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Pauline Kayes - ERA Fight in Illinois

Pauline Kayes grew up as the proud daughter of a working class family. She excelled as a student, and graduated in 1973 as valedictorian from the Calumet campus of St. Joseph's College. Her major was English, and her passion was the work of radical feminist writers. She has spent her life teaching at Parkland Community College in Champaign, where she met others in the feminist movement. In 1982, during the last year of the fight to pass ERA in the Illinois legislature, Kayes was one of a group of women who chained themselves to the railing outside the IL Senate chamber in protest to that body's lack of action on ERA.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Chained to the Senate railing

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Childhood years, education and early years as activist in women’s movement

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Kayes’s involvement in feminism, and early fight for ERA Amendment

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

ERA Amendment fight in Springfield in 1982, and Kayes’s career post-82

Transcript


Photos

Caption

10 year old Pauline Kayes sits between her grandmother, Mary Kulak, and mother Pauline in the family home in Chicago, Illinois, circa 1961. She was named after her mother, as was her brother Paul.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

Circa 1961

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Pauline Kayes during her college student days, in 1971.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Pauline Kayes leading her first poetry discussion of Sylvia Plath as an English Philosophy Major at St. Joseph’s College, circa 1971.

Where:

St. Joseph's College

When:

Circa 1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photos

Caption

Pauline was a strong supporter of Senator George McGovern during his run for the presidency in 1972. She spoke at this rally for McGovern at the Gary, Indiana airport in the fall of 1972.

Where:

Gary, Indiana

When:

Fall of 1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Pauline Kayes gave the Valedictorian address at Saint Joseph’s College Calumet Campus in 1973, delivering a scathing critique of her alma mater during her speech.

Where:

Saint Joseph’s College Calumet Campus

When:

1973

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A flier calls for women to come to Springfield, Illinois on June 3, 1982 to show their support for the ERA amendment, and among other things, to “commit acts of militant protest.”

Where:

Unknown

When:

June 3, 1982

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

A pro-ERA rally was held in Springfield, Illinois on June 30, 1982. The group assembled on the steps of the State Capitol.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

June 30, 1982

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A photo from the June 14, 1982 issue of Time Magazine taken by Annie Leibovitz shows the self-described ERA “Chain Gang.” The group was protesting the state legislature’s inability to approve ERA by chaining themselves to the Senate chamber railing.

Where:

Unknown

When:

June, 1982

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

This photo from the 14 June, 1982 issue of Time Magazine taken by Annie Leibovitz shows the self-described ERA “Chain Gang.” The group was protesting the State legislature’s inability to approve ERA by chaining themselves to the Senate chamber railing.

Where:

Unknown

When:

June, 1982

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Members of the Grassroots Group of Second Class Citizens, a group fighting for the ERA, flash the symbol of the womb in the Capitol Building, where they chained themselves together in protest.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Members of the Grassroots group fighting for the ERA, Kari Alice Lynn, Barbara Douglas, Ann Casey-Elder, Loretta Manning, and Alice Webber flash the symbol of the womb in front of the Speaker's podium in the IL House chambers.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

See the Nov 25-Dec 1, 1982 issue of the Illinois Times. May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Grassroots Group of Second Class Citizens members chained themselves together outside the Senate chambers, forcing Senator Ken Buzbee to step over them. The photo appeared in the Nov 25-Dec 1, 1982 issue of Illinois Times.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

The Grassroots Group of Second Class Citizens’ sit-in was led by Mary Lee Sargent. The protesters had chained themselves to the railing outside the Illinois Senate chamber. This image appeared in the November 25-December 1, 1982 issue of Illinois Times.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Secretary of State police carry Grassroots Group of Second Class Citizens member Jane Mohraz out of the Capitol after she and fellow Grassroots members refused to clear a path to the Governor's office during their fight for the ERA.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

See page nine of the Nov 25-Dec 1, 1982 issue of Illinois Times. May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Secretary of State police carry Mary Lee Sargent (front) and Kari Alice Lynn (back) through the basement tunnel of the Capitol building after members of the Grassroots Group of Second Class Citizens blocked the Governor's office.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

See page six of the Nov 25-Dec 1, 1982 issue of Illinois Times. May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Taken from the cover of the November 25-December 1, 1982 issue of Illinois Times, this photo shows Kari Alice Lynn being carried away from the front of Governor James Thompson's office during the ERA Capitol sit-in.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

A postcard sent by Mary Lee Sergent, the Grassroot Group’s leader, to Pauline Kayes, thanking her for her involvement in the ERA fight.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

A postcard sent to Pauline Kayes thanking her for her involvement in the ERA fight.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

‘ERA Won’t Go Away’ was the message on this fall 1982 flier, targeting Illinois legislators who had opposed the passage of ERA. The flier came out after the final defeat of ERA.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1982

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The Grassroots Group of Second Class Citizens dressed as witches in this October 30, 1982 protest in Champaign, Illinois. The message that day was “hexing” Republicans for opposition to ratification of ERA in Illinois.

Where:

Champaign, Illinois

When:

October 30, 1982

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Members of the Grassroots Group of Second Class Citizens, all wearing Ronald Reagan masks, represent business, the military the rich and the clergy in this skit performed at the University of Illinois campus on October 31, 1984.

Where:

University of Illinois campus

When:

October 31, 1984

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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