A Home for a Movement

By Gloria's Foundation

Welcome to Gloria's home. Since 1966, this apartment has served as birthplace and host to many movements and limitless ideas. To explore the space is to discover a rich and expansive history of social justice, and the countless organizations and individuals that coalesced here to organize, strategize, and create.This isn't the story of one person or home, but of the thousands it takes to make and sustain a movement.

"I can go on the road — because I can come home. I come home — because I’m free to leave. Each way of being is more valued in the presence of the other. This balance between making camp and following the seasons is both very ancient and very new. We all need both."           
- Gloria Steinem

Entryway

The entryway of Gloria's apartment is an immediate welcome to the women's movement. Here, you can find plenty of history hanging on the walls: a Broadway play about women's liberation in Liberia, a photo of a bombed abortion clinic, many images of fierce and powerful women, headlines about the power of the movement, and more. Use your cursor to take a look around. Keep scrolling to learn more about what and who you see.

She by Alice Walker (1997-03-25) by Alice WalkerGloria's Foundation

Alice Walker reads "She"
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On April 20th, 1997, Gloria and Alice Walker appeared on stage together at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. By way of introduction, Alice began reading a poem and only at the end did the audience – and Gloria herself – know that the "she" in the poem was Gloria.

Alice Walker featured on the cover of the Ms. Fiction Issue (1982-06) by Ms. MagazineGloria's Foundation

Alice Walker is an author, poet, and activist. Her 1982 novel, The Color Purple, won her the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and was adapted for a major motion picture and a Broadway musical. Among her many books of fiction and poetry is also Warrior Marks, a book about female genital mutilation.

Gloria and Alice met and became friends while working together at Ms. Magazine.

When activists wondering how to deal with conflict and criticism ask Gloria's advice, she directs them to Alice's poem, "Be Nobody's Darling."

Susan Faludi and Gloria Steinem on the cover of Time Magazine (1992) by Gregory HeislerGloria's Foundation

Gloria reflects on TIME cover
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Susan Faludi and Gloria Steinem photographed by Gregory Heisler for Time magazine.

Gloria's book, Revolution from Within, was published around the same time as Susan Faludi's Backlash – both were bestsellers, prompting many in the media to realize that the feminist movement was as newsworthy as ever.

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (1991) by Susan FaludiGloria's Foundation

Susan Faludi is a feminist, author and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

"The backlash is at once sophisticated and banal, deceptively 'progressive' and proudly backward... Just as Reaganism shifted political discourse far to the right and demonized liberalism, so the backlash convinced the public that women's 'liberation' was the true contemporary Americans scourge – the source of an endless laundry list of personal, social, and economic problems," wrote Faludi.

The book was so popular it was even parodied in the film Sleepless in Seattle.

Other books by Faludi include Stiffed and In the Dark Room.

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes (1970) by UnknownGloria's Foundation

Dorothy Pitman Hughes on the Women's Liberation Movement
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Dorothy Pitman Hughes founded the first multiracial, non-sexist childcare centers in New York City, and co-founded the Women's Action Alliance.

The City Politic: A Racial Walking Tour (1969-02-24) by Gloria's Foundation ArchivesGloria's Foundation

Gloria and Dorothy met and became friends in 1969, when Gloria wrote about her childcare centers for New York Magazine. They would go on to become speaking partners.

Florynce Kennedy and Gloria Steinem together at a speaking event (1973) by Gloria's Foundation ArchivesGloria's Foundation

Gloria Steinem on Flo Kennedy
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Dorothy Pitman Hughes was not Gloria's only speaking partner. Florynce Kennedy, the great feminist lawyer, was also a frequent speaking partner of Gloria's.

Florynce was famed for what Gloria once described as her "verbal karate." Gloria wrote of Flo: "By combining high-style street rap with political insight, Flo has become on of the few feminists who make humor work for change, not against it."

Actor Lorraine Toussaint Tells the Revolutionary Story of Black Feminist Florynce 'Flo' Kennedy (2019-03-27)Original Source: The RootThe Root

Gloria & Wilma School for Organizers (2015-06-21) by Smith CollegeGloria's Foundation

Wilma Mankiller was an activist, community organizer, and the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Gloria and Wilma Mankiller met and became close friends when Wilma joined the board of the Ms. Foundation. Gloria and Wilma dreamed of creating a school where organizers from all over the world could gather and learn from each other. Wilma passed away before they could do so, but the School for Organizers ran as a program at Smith College in 2015.

MANKILLER Trailer (2017-05-26)Original Source: Film IndependentFilm Independent

Battling Bella Ms. Magazine Cover (1973-02-07) by Ms. MagazineGloria's Foundation

Gloria Steinem on Bella Abzug
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Did you notice the red hat in the entryway? It belonged to Bella Abzug.

The daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants and a native New Yorker, Bella Abzug was an influential leader of the Women's Movement, a civil rights lawyer, progressive congresswoman, founder of WeDo, and... always wearing a hat!

Bella Abzug's Mock American Express Ad (1983) by Center for American Women and PoliticsGloria's Foundation

Bella was an incredibly influential, effective, and progressive congresswoman during her tenure.

While in Congress, she introduced the first federal gay rights bill, founded the National Women's Political Caucus, and wrote and passed a resolution dedicating August 26th as National Women's Day.

Bella was also the main organizer of the historic 1977 National Women's Conference in Houston, TX

Bella Abzug Marches at the first National Women's Conference (1977) by Associated PressGloria's Foundation

Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan (left, in red coat) march with attendees of the 1977 National Women's Conference. The aim of the conference was to unite all women and to provide a forum through which they could express their vision of the country's future. The conference was chaired by Bella Abzug.

Gloria wrote of the conference: "It may take the prize as the most important event nobody knows about. In its three days, plus
the two years leading up to them, my life was changed by a new sense of connection—with issues, possibilities, and women I came to know in the trenches. The conference also brought a huge and diverse movement together around shared issues and values. You might say it was the ultimate talking circle."

Ms Magazine Way (2017-11-15) by Katrina HajagosGloria's Foundation

You can find this street sign in Gloria's entryway and on East 32nd Street and Third Avenue, where Ms. Magazine was birthed as an insert of New York Magazine in January of 1972. The first official office of Ms. Magazine was at 370 Lexington Avenue.

"We cover dated [the first issue] Spring, even though it was January," Gloria said at the naming ceremony, "we thought it wouldn't sell... there were moments when thought we were going to have our office in a locker in Grand Central station."

Cover of the first official issue of Ms. Magazine (1972-06-01) by Ms. MagazineGloria's Foundation

Gloria Steinem on Wonder Woman
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Wonder Woman graced the cover of the first official issue of Ms. Magazine - illustrated by Murphy Anderson and Jack Adler.

"Wonder Woman symbolizes many of the values of the women's culture that feminists are now trying to introduce into the mainstream: strength and self-reliance for women, sisterhood and mutual support among women, peacefulness and esteem for human life, a diminishment both of 'masculine' aggression and of the belief that violence is the only way of solving conflicts."
– Gloria Steinem, from the introduction to Wonder Woman

You can find this issue framed above Gloria's coats in the Entryway.

"We have had abortions" (1972) by Ms. MagazineGloria's Foundation

This declaration – which ran in the "Spring/72" preview issue of Ms. Magazine – called on Ms. readers to join in support of legalizing and destigmatizing abortion.

One in four American women will have an abortion by age 45.

African American Women In Defense of Ourselves (1991-11-17) by Elsa Barkley BrownGloria's Foundation

During the Senate confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court, law professor Anita Hill testified about sexual harassment she had experienced by Thomas when he was her boss at the EEOC. In response to the disrespect the Senators leveled at Hill during the hearings, 1,600 Black women took out this ad in The Sunday New York Times as a declaration of solidarity.

You can find this advertisement framed beneath Gloria's coats in the Entryway.

Anita Hill Testifying (1991-10) by Jenkins, R. Michael, photographerNational Women’s History Museum

In 1991, Anita Hill gripped the nation as she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about how Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her while she worked under him at the EEOC. Anita’s bravery spawned the first "Year of the Woman," with a record number of women running for office.

"I know Senator Arlen Specter was shocked at the amount of opposition he got from women all over the country after he attacked Anita Hill repeatedly during those hearings. As a prochoice Republican, he had imagined he was safe in some way. I didn’t know him, but he happened to cross my path, and he actually appealed to me about what he should do. I said, 'You should get up and apologize in public. In the same way the cure has to address the disease, your apology has to be as public as the horrendous false accusations.' To my knowledge, he never apologized…. As has been said, “It troubles us when there is no justice.” – Gloria Steinem from I Still Believe Anita Hill.

Gloria's Desk

When she is not on the road, Gloria spends much of her time at her desk, writing. Gloria often says: "writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.”

Gloria Steinem's Early Resume (1958) by Gloria's Foundation ArchiveGloria's Foundation

Gloria on Writing
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Western Women in India (1957-10-20) by Gloria SteinemGloria's Foundation

Gloria stands beneath a broken pillar in New Delhi (1957) by Gloria's Foundation ArchivesGloria's Foundation

Gloria travelled to India on a $1000 fellowship in 1956. It was there she launched her freelance writing career:

"I began to write articles for Indian newspapers. It was a way of making a little extra money. Theoretically, I was supposed to go home after nine months, but I didn't really want to go home, so I financed myself by writing for magazines, and also writing a guidebook for Indian Airlines... I'm not sure if they published it as one book, or as brochures, but they paid me and – more important – they gave me air tickets."

Page from a draft of "My Life on the Road" (2014) by Gloria's Foundation ArchivesGloria's Foundation

Gloria Steinem at a Ms. Magazine editorial meeting (1973) by Gloria's Foundation ArchiveGloria's Foundation

"An editorial meeting is my idea of heaven. Because you are sitting around a table, you're all contributing, you all can say anything you think - whatever it is - because that is the nature of those creative meetings. Something comes out that no individual probably could have thought of... there, I'm in heaven."

– Gloria Steinem

Garden

"The reason I decided to have a garden, was to make my friend Alice Walker feel at home on her visits here." – Gloria Steinem

In Search of Our Mother's Gardens (1983) by Alice WalkerGloria's Foundation

"And I remember people coming to my mother's yard to be given cuttings from her flowers; I hear again the praise showered on her because whatever rocky soil she landed on, she turned into a garden. A garden so brilliant with colors, so original in its design, so magnificent with life and creativity, that to this day people drive by our house in Georgia—perfect strangers and imperfect strangers—and ask to stand or walk among my mother's art."

- Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mother's Gardens: The Creativity of Black Women in the South

Second Floor

Gloria moved into this apartment in 1966 with friend and artist Barbara Nessim. They never had their own beds - whoever got tired first went up to the sleeping balcony. You can still spot many of Barbara's paintings on the walls of the apartment.

Gloria Steinem poses with a painting by Barbara Nessim (1965) by Tony RolloGloria's Foundation

Barbara Nessim and Gloria Steinem in conversation at the School of Visual Arts (2018).

You might have noticed the many elephants in Gloria's home...

Gloria Steinem at an Indian temple (1957) by Gloria's Foundation ArchivesGloria's Foundation

Gloria on why she loves elephants
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Library

"I know we all learn in different ways, and books are no substitute for all-five-senses experience. But in case you are as helped as I am by what my friend Ginny Corsi, a New York activist in the financial world, calls “bibliotherapy," here are some books that I’ve found mind-opening myself or that I’ve witnessed as rescuing for others." – Gloria 

Gloria's Favorite Books (2016-01-22)Original Source: New York TimesNew York Times

Gloria's books for a desert island.

Explore on your own!

Keep scrolling to continue exploring. There is so much more to discover.

Second Floor

First Floor

Credits: Story

Produced by Amy Richards

Curation and Copy by Ella Tieze

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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