First Person Plural: An Oral History of Arkansas Women focuses on the life stories of 20th century women and how these portraits collectively show the range of ordinary women’s activities in a time of great change.
Working in association with a skilled of group scholars, FPP developed a life history outline and a statewide list of prospective interviewees. The working group identified philanthropy, community volunteerism and leadership as areas of special interest.
Over the past several years, the project team has conducted interviews with 20 women across the state. They include artist and philanthropist Robyn Horn, community volunteer Catherine West of Marianna, Shirley McFarlin of the Arkansas League of Women Voters, educator Dr. Diana Gonzales Worthen of Fayetteville, Viola Callahan Meadows of the Clover Bend restoration project, retired foundation executive Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton of Little Rock, and longtime editor and state legislator Charlotte Schexnayder of Dumas. Additional interviews planned for the next few months will bring the project to 30 interviews by year’s end.
The team has considered it a pleasure and a privilege to be documenting the diversity and complexity of Arkansas women’s lives, to be placing this information in publicly accessible formats where all may make use of the information. They thank all of the collaborators for their assistance in adding women’s perspectives – currently underrepresented – to the historical record and acknowledge with special thanks support from the Bridge Fund Endowment of the Arkansas Community Foundation and earlier planning support from the Arkansas Humanities Council.