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Houston Breakthrough 1979-09
Page 20
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-09 - Page 20. September 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 31, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/536/show/527.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(September 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-09 - Page 20. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/536/show/527

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1979-09 - Page 20, September 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 31, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/536/show/527.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1979-09
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date September 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 28 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 20
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_553as.jpg
Transcript Women of Faith sponsor ENERGY CONSERVATION DAY by Helen Wils I am one of those people who, until recently, spent very little time thinking about the energy crisis and energy alternatives such as solar, nuclear and geo- thermal power. As long as my HL&P bill did not tax my budget, and as long as my car, a foreign economy type got good mileage (even with all its California emission control devices intact), I was happy. It was with mild curiosity that I read about the energy crisis or noted a poll showing that only 54% of the American public believed that our country even had one, This spring, however, I became an avid reader of government, industry, business, and environmental reports on energy. It started when I got involved with Energy Conservation Awareness Day an event planned for September 19 with guest speakers Lola Redford, founder and president of Consumer Action Now, and Dr. John McKetta, a professor of chemical engineering from the University of Texas. What follows is an account of how this grassroots effort of concerned Houston women, came into being. The idea for the day came one morning when some members of the Council of Jewish Sisterhoods met to discuss future programming plans. The women from the sisterhoods were interested in a seminar on energy. They saw it as an issue affecting future generations that the present generation must deal with. They also saw it as a way to revive the ideals of the Interfaith Workshops, a past ecumenical women's organization. They formed a new group called Women of Faith. Millie Cowen a community leader active in the Jewish Family Service, Temple Emmanu El and TRIMS, and organizer par excellence, helped get together women who would be interested in the project and contacted Shirley Warshaw, Council member and on the board of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and president of Jewish Family Service; Frances Swartsfager, former presi dent of Church Women United; Dot Hines, Houston Metropolitan Ministries vice-president; Rita Metyko of Theres- ians of Houston and Virginia Nelson, chair of the League of Women Voters' Energy Committee. The ADL agreed to be a co-sponsor of the yet shapeless event and to help handle the paperwork from our offices. I work with the ADL and I was told the project would be in my sphere, if I wanted it. I agreed. Women of Faith had its first meeting at the Rothko Chapel last May. What followed then was a series of "first" meetings. At each meeting, the participants changed. Millie served as program's chair. "We knew that we wanted the day to be informative and not political, that we wanted to come to the program with open minds and leave with enough information to begin to make intelligent energy decisions," commented Millie. "We also thought we should have some sort of follow-up program so that the day wasn't merely a one shot deal." Gradually we began to come across names of people who could help. Someone told us about solar expert Andy Sansom of the Texas Energy Extension Service. He volunteered his help and that of the service's director, Barbara Barbera. We heard about Gloria de Leon, a woman in the governor's office who was knowledgeable about residential conservation. We met with people from the Mayor's office and the Future Studies Center at University of Houston Clear Lake. Laura Walton, HL&P's Supervisor for Conservation, was most interested in our concepts and arranged for HL&P to do our printing. We talked to people from Shell and Arco and Lucas Petroleum, Mitchell Energy and Solar International and Panhandle Eastern, and the Crumman Corporation and the League of Women Voters and scores of other companies and agencies. We wrote to the Interfaith Coalition for Energy Conservation in Washington. We collected literature. Dot Hines kept reminding us that we needed a focal point since we could not possibly hope to cover all there was to Lola Redford (I), founder and president of Consumer Action Now, and- Dr. John McKetta, a professor of engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, will be guest speakers on Energy Conservation Awareness Day, September 19. The event is open to the public and will take place at the First Christian Church, 1601 Sunset from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information call 627-3490. cover in a program that would run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Finally, we decided that it was most important to convince people that there really was a crisis, that it was not just a figment of the collective imaginations of government and oil industry executives. It was felt the program should educate the participants about energy alternatives and conservation measures. "Furthermore," remarked Millie Cowen, "we're talking about our progress as women into the mainroads of American life. If there are economic slowdowns as a result of energy shortages, dent of Consumer Action Now, a New York based organization whose purpose is to activate women in energy programming and to promote the use of solar power, appeared on the Today show. "Did you see the Today show," Millie asked during our morning telephone discussion. I hadn't. "Lola Redford was on. She mentioned many of the things we've discussed. Maybe she'll come to Houston." We placed a call to New York. Redford said yes. With two keynote speakers, we now planned workshops and selected seven n Some of the members of the planning committee for Energy Conservation Day are (front row, I to r) Rita Metyko, Claire O'Hare, and Helen Wils; (back row, I to r) Virginia Nelson, Millie Cowan, and Tina Reyes. the first people to suffer will be the poor. Minority groups and women make up a large percentage of the poor, and they will bear the brunt of layoffs and job losses." "They are the ones who least can tolerate increased heating, cooling and fuel costs," added Tina Reyes, the new head of HISD's Bilingual Education program. "But all of our lifestyles, not just those of the poor, are shaped by energy availability; it's a universal issue that touches all people in. our society. We can no longer let someone else handle our problems." We began to meet almost daily. It was a program in which I had become personally involved and a kind of com- maraderie developed among planning committee members. We began to hold meetings in Millie's kitchen rather than my office, thinking that it would be a quieter place. Frances Swartsfager contacted numerous churches before she found one that would be able to house our event. The Christian Women's Fellowship at First Christian Church agreed to help with arrangements. We needed a keynote speaker who would make believers of the assembled audience, and so we started hunting for someone who would be dynamic, erudite, and persuasive. The name of Dr. John McKetta, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Texas kept reappearing. We obtained a copy of one of the speeches he had given and decided to contact him. Accustomed to speaking to government and industry groups, McKetta liked the idea of a women-sponsored program and agreed to join us. Shortly thereafter, Lola Redord, presi- "experts" on solar energy, nuclear energy, energy myths and energy education, petro dollars and world economy, residential energy use, natural gas exploration and energy conservation in public buildings. Keynote speakers, workshops, publicity, and mailings cost money. So began the arduous task of raising the necessary funds. We called corporations, businesses, social service and governmental agencies, church and synagogue groups, foundations,and individuals. We applied for grants with no success. A few people thought it was a nice thing for us "girls" to do to occupy our spare time. Most were sympathetic and thought that there was a vital need for a program such as ours but could not help finance it. But- some were impressed with the program we had put together. They came through. The weeks of planning, anxiety, and doubt are drawing to a close. I keep saying that I can't wait for the program to be over, that I'm tired of thinking about, reading about, and talking about energy. Yet, I think I'm going to miss working with all of the women who labored so tirelessly for this venture, who went through reams of paper, wrote scores of letters, and made hundreds of phone calls to assure its success. A kind of communal bond has formed from our mutual concern and effort. Helen Wils, an English instructor on sabbatical from American River College in Sacramento, California, is currently working as Assistant Director of the Anti- Defamation League. HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 20 SEPTEMBER 1979