Series 5 Scope and Content
This series could be considered the heart of the collection in the sense that it documents the various programs established by the Quixote Center to realize its dreams. The series has been further divided into seven sub-series, each corresponding to a particular program or, in the case of series 5.7, a group of programs.
Series 5.1, Catholics Act for ERA, 1978-1984, undated, (0.9 cubic feet), documents an early Quixote Center program that was established in January 1978 by Maureen Fiedler and Elizabeth Alexander. The program sought to mobilize Catholic support for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) before the Amendment's ratification deadline in 1982. The program wound down in the aftermath of the failure to ratify ERA. The series contains textual records that document the program's communications and activities. Series 3.1 contains some photographs from the program.
Series 5.2, Catholics Speak Out, 1986-2009, undated, (1.8 cubic feet) contains records about a movement established in January 1986 to mobilize American Catholics against a perceived retrenchment by the Church hierarchy of the reform spirit of Vatican II. Catholics Speak Out championed progressive Catholic causes such as the ordination of women to the priesthood. Its activities often coalesced around specific public events; for example, the treatment of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen by Vatican authorities, the Papal visit to the United States by John Paul II in 1987, and the clergy abuse scandal. The series is particularly strong in documenting the program's publicity efforts. Series 3.1 contains some photographs related to the program.
Series 5.3, Equal Justice USA, 1990-2009, undated, (4.4 cubic feet) documents a program established in 1990 to bring an end to capital punishment in America. It grew out of an earlier program, Let Live, which sought to end executions in Maryland. Series 5.7 contains some records on the Let Live program. Equal Justice USA broadened the scope of Let Live. This series documents its activities and ongoing efforts to build a nationwide constituency of supporters. The program became deeply involved in the high-profile case of Death Row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal. The series contains considerable information on the relationship between the Quixote Center and Abu-Jamal. In addition to the paper records preserved in this series, electronic records from the program have survived and can be found in sub-series 3.3. These electronic records do not appear to duplicate the textual records in sub-series 5.3
Series 5.4, Haiti Reborn, 1991-2009, undated, (2.9 cubic feet) contains records of a program, established in 1991, to generate support for deposed Haitian President Aristide and to bring attention to the crisis of democracy in Haiti. The program grew into a grassroots effort within Haiti to strengthen solidarity among its people and promote Haitian political advocacy in the face of U.S. foreign policy and the policies of international organizations. The series documents the program's activities, particularly its efforts at aiding the Haitian people through education and reforestation as well as its efforts to increase awareness among Americans of Haiti's struggles. Numerous photographs depicting the Haiti Reborn program can be found in series 3.1.
Series 5.5, Priests for Equality, 1975-2001, undated, (2.7 cubic feet) documents a program that pre-dated the founding of the Quixote Center. William Callahan first established Priests for Equality in 1975, and it was adopted by the Quixote Center after the organization's founding. The program sought to mobilize Catholic priests in support of gender equity in the Catholic Church. The group enjoyed strong membership in the late 1970s, but its numbers declined in the 1980s and by the 1990s the program had limited itself mostly to publishing and disseminating inclusive-language translations of scriptural texts among English-speaking Catholics. The group Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) had its origin as part of Priests for Equality but later broke away and became its own group. The series documents the group's activities and contains some information about early WOC conferences.
Series 5.6, Quest for Peace, 1983-2010, undated, (6.2 cubic feet) is the largest of the programmatic sub-series. Quest for Peace was perhaps the most successful and most prominent of the Quixote Center's programs. Although it first adopted the name Quest for Peace in 1985, the program had begun two years earlier when it organized emergency humanitarian aid to the people of Nicaragua suffering amidst the "contra" war. Quest for Peace became a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy toward the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. It condemned the U.S. embargo against Nicaragua and sought successfully to match, through fundraising, the dollar value of U.S. military aid to the contras with an equal amount of humanitarian aid for the Nicaraguan people. The Quixote Center built a very successful donor base for Quest for Peace. The series documents efforts to raise those large sums of money. Shipments of humanitarian aid continued into the 2000s, and Quest for Peace established many smaller programs to aid the Nicaraguans. Quest for Peace worked closely with the Institute for Juan XXIII in northern Nicaragua, and this long-standing relationship is well represented in the series. Quest for Peace staff made numerous trips to Nicaragua; series 3.1 contains thousands of photographs from Quest for Peace. Series 3.2 contains some audio and video resources pertaining to the program's efforts.
Series 5.7, Miscellaneous, 1976-1992, undated, (1.2 cubic feet) contains records from smaller programs at the Quixote Center or programs with which the the Quixote Center collaborated. Among these efforts was the Center's ministry to gay and lesbian Christians in the mid-late 1970s. This series also documents the Center's involvement in the highly publicized case of Karen Silkwood. Records related to social justice efforts on behalf of the people of El Salvador are also included in this series.