A Guide to the Louise B Simmons Papers

A Guide to the Louise B. Simmons Papers An Inventory

Summary Information

A Guide to the Louise B. Simmons Papers
Simmons, Louise B., 1949-
Inclusive Dates
undated, 1970-1992, 2006-2015
11.5 Linear feet
Eight boxes of correspondence, programs, conference packets, publications, political and social movement buttons, and posters.
Papers of a social activist and Professor of Social Work and Director of the Urban Semester Program at the University of Connecticut, detailing her work with social and political movements in the 1970s and 1980s in the Hartford, Connecticut, area.
Call Number
Finding Aid Prepared By
Finding aid prepared by Laura Smith (2015 October)
University of Connecticut Libraries 405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205 Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-1205 860.486.2524 archives@uconn.edu

Preferred Citation

[Item description, #:#], Louise B. Simmons Papers. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center,  University of Connecticut Libraries.

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Access and Use

Acquisition Information

The Papers were donated to Archives & Special Collections by Louise B. Simmons in August 2015.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open and available for research.

Preferred Citation

[Item description, #:#], Louise B. Simmons Papers. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center,  University of Connecticut Libraries.

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Hartford (Conn.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Simmons, Louise B., 1949-


  • Anti-war movements
  • Civil rights demonstrations
  • Political prisoners
  • Protest movements
  • Social action
  • Social advocacy
  • Social movements

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Louise B. Simmons grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a BA in Sociology in 1971. She earned an MA in Education in 1980 from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D in Urban and Regional Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991.

Simmons moved to Hartford, Connecticut, in the early 1970s and was soon immersed in local and national organizations that promoted economic and social justice. Some of the organizations she worked with include the Connecticut Defense Coalition Against Racist & Political Repression (the Connecticut Chapter of the National Alliance Racism & Political Repression) where she served as its co-chairperson in the mid-1970s, the Anti-Racism Coalