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Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program

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Home - Women’s History Posters

Lucy Picco-Simpson Posters

We have inherited a wonderful collection of posters which you can use in your curriculum work or outreach to K – 12 schools.  Lots of them are already on a wall in our conference room.  Here’s the story behind them.

A woman named Lucy Picco-Simpson, who was born in 1940 and was a so-called “Second-Wave” feminist, started the Organization for Equal Education of the Sexes in the late 1970s or early 1980s to introduce more material by and about women into the country’s K – 12 curriculum.  (Its goal was like the goal of our Women in the Curriculum Program that was founded at about the same time but for the university level.)  So Lucy published a newsletter, sent books out into schools, and worked to get articles into existing journals on the K – 12 curriculum.

One of her most enduring projects was to develop sets of posters, all 11” by 17”, to foreground women and women’s issues.  Because these were to go into schools, each poster came with a couple of pages of explanatory text for the teacher using it.  There are three sets of posters: one set is on women of achievement (mostly historical), another is on jobs nontraditional for women (at least in the 1980s), and the third is aimed at encouraging girls to stay in school, even if they become mothers or have handicaps. They are simple by today’s standards (shades of black and one color on light-colored paper) but very powerful.

Although Lucy started her business with some friends in the New York City area, she came to Blue Hill, Maine in the summers and eventually moved there.  We first met her in 1995 when a recurrence of cancer caused her to close her office in downtown Blue Hill and move the poster part of the business to her home in East Blue Hill.  At that time she gave us lots of books for our library and some office materials.  Very sadly, she died on March 1, 2006.  After her death her husband contacted us to take over the part of the business remaining, the posters–all 61,000 of them!  They were moved into a basement room in our building last summer, and we have been making efforts to get them out to schools and other kinds of educational institutions all over the country.  In 2008 we took sets to the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women and the National Women’s Studies Association Conference with order forms. At our last Maryann Hartman Awards Ceremony we presented the winner of the Young Women’s Social Justice Award with an entire set to share with her school or other organization–or just to put up in her room.

Now we’d like to see how you can use them.  Click here for an order form.  You can order as many or as few as you can use.  If you have contact with others who could use them, we welcome your outreach efforts.  We can give them away, but we do ask you to think about making a donation to our program, if you can, to help us continue our outreach efforts.  We also ask you to let us know how you use them.  FMI call 581-1228.

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Contact Information

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
101 Fernald Hall
Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1228 | Fax: (207) 581-1218
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System