feminist activists holding signs that read, "Housewives Are Unpaid Slaves"; "Oppressed Women: Don't Cook a Dinner! Starve a Rat Today!"; and "End Human Sacrifice! Don't Get Married! Washing Diapers Is Not Fulfilling." Among the key figures featured in the PFP are Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal and Gloria Steinem, co-founder of the Ms. Foundation for Women. One of the project's directors is VFA board member Barbara Love. The PFP database of feminists is madeaccessible to the publicin cooperation with the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College.