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A vital history of the groups and individuals who put Duluth and Superior at the forefront of pioneering and innovative feminist organizing


Beginning in the late 1970s, a wave of feminist organizing broke on the shores of the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin. Its impact has transformed the lives of women and men in these communities and far beyond. Beginning with one of the first rape crisis programs and battered women’s shelters in the nation, pioneering organizations sprang up all over Duluth and Superior to provide services and advocacy, raise awareness, and effect change on a wide range of women’s issues. 


Making Waves presents the histories of ten innovative grassroots feminist organizations to paint an overall picture of feminist activism in the Twin Ports over the last forty years. Through the voices of the women who formed and developed them, the book tells how these organizations began, their struggles and their triumphs, their lessons and their legacies. Author Elizabeth Ann Bartlett shows that a combination of factors—the small-town community, the presence of key movers and shakers, the influence of the Anishinaabe, the proximity to Lake Superior and the northern wilderness, and a heritage of progressive organizing—all contributed to the rise and flourishing of these prominent feminist organizations in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Elizabeth Ann Bartlett is a professor of women’s studies and political science at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She has lived in Duluth since 1980 and has been an active member of the feminist community there ever since. She is the author of four previous books and dozens of articles and papers. 

Making Waves: Grassroots Feminism in Duluth and Superior

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