Guide to the Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc. Durham Chapter records, 1968-1998

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Non-profit, inter-racial organization founded in Durham, N.C. in September 1968; Elna Spaulding was founder and first president.

Collection comprises correspondence, by-laws, meeting agendas and minutes, budgets, articles of incorporation, as well as information about the organization's relationship to the Women In Action Foundation of Durham, N.C. Documents the organization's involvement in the Durham community on a variety of issues, including easing racial tensions; smoothing the way for court ordered school integration in 1970; providing for the recreational and cultural needs of disadvantaged youth; and establishing a clearinghouse to offer information and referral services to Durham citizens for a variety of social problems.

Descriptive Summary

David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc. Durham Chapter (Durham, N.C.)
Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc., Durham Chapter records 1968-1998 and undated
Language of Material
20.7 Linear Feet, 9000 Items
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The records of Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc. (WIAPVC), an interracial community service non-profit organization based in Durham, North Carolina, span the years 1968 to 1998. Materials document the organization's history beginning with its foundation in 1968, and include correspondence, by-laws, meeting agendas and minutes, budgets, articles of incorporation, clippings, photographs, a scrapbook, awards, and other documentation of its activities and milestones. The records contain information about the organization's various projects and workshops, and its relationship with the Women In Action Foundation of Durham, N.C., Inc. Persons associated with the organization included business, political, and community leaders and activists, among them Ann Atwater, Mrs. William A. Clement, Mrs. James E. Davis, Dr. Juanita Kreps, Mrs. H.M. Michaux, Mrs. Kenneth C. Royall, Margaret Rose Sanford, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, and Mrs. Albert Whiting. There are also letters of support from Senators B. Everett Jordan and Sam Erwin.

The bulk of the early items in the Correspondence Series, dating from 1968 to 1969, reflects the tenacity and persistence on the part of Spaulding, the first president, in seeking money for the organization's activities. She sought funding from national and North Carolina foundations and local businesses. Among the contributors were the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Grant Foundation, and the City of Durham. Money was also raised by dues paid by its members, which became a point of controversy for the organization.

The Administrative Files include agendas and minutes for WIAPVC's general, board, executive, and advisory committees. Agendas and programs for general meetings indicate that the leaders in the organization attempted to maintain a balance between focusing on some aspect of the group itself (such as its by-laws and self-evaluation) and programs of community-wide importance. The advisory committee evolved from the steering committee and was made up of subcommittee chairs.

Folders in the Subcommittees Series generally contain correspondence, reports, and guidelines. Records show that the number of subcommittees waxed and waned depending on the need for them. Subcommittees for which records exist include Civic Improvement, Education, Human Relations, and Police-Community Relations. The subcommittees undertook outreach and programs that were significant to Durham's community.

The organization's outreach activities are also documented in the Conferences, Workshops, and Projects series. Conferences and workshops sponsored by the organization reflect the group's efforts to improve itself, support other organizations, and reach out to provide service to the community. In the same series, WIAPVC projects indicate the wide range of interests and responsibilities which the organization sought to undertake. Among those represented in the files are the Center for School Support; the Clearinghouse, which offered information and referral services to Durham citizens for a variety of concerns; Cornwallis Housing Project, which helped provide recreational needs for youth residing in the project; the Cultural Experience Pilot Project, which allowed for 37 Durham junior high school students from low income families to spend three days in Washington; the Durham Emergency Energy Committee, which helped provide fuel to needy families in the Durham community; and various intern projects, in which students from the Duke Divinity School Field Education Program participated.

The bulk of the processed collection consists of the early records of the WIAPVC. Later years (1980s-1990s) are represented in Accession 1996-0164 and Accession 2008-0104, which include financial activities, projects, administrative files, reports, event planning information, newsletters, and awards ceremonies, and are minimally processed.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. Digitized documents are made available by Duke University Libraries for the purpose of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, such as commercial uses, researchers must contact the Rubenstein Library to request permission.

Digitized materials from this collection are made available for use in research, teaching and private study. The digital reproductions have been made available through an evaluation of public domain status, permissions from the rights' holders, and authorization under the law including fair use as codified in 17 U.S.C. § 107. Although these materials are publicly accessible for these limited purposes, they may not all be in the public domain. Users are responsible for determining if permission for re-use is necessary and for obtaining such permission. Individuals who have concerns about online access to specific content should contact the Rubenstein Library.

