AWC Timeline: 1980s
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he decade began with the establishment of the Vanguard Award in 1980
to recognize positive, non-stereotypical portrayals of women in advertising and heighten general awareness of factors that enhance the image and status of women. United Technologies Corp. received the first Vanguard Award for its ad, “Let’s Get Rid of the Girl.”
Pictured right: AWC founders displaying the organization’s original logo.
Members were raising thousands of dollars for the ERA effort at their regional meetings. WICI’s most creative and elaborate strategy was the “Family of Americans for the ERA.” The 10-foot-high “house,” each colorful plank identifying a state that already had ratified the amendment, signified the demand for a permanent home for the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. WICI gathered other women’s groups to showcase the house at the 1980 Republican National Convention. Although the ERA fell three states short of the required 38 to enter the constitution the women’s rights movement had benefited nonetheless.
In February of 1981, Georgina MacDougall Davis died. During her life she had witnessed two women’s movements and seen the journalism profession expand into other emerging communications fields. In 1982, the last surviving founder of Theta Sigma Phi, Irene Somerville Durham died.
The Matrix and the National Newsletter were replaced with Pro/Comm, a combination magazine and newspaper in 1981. WICI continued its support of First Amendment rights for the press and public by protesting the news blackout during the invasion of Grenada and spoke out to Congress against proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act.
In early 1988, the WICI Board of Directors voted to relocate the group’s headquarters to the Washington, D.C. area to be closer to the seat of government.