Mothering the Movement: The Story of the San Francisco Women's Building
by Sushawn Robb
Including the full script of the play She Rises Like a Building to the Sky
by Mercilee M. Jenkins
When I published this book, the future was looking as bright as it had in decades. Now, five years later the country looks to be heading backward in a reckless and scary manner. The impact of the new and unpredictable presidency is going to effect everyone, and women will bear a disproportionate share of that effect. The massive public responses to the new administration have been encouraging. Starting on day one, millions of people participated in the Women's Marches held nation wide and world wide on Jan. 21, 2017. The immediate and large scale opposition to the ban on refugees and immigrants targeting Muslims and on-going rallies to force Republican office holders to meet with constituents hold out promise for a new era of progressive social activism.
Though it is hard to predict the details of the struggles ahead, we can guess that it won't be easy or quick. As we navigate through the years ahead, there is both inspiration and lessons to be had from a study of past social movements. The San Francisco Women's Building was one of the success stories from the women's movement of the seventies and eighties. The ABC docudrama When We Rise features the women's building as a backdrop but watching its gives little insight into the difficulty of the radical group of women buying the building at a time that women could not easily get a credit card.
I was a volunteer for 20 years with the building, and wrote this book using archived files and interviews with many of the women involved in the organization's early years. The resulting book is the definitive history of an important institution of the modern women's movement.