Louisiana universities will collaborate on an initiative to preserve the legacies of the state’s female political leaders, the schools announced Tuesday to mark International Women’s Day.
The Louisiana Women in Politics Oral History Project will provide a historical record from important female public figures, document their careers reflections and focus on how they navigated unexplored, and sometimes, unwelcoming territory .
Partners in the initiative are LSU, Louisiana Tech, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Xavier University.
“While Louisiana women have served in elected office for decades, their presence is sparse even today, and their legacies go largely untold,” Jenée Slocum, director of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, said in a statement. “This project will contribute to understanding women’s historical and current roles in governing, as well as the work left to do in realizing gender parity in Louisiana.”
“Reflecting on the lasting impact of Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco’s pioneering career, it is clear that these recordings will help to document important chapters in our state’s history and serve as inspiration for future generations to advance the role of women in politics and public policy,” said Stephen Barnes, director of the UL Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center.
Recordings from the oral history project will be housed at LSU’s T. Harry Williams Center. Secondary repositories around the state include the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana.
Women elected to positions in the future may have their oral history accounts added to the collection.
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