We are interested in understanding how women and girls in Worcester have experienced learning, both through formal institutions and through life experiences and relationships. This theme includes women and girls’ experiences within, and access to, schools and higher education, as well as other avenues to knowledge and skills.
"At another point a dean found out that I had been working as a cashier at a supper club. I had a part time job, and when he found out he made me quit. Boys could work there, but not girls. Not at a supper club. He could take his wife there for dinner, but he made me quit."
Dorian Ross was born in 1927. Her family came from Bermuda and she grew up in New York City and then upstate New York on a farm. She talks about being poor, dark in a light-skinned family and about encountering racial and gender discrimination. She went to Howard University and studied math and physics. While working at GE she observed confrontations between union sympathizers and other workers. Dorian is enthusiastic about her involvement with Worcester State College’s Intergenerational Urban Institute and the Massachusetts Senior Action Council.
"I’m of that generation when it was easy to be active politically if you, you know rolled out of the bed in the dorm room and managed to stumble out the door of the dorm there was a demonstration going on outside. Sometimes those of us of my generation who are critical of the younger generation for not being sufficiently active, we should remember that it really didn’t take much effort on our part."
Born in Rome, NY in 1951, Kristin Waters has worked in Worcester for 30 years. She taught at Clark University and the College of the Holy Cross before earning a faculty position at Worcester State College, where she currently teaches Philosophy and Women’s Studies. In this interview, Kristin shares memories of her youth in Rome, New York and discusses her relationships with her family as a child and today. She discusses her development as a student at Bard College and at the University of Connecticut as a graduate student.