Contents of the Collection

Chiefly relates to fundraising efforts, the first anniversary dinner, various conferences, and projects, and to some extent work with other organizations in the community. Arranged chronologically.

Correspondence, 1968 Jul.-Oct. 8
Box 1 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1968 Oct. 9-Dec.
Box 1 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1969 Jan.-Jun.
Box 1 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1969 Jul.-Aug.
Box 1 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1969 Sept.- 1970
Box 1 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1971
Box 2 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1972-1973
Box 2 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1974-1980
Box 2 Folder 3
Correspondence, undated
Box 2 Folder 4

Includes constitution, by-laws, the minutes and agendas for the general, board, executive, and advisory committee meetings. Also several annual reports. Arranged chronologically within each category of material.

Constitution and by-laws, 1971-1980, and undated
Box 3 Folder 1
List of officers and members, 1970-1977 and undated
Box 3 Folder 2
Minutes and agendas: board, 1970-1973
Box 3 Folder 3
Minutes and agendas: board, 1974-1977
Box 3 Folder 4
Minutes and agendas: general, 1968
Box 3 Folder 5
Minutes and agendas: general, 1969-1970
Box 3 Folder 6
Minutes and agendas: general, 1971-1978
Box 3 Folder 7
Organizational name suggestions, undated
Box 3 Folder 8
Organizational structure, purpose, and guidelines, 1968 and undated
Box 3 Folder 9
Minutes, advisory/steering/subcommittees, 1969-1972
Box 4 Folder 1
Minutes, executive, 1968-1976
Box 4 Folder 2
Reports, 1968-1977
Box 4 Folder 3

Divided into three subseries, which are arranged chronologically within each subseries: Budget and financial statements, 1968-1970; Funding requests grants, 1970-1973; Contributions and various budgetary and financial materials, 1969-1980.

Budget and financial statements, 1968-1974
Box 5 Folder 1
Contributions and various budgetary and financial materials, 1969-1980 and undated
Box 5 Folder 2
Funding requests grants, 1970-1973
Box 5 Folder 3

Includes articles of incorporation, relicensing requests to solicit funds in North Carolina, and solicitation licenses. Arranged chronologically.

Legal papers, 1969-1981
Box 5 Folder 4

Divided into five subseries. Speeches, 1968-1972: Includes the organization's kick-off speech by Asa T. Spaulding and speeches by Elna Spaulding. Newsletters, 1968-1972: A monthly publication detailing activities and forthcoming events of WIAPVC and ranging in length from two to four pages. Press releases, 1968-1977 and undated: Includes appreciation to the group for helping ease integration in the Durham schools and information about its different workshops, programs, and projects. Bibliographies, undated: Lists numerous publications concerning ways to reduce violence and increase community cooperation. Various writings on race, violence and privilege, 1968-1971 and undated: Includes two sermons delivered at Duke University Chapel concerning racial relations.

Bibliographies, undated
Box 6 Folder 1
Newsletters, 1968-1978
Box 6 Folder 2
Press releases, 1968-1977 and undated
Box 6 Folder 3
Speeches, 1968-1972
Box 6 Folder 4
Various writings on race, violence, and privilege, 1968-1971 and undated
Box 6 Folder 5

Conferences and workshops folders include correspondence, working papers, brochures, and evaluation forms relating to meetings sponsored by the organization. The April 1971 statewide workshop, which WIAPVC hosted, had as its purpose the sharing of their experiences and successes with other groups. North Carolina Governor Bob Scott gave the opening address and Coretta Scott King telephoned a message to the assembled participants. The "3 Rs Workshop: Roles, Relations, Responsibilities," held in 1972, was for parents of children attending Durham city and county schools. Dudley Flood, Director of Human Relations at the North Carolina State Department of Instruction, spoke on the topic "Overcoming the Barriers to Good Human Relations." Arranged chronologically.

Projects represented include services extended to children from low income families that provided for both recreational and cultural needs; work with the Durham Emergency Energy Committee, which cooperated with other Durham groups to supply fuel to needy families; and various intern projects staffed by Duke University students that helped WIAPVC with its activities. Arranged alphabetically by project.

