Impactful women

Chris Phillips

The contributions of women in history often go overlooked. Akron has many historical women, and the Women’s History Project of the Akron Area has created a website to profile these historical women and their contributions to society.

The website was launched on March 31, 2003 with a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council and is the home to over 200 biographical essays that detail the lives and accomplishments of Akron women from the antebellum period to modern times.

Dr. Kathleen Endres, a professor at the University of Akron, was a driving force in the creation of the website and along with students, authored many of the biographical essays that can be found on the site.

“I taught a class and it had a mix of graduate and undergraduate students,” Endres said. “Anybody can write an essay and submit it to the website.”

The website also posts annual Women of the Year awards to a select number of women that have contributed to the city of Akron.

The Women of the Year are usually invited to a dinner in their honor in March, but this year there will be a slight delay since the Women’s History Project of the Akron Area has merged with the Summit County Historical Society. To nominate a woman for women of the year, go to the website and fill out an application. The application is currently located on the Summit County Historical Society’s website.

“There will be a special lunch in November to honor the Women of the Year and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Women’s History Project of the Akron Area,” Endres said.

The Women’s History Project website also has a section for kids. This section includes games, crosswords and trivia for the children interested in learning about the contributions to history from the women in Akron. This section, like the rest of the website, will be moved to Summit County Historical Society’s server and will be updated.

“We are going to add videos of the Summit County Historical Society’s Discovery Trunks to the kids section,” Endres said.

Children are also able to submit who they think are important people and include a short description of why they think those women are important.

Important women’s organizations are also profiled on the website, but currently there is only one listed. There are plans to add more once the website switches servers.

Along with the added women’s organization coverage, there will also be a “Women to Watch” section that will chronicle up-and-coming women in Akron.

“We look for women under the age of 30 that made an impact on Akron,” Endres said.

The Women’s History Project website is a successful website, according to Endres.

The project has been around for 30 years and will continue to be around as long as there are successful women in Akron. Endres didn’t seem to think that successful women are in short supply in Akron.

“There have always been great women in Akron,” she said.

The Women’s History Project of the Akron Area’s website can currently be found at www3.uakron.edu/schlcomm/womenshistory.

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