"Passing the Torch"
In celebration of Women’s History Month in March 2006, the Michigan Veteran Feminists of America presented the documentary Passing the Torch on March 25 on PBS (WTVS, Channel 56).
The documentary, narrated by Lily Tomlin, explored Michigan women’s motivations to participate in "one of the most profound social movements of the 20th Century."
Detroit-area feminists were active in the women’s movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s, and they joined the national VFA organization in the fall of 2000 to ensure the gains that they helped to make on behalf of women remain in place today. Through interviews and oral histories, the documentary recalls the struggles of these engaging activists to establish domestic violence shelters, pass legislation to promote more accessible child care and gain reproductive rights.
Luminaries such as former Michigan First Lady Helen Milliken, Erma Henderson, the first African American woman elected to the Detroit City Council, UAW executive Millie Jeffrey, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Governor Jennifer Granholm "reminisce about the protest marches, consciousness raising sessions and the excitement they felt when opening doors that had been closed to women."