Panel workshops, 1968-1970
Box 6 Folder 6
State workshop, 1971
Box 6 Folder 7
State workshop, 1971
Box 6 Folder 8
3 Rs workshop, 1972
Box 6 Folder 9
Chapter conference and minutes, 1973 Jan., Jun.
Box 6 Folder 10
State conference, 1974-1975
Box 6 Folder 11
State conference, 1976
Box 6 Folder 12
Center for School Support: Clippings, 1970
Box 7 Folder 1
Center for School Support: Correspondence
Box 7 Folder 2
Center for School Support: Photographs, undated
Box 7 Folder 3
Center for School Support: Various programs, forms, and documents, 1970 and undated
Box 7 Folder 4
Clearinghouse, 1970-1978 and undated
Box 7 Folder 5
Cornwallis Road Pilot Project, 1974-1976
Box 7 Folder 6
Cultural Experience Pilot Project, 1973
Box 7 Folder 7
Cultural Experience Pilot Project: Clippings, 1973
Box 7 Folder 8
Cultural Experience Pilot Project: Photographs, 1973
Box 7 Folder 9
Cultural Experience Pilot Project: Student reports on field trip and contest results, 1973
Box 7 Folder 10
Durham Emergency Energy Committee, 1976-1979
Box 8 Folder 1
Durham Emergency Energy Committee: Financial papers, 1976-1978
Box 8 Folder 2
Durham Emergency Energy Committee: Pamphlets and budgets, 1976-1979
Box 8 Folder 3
Intern projects, 1971-1974
Box 8 Folder 4
Track meets, 1971-1974
Box 8 Folder 5
Various projects relating to women and children, 1970-1972, 1977, and undated
Box 8 Folder 6

Includes correspondence, annual reports, and subcommittee guidelines. Also photographs and clippings relating to some subcommittees. The Human Relations Subcommittee sponsored several programs and activities which are highlighted in the papers. They include the play "The Man Nobody Saw," a half-hour play exploring the meaning of racism, and a sidewalk art show in 1970 featuring the work of 5th grade children in the Durham City schools, who were asked to draw pictures illustrating the theme "harmony." Members of the Police-Community Relations Subcommittee worked with other groups such as the Court Counselor Auxiliary to help juvenile offenders. Arranged alphabetically by subcommittee.

[Human Relations scrapbook removed to Ovsz. Box 41.]

Civic Improvement, 1968-1973 and undated
Box 8 Folder 7
Communications and Community Corrections, 1968-1972
Box 9 Folder 1
Education: Correspondence, 1971-1974 and undated
Box 9 Folder 2
Education: Pamphlets, Reports, and Other Documentation, 1966-1978 and undated
Box 9 Folder 3
Employment, Entertainment, Fundraising, Generation Gap, and Governmental Relations committees, 1969 and undated
Box 9 Folder 4
General, 1969-1975 and undated
Box 9 Folder 5
Health, 1973-1976
Box 9 Folder 6
Housing, 1968-1972 and undated
Box 9 Folder 7
Human Relations, 1969-1973 and undated
Box 9 Folder 8
Human Relations Photographs, undated
Box 9 Folder 9
Information Center and Membership, 1969-1972 and undated
Box 9 Folder 10
Police-Community Relations: Clippings, 1969-1970 and undated
Box 9 Folder 11
Police-Community Relations: Correspondence, Reports, and Minutes, 1968-1975 and undated
Box 9 Folder 12
Police-Community Relations: Printed material, projects, and agendas, 1969-1974 and undated
Box 9 Folder 13
Program, Public Relations, Publicity, Representation, Telephone, Resource, Voting, and Welfare committees, 1969-1974 and undated
Box 9 Folder 14

Brochures, news articles, and other planning material relating to WIAPVC's first and fifth anniversaries.

1st and 5th anniversary material, 1969 and 1973
Box 10 Folder 1

Notes, evaluation forms, volunteer forms, newsletters, and other items.

Other Organization and Committee Material, 1969 and undated
Box 10 Folder 2

Includes information about awards given both to Elna Spaulding and to the organization, as well as videotapes of annual banquets from 1969 and 1991-1993.

[Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact a reference archivist before coming to use this collection.]

