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Women in Action | University of Houston Libraries

Name: Women in Action

Historical Note:

Women in Action (W.I.A.), a coalition of member organizations, was founded in 1970 as a committee in the Young Women's Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.) and incorporated in 1974. The following year Women in Action obtained the status of a (501) (c) corporation and in 1976 earned tax-exempt status in Texas. Original members included representatives of women's groups, such as the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters, as well as individual women dedicated to improving the lives of women in the Houston area.

For the first fifteen years of its existence, Women in Action coordinated a number of different projects designed to improve the lives of women. Some of the main programs included the Jail Committee and the Welfare Committee. The first of these provided assistance to women in jail, serving as liaisons with attorneys and the inmates' families, appearing in court as a moral support network and to ensure that the inmate was treated fairly, or simply by acting as pen pals to incarcerated women. The Welfare Committee provided assistance in navigating the welfare system and completing the paperwork necessary for receiving assistance. W.I.A. also conducted numerous workshops on health issues, such as venereal disease, aided senior citizens in registering to vote, and was involved with the Women's Information and Referral Exchange Service (W.I.R.E.S.).

By the early 1980s, Women in Action's interests began to shift increasingly toward the problem of teenage pregnancy. Women in Action sought to establish a group home for teenage mothers and their infants; this goal reached fruition in 1985 with the purchase and remodeling of a house. In April 1986 T.A.M.I. House, Women in Action's group home, opened as the only licensed, long-term facility in Houston designed to provide safe housing for teenage mothers and their infants. The T.A.M.I. House program was also designed to prepare the teenagers to lead productive lives and to be responsible and caring parents. The mothers received instruction in child care, nutrition, and basic housekeeping skills; they were encouraged to develop social skills, to return to school, and to acquire the discipline necessary to hold a job. In short, the T.A.M.I. House program provided a caring and nurturing environment while teaching the mothers real-life skills necessary for raising a child.

Women In Action, by a vote of its members, dissolved in 1998 and its assets were conveyed to the Abundant Life Educational Center, Inc., as required by the articles of incorporation.

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