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 UL Lafayette’s Blanco Center to work on ‘Women in Politics’ oral histories

Kathleen Blanco Policy Center
Posted at 10:21 AM, Mar 23, 2022

The Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will collaborate with several universities on an oral history project to document the legacies of influential women in state politics.

The Louisiana Women in Politics Oral History Project will provide a historical record of the work and lives of public figures, and their leadership and contributions to Louisiana.

The project will be coordinated by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. In addition to the Blanco Center, collaborators will be Louisiana Tech University’s the Waggonner Center and Xavier University of Louisiana’s Department of History.

Recordings will be housed at LSU’s T. Harry Williams Center and UL Lafayette’s Center for Louisiana Studies. UL Lafayette’s Guilbeau Center for Public History will also contribute to the project, providing equipment to record oral histories.

The Blanco Center’s participation is fitting for several reasons. Beyond the center’s role contributing interdisciplinary, independent research to a host of public policy areas, its namesake was arguably the most influential female political leader in state history. Blanco, a UL Lafayette alumna, is the only woman to serve as Louisiana governor.

“One of the founding goals of the Blanco Center was to help advance and promote the role of women in government and leadership positions in Louisiana, and this project is a great way to help capture and highlight the stories of outstanding leaders in our state’s history,” said Dr. Stephen Barnes, the Blanco Center’s director.

“It will also serve as inspiration for young women who are interested in politics and aspire to leadership roles,” he added.

The Blanco Center advances evidence-based public policy. Its core areas of focus are education, poverty and economic opportunity, criminal justice reform, health and healthcare, the coast and environment, and governmental ethics.

For more information about the oral history project, contact Barnes at stephen.barnes@louisiana.edu.

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