1st President: Elna Spaulding, 1973 and undated
Box 10 Folder 3
Freedoms Foundation and National Center for Voluntary Action, 1970-1971
Box 10 Folder 4
First Anniversary Dinner Program: September 4, 1969
(1 mylar recording tape reel)
Box 10 Reel 1
Women in Action Banquet: April 18, 1991
Box 10 Videotape 1
Women in Action: 1992 Awards Dinner
Box 10 Videotape 2
Women in Action: 1993 Address by Marian Wright Edelman; 1993 Founders Award Ceremony; and 1993 Annual Dinner
Box 10 Videotape 3

Chiefly from the Durham Morning Herald and Carolina Times, relating to Elna Spaulding and various projects and programs sponsored by Women in Action.

Clippings, 1968-1970
Box 10 Folder 5
Clippings, 1971-1972
Box 10 Folder 6
Clippings, 1973-1981
Box 10 Folder 7
Clippings, undated
Box 10 Folder 8

Chiefly photographs of WIAPVC meetings and dinners. There are several of Elna Spaulding, but most people are unidentified.

Photographs, circa 1970s
Box 11 Folder 1
Photographs, circa 1970s
Box 11 Folder 2
Photographs, circa 1970s
Box 11 Folder 3
Photographs, circa 1970s
Box 11 Folder 4

Includes correspondence, administrative files, and legal and financial papers related to the tax-exempt foundation created by WIAPVC when it did not have tax exempt status. Arranged chronologically within each category of material.

Correspondence, Administrative files, By-laws, Minutes, and Officers, 1973-1980 and undated
Box 11 Folder 5
Financial papers: Tax forms and audit reports, 1973-1980
Box 11 Folder 6
Financial papers: Contributors and receipts, 1974-1980 and undated
Box 11 Folder 7
Legal papers, 1973-1980
Box 11 Folder 8

Correspondence and other miscellaneous items relating to WIAPVC chapters in Raleigh and Wilmington, N.C. Arranged chronologically.

Raleigh-Wake County and Wilmington, 1971-1974 and undated
Box 11 Folder 9

Papers relating to both local (Durham) and non-local organizations, chiefly concerning racial, school integration, and human relations issues. Includes information about the McCall Forum on the Reduction of Violence held in July 1968 in New York, which precipitated the founding of the WIAPVC organization in Durham. Arranged alphabetically by organization.

A-B, 1968 and undated
Box 12 Folder 1
Citizens Committee on the Schools, 1967-1972 and undated
Box 12 Folder 2
Co-F, 1968-1969 and undated
Box 12 Folder 3
H-L, 1967-1972 and undated
Box 12 Folder 4
McCall Forum, Womanpower in Action, 1968
Box 12 Folder 5
N-U, 1971-1973 and undated
Box 12 Folder 6
Scrapbook from the Human Relations Subcommittee
Box 13
Broadside, miscellaneous items
Oversize Folder Folder 1

Administrative files from the 1980s-1990s, which include office files, financial records, project files, newsletters, and awards ceremonies. Contains some photographs.

Administrative files
Box 1
Administrative files, writings and speeches, subcommittees, miscellaneous, and clippings
Box 2
Financial papers
Box 3-8
Conferences, workshops, and projects; related organizations and programs
Box 9
Box 10
Box 11
Awards and photographs
Box 12
Awards and correspondence
Box 13

Accession (2008-0104) (1.2 lin. ft.; 1988-1998) contains administrative files, including board of directors and executive group meeting minutes, periodic reports, financial information, and event planning information. Also included are copies of the WIA newsletter. Original folder titles were retained.

Box 1
Elna B. Spaulding Founder's Award
Box 1
To be filed
Box 1
WIA newsletter
Box 1
Minutes, board meetings
Box 1
Clearinghouse reports
Box 1
Membership rosters, committee rosters, hostess rosters
Box 2
Box 2
Duke Campus Ministry
Box 2
Minutes, Executive Committee
Box 2
Call for Action reports
Box 2
Financial reports
Box 2
United Way funding: WIA
Box 2
Installation ceremony
Box 2
Dinner programs, annual meetings
Box 2
Clearinghouse volunteers
Box 2
Women of Achievement, YWCA
Box 2
Distinguished Women of North Carolina nominations
Box 2
USB Key Volunteer nominations
Box 2
Eula Harris Memorial
Box 2
Parliamentary process, meeting management
Box 2
Foundation applications
Box 2
Vaudeville revisited, April 1987
Box 2
Anniversary dinner
Box 2
Agency evaluation, United Way, 1988
Box 2
United Way agency relations
Box 2

Historical Note

Chronology List

1968, August 21Appeal made through Durham, NC press for women in the community to form a coalition to work toward the prevention of violence and its causes at the local level.
1968, September 4First meeting; Asa T. Spaulding gave the opening address.
1969, JulyIncorporated; obtained tax exempt status.
1970, JulyOpened Center for School Support to provide information to parents, students, and citizens about school desegregation arrangements in Durham.
1970, AutumnSponsored "coffees," a workshop, and an open house before the beginning of school to help smooth the way for desegregation in Durham schools.
1970, OctoberOpened Problem Clearinghouse, one of WIAPVC's most successful programs, which offered information and referral services to Durham citizens for such problems as unemployment, drug abuse, unwanted pregnancies, need for medical care, and consumer difficulties.
1970Received the George Washington Honor Medal Award for 1969 from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge in the category for community programs.
1970Received the Distinguished Service Award of the Kiwanis International by the Kiwanis Club of Tobaccoland.
1970Received the Carolinas Regional Citation from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
1971, April 16-17Hosted statewide workshop for women's organizations to share their experiences and successes.
1971, NovemberCo-sponsored Call for Action, a telephone referral service, to direct citizens to proper sources for help with consumer and other problems.
1971Named Citationist in the 1971 National Volunteer competition sponsored by the National Center for Voluntary Action.
1971Raleigh and Wilmington Chapters founded.
1972, AprilCo-sponsored a Human Relations Workshop with the North Carolina Department of Instruction, Human Relations Division, for parents of Durham school children.
1972Sponsored first Durham drive to boycott military toys for children at Christmas.
circa 1972Received award from the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction for its service to the Durham community.
1973, FebruaryAppealed to the Durham County Board of Commissioners for financial support.
1973, JulyWomen-In-Action Foundation of Durham, North Carolina, incorporated to receive funds for Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc., which did not have tax exempt status at that time.
1980, AugustWomen-In-Action Foundation of Durham, North Carolina, Inc. dissolved; Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes Inc. regained tax exempt status.
1988, SeptemberHeld 20th anniversary celebration.
2001Grace Marsh becomes Executive Director.
2007, JanuaryDeath of founder and first president Elna Spaulding.
2010Women In Action's Durham Mediation Center, established in 2005 and led by Grace Marsh, changed name to the Elna B. Spaulding Conflict Resolution Center in honor of Elna Spaulding.

The beginnings of the WIAPVC can be traced to July 1968, when Elna (Mrs. Asa T.) Spaulding was invited to attend a forum in New York City sponsored by the McCall Corporation in which women from all over the United States were asked to discuss the topic "What Women Can Do to End Violence in America." Upon her return, Mrs. Spaulding founded Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and its Causes, which was organized as an inter-racial, non-profit community organization. At the time WIAPVC was formed, Durham was in the midst of a black buying boycott, which was an effort on the part of blacks in the city to exert pressure on merchants to focus upon needs which they believed had been unmet. The new group was credited with helping open communication between the Black Solidarity Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Merchants Association during the boycott. The early history of the WIAPVC is best documented in the correspondence and administrative files series of this collection. As the organization grew, it involved itself in economic assistance, community improvements, education issues, referral services, addictions and rape counseling, prisoner rehabilitation, and race relations in general. The organization was still in existence as of 2010.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and its Causes, Inc., Durham Chapter Records, 1968-1973 (N.C. State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Asa and Elna Spaulding Papers, 1909-1997 and undated, bulk 1935-1983 (Rubenstein)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc. Durham Chapter Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library


The Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc., Durham Chapter records were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift from Elna Spaulding in 1981, and as gifts from the WIAPVC in 1998 and 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by P. Jeannet, August 14, 1998

Encoded by Don Sechler, Meghan Lyon, 2010

Updated and prepared for digitization project by Jessica Carew and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico.

Accessions from 1981, 1996-0164, and 2008-0104 are described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.