Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools

From FranaWiki

The Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC) was founded in the wake of the closure of public high schools schools during the Little Rock Crisis. The leader of the WEC was Adolphine Fletcher Terry.

The WEC met for the first time in September 1958. In attendance at the first meeting were Terry, Vivion Brewer, Velma Powell, and fifty-five concerned women. Eventually the organization would swell to sixteen hundred members united for public education in the city. The tag line on group posters read "Not for Integration - Not for Segregation - But for Public Education."

For five years the WEC battled the gubernatorial leadership of Orval Faubus, at one point successfully recalling three of his supporters on the Little Rock School Board. The WEC also defeated proposed Amendment 52 which would have ended the state's de facto responsibility for free public education.

The WEC disbanded in 1963, shortly after accepting its first black member.


  • Charlie Frago, "Forum Offers Context of '58 Group," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 14, 2008.
  • Sarah Alderman Murphy, Breaking the Silence: Little Rock's Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools, 1958-1963 (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1997).

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