Mayor Andy Berke's Council for Women

Telling Herstories

History Workgroup

I enjoy rights as a woman that I take for granted. And I wish I knew more about the people who helped me get them. I think it would be useful to maybe have a little more gratitude to know about that struggle.

Melissa Hefferlin, 2016 March 22

About Telling Herstories

The subcommittee hopes to inspire and empower future generations of women by highlighting the past.

In 2016 the Telling Herstories workgroup was established with the mission to recover, archive, publish, and celebrate an inclusive historical repository of women's accomplishments, activism, and experiences as leaders, advocates, educators, and community builders from 1920 to 2020.

To date, Telling Herstories has accomplished the following:

• collected more than 80 interviews with a diverse group women in greater Chattanooga area;

• attracted nearly $10,000 in grant funding from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and Ruth S. Homberg Grant for Faculty Excellence program to support equipment and transcription;

By Fall 2018, the Telling Herstories Subcommittee hopes to:

• conduct a total of 200 interviews with a diverse range of Chattanooga women;

• tell at least 10 stories of Chattanooga women derived from these oral histories and other historic sources in various scholarly and social media outlets, including articles in the Times Free Press, Chattanooga Area Historical Journal, and;

• and work closely with the Suffragette Monument - History Workgroup to inform the design of structure.

We invite interested members of the community, educators, and students in the greater Chattanooga area to participate in this project by conducting interviews and writing stories that celebrate the rich history of women in our city. To join the committee, complete the Council for Women Membership Form.

Get Involved!

Telling Herstories works with community volunteers and students at Southern Adventist University, Covenant College, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to record interviews. We also partner with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for recording equipment, technical support, and long term preservation of these invaluable recordings.

If you would like to volunteer to record an interview for inclusion in the Chattanooga Women's Oral Histories digital collection, please read the Interview Guidelines >>> and contact Telling Herstories Co-Chair, Susan-Eckelmann Berghel, at to get started.

Interview Guidelines

This guide outlines the techniques and processes developed by the Telling Herstories Subcommittee to collect interviews from families and the community. It features a general guide to conducting an interview, a sample list of questions that may be adapted, and instructions on using equipment from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's (UTC) Special Collections to ensure preservation-quality recordings.

Community Partners

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