Miriam Coleman Birdwhistell Fund

Est. 2015 by Nan Birdwhistell

Miriam Birdwhistell. Photo courtesy of Nan Birdwhistell.

“My mother was the first person I was aware was a feminist,” says Nan Birdwhistell. She was a 4 foot 11”, petite, ball of fire. Born the year before women got the vote, she was the first woman Department Chair at the University of Virginia Medical Center, where she headed the Medical Social Work Division and among the first women to serve on the faculty of the University of Virginia.”

Nan says the 20th Anniversary celebration of the Community Fund for Women & Girls, featuring Gloria Steinem, was an appropriate time to memorialize her mother, who died 7 years earlier - just short of age 90.

“Gloria Steinem was a hero of my Mom’s,” says Nan. “Sexy, smart, accomplished – and an articulate fighter for the full life women could and should have - Steinem reminds me a lot of my mother, who was a well recognized political activist and dedicated leader in the women’s movement in Virginia. To be able to honor my mother at an event with Steinem present, while helping women today in our Greater New Haven community to fulfill their potentials, was 100% a win-win. My mother would have adored it!”

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Miriam Coleman Birdwhistell Fund