The mission of BC Voices, Inc. is to collect, preserve and share the stories of women coming of age in the tumultuous late 1960s/early 1970s, and then riding the crest of the second wave of feminism over the past half century when doors have opened for women, but not all the way.
BC Voices was founded as a 501(c)(3) New York State not-for-profit corporation by members of the class of 1971 of Barnard College, the women’s undergraduate division of Columbia University, New York City.
During the year the class of 1971 entered Barnard College, Columbia University, the Columbia campus exploded in the 1968 Student Building Occupation and Strike. The Women’s Movement sparked dramatic changes on the Barnard campus, from overturning dress codes and curfews to expanding students’ expectations for professional careers, intimate partnerships, and family planning.
By the time the class of 1971 graduated, new laws and social norms expanded women’s opportunities for economic independence and reproductive autonomy. Yet some long-standing barriers persisted. Many of us broke through those barriers. Many of us worked on the front lines of social change. Many of us strove with varying degrees of success to “have it all.” All of us grappled with and were shaped by a rapidly changing social and political reality.
Inspired by the beloved late Barnard Political Science Professor Peter Juviler, a group of Barnard ’71 alumnae began collecting classmates’ life stories in 2010, documenting their college experiences and the full trajectories of their lives in a time of great social change. These stories became the Barnard Class of 1971 Oral History Collection, a rich primary source of historical testimonies housed in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections.
In 2012, a core group of Barnard ’71 alumnae founded BC Voices to complete the Oral History Collection and produce documentary shorts based on these stories. The Way It Was screened during Barnard’s 125th Anniversary Celebration in 2014. Making Choices, Forging Paths premiered during Barnard’s 2016 Reunion Weekend.
In 2017, BC Voices began work on what became our current project, Stand UP, Speak OUT: The Personal Politics of Women’s Rights, an online docuseries about the radical transformation in women’s lives empowered by the mid-20th century expansion in women’s rights. Our docuseries highlights the hard-won freedom, independence, and opportunities that are at risk today.
BC Voices continues its work to complete the docuseries and inspire viewers to learn from history and sustain women’s fundamental rights.
Who We Are
Board of Directors
Katherine J. Brewster
President Katherine J. Brewster, MBA Columbia ‘78, President of the Barnard Class of 1971, and founder/director of The ATMA Center of Transformational Yoga, a New York City health and wellness center, has 50+ years experience in management, marketing, and sales in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, including Citibank and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Rhonda Nunn, Barnard 1971, JD, pursued teaching in NYC’s public schools in 1971, then attacked law school and a legal career, advising and representing individuals, businesses, and governmental entities. She retired to work with a nonprofit designed to prepare high school students for college, where she was engaged in advising, grant writing, marketing, and program development.
Susan Shapiro Metz, Barnard 1971, M. Ed., is retired after 25 years in human services regulation and database training for the State of New Jersey. Her volunteer experience includes 20 years of marketing and grant writing for nonprofit choral music organizations, including Monmouth Civic Chorus, Princeton Pro Musica, and New Jersey Choral Consortium.
Carol Santaniello Spencer, Barnard 1971, is retired from five decades as a public school teacher and administrator, university instructor, and private educational consultant. Currently, she volunteers as a translator in the migrant community.
Rabbi Cheryl Weiner, PhD, Barnard 1971, 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.