Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Women's and Gender Studies

Degree Program

Women's and Gender Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Fosl, Catherine Anne


Public housing--Kentucky--Louisville; Social action--Kentucky--Louisville; Women political activists--Kentucky--Louisville; Community organization--Kentucky--Louisville


This thesis is a historical examination of women's public housing activism in Louisville, Kentucky from 1958 to 1970. With the proclamation of the War on Poverty by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, poverty stricken neighborhoods were provided with federal funding to initiate community action by public housing residents. This thesis illustrates how women living in Louisville's public housing communities organized grassroots community action groups and eventually utilized federal funds from the War on Poverty to initiate social change. Louisville activists organized by means of coalition building, increased education, and coordinated protests. Grassroots organizing in Louisville led to an established political presence of women led neighborhood groups, and improved health and safety conditions for residents of the housing projects.