Who We Are
The mission of BC Voices, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation, is to collect, preserve and share the stories of women coming of age in the tumultuous late 1960s/early 70s – and then riding the crest of the second wave of feminism over the past half century when doors opened for women, but not all the way.
What We've Done
To carry out the mission, BC Voices, Inc. has created a rich source of primary materials for students and scholars: the Barnard College Class of 1971 Oral History Collection (B71OHC). Housed in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, it contains the life histories (video and transcripts) of 79 alumnae from the Barnard class of 1971 (B’71 hereafter).
To share the untold stories of Women of the late 1960s with a wide audience, BC Voices, Inc. has produced two acclaimed short documentaries drawing on the life experiences of B’71 alums in the B71OHC.
The Way it Was (2011) tells the story of the seismic change in the lives of the women of B’71 during the turbulent events of 1967-68 when they were first year college students. The sexual revolution, the 1968 Columbia University student strike, the Vietnam war, racial unrest, and, much more, turned their lives upside down. This is their story.
Making Choices, Forging Paths (2016) shifts to life after college as the women of B’71 leave Barnard and step into the world, joining the droves of women entering the professional work force for the first time in history. Career and family are balanced in a world still afflicted with sexism and racism. Twenty-two women tell how they overcame obstacles and persevered in making a difference in the world, forging paths for themselves and future generations of women.
Our Current Project: Beyond the Suffragist Dream
On the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, comes Beyond the Suffragist Dream (Scheduled May 2020) the upcoming third BC Voices, Inc. film.
Four generations of women delve into the transformation of their lives empowered by the dramatic expansion in women’s rights and independence since the mid-20th century. In conversation, across all ages and multiple races, women speak of triumphs and challenges over the past 50 years as the older generation grappled with changing, unfamiliar roles; women of the sixties worked to create full, adventurous lives beyond women’s traditional roles and expectations; the younger generations took hard-won rights as a given. Through these stories, suffragist voices cry out for us to hold fast to their vision of women’s full and equal participation in all areas of society — political, economic, social and cultural — and face the forces that endanger a century of progress.
How We Came to Be
The year the class of 1971, Women of the 1960s, entered Barnard College, the Columbia campus exploded in protests, part of the international uprising in the spring of 1968. In a flash, their world turned upside down. The power dynamics in all sorts of relationships changed forever– male-female; parent-child; teacher-student; faculty-administration, etc. Then, The Women of the 1960s graduated to find doors opening for women, but not all the way. Long standing barriers persisted, stubbornly. Many broke through those barriers. Many worked on the front lines of social change. Some strove, with varying degrees of success to “have it all.” All of them grappled with and were shaped by the rapidly changing social and political reality.
Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Columbia Student Building Occupation and Strike in April 1968, the beloved late Barnard Political Science Professor Peter Juviler joined a group of Barnard College ’71 alumnae in a conversation about their experiences in 1968. He urged them to collect and share their stories. Inspired by Professor Juviler’s interest, a group of B’71 alumnae began to collect oral histories of classmates documenting not only their experiences in 1968 but also the full trajectories of their lives in a time of great social change duirng the 2nd half of the 20th century.
Subsequently, members of the Barnard Class of 1971 created BC Voices, Inc., incorporating in New York State as a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization and setting out to generate ways to share the experiences of women of the ‘60s coming of age during the tumultuous political, social and cultural upheaval of the late 1960s/early 1970s and forging new paths for women during the last half of the 20th into the early 21st century.
Our Board of Directors - Members of the Barnard Class of 1971
President Katherine J. Brewster, MBA Columbia, President of the Barnard Class of 1971, and founder/director of The ATMA Center of Transformational Yoga, has long experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, including Citibank and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Joy Montgomery Rocklin, MBA, CPA, retired financial services executive, former vice president at Chase Bank, has been on several corporate and nonprofit boards.
Rabbi Cheryl Weiner, PhD,BCC, serves as a Community Rabbi and Staff Chaplain with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. In a prior life, she was a senior executive, publisher, and game designer for fortune 500 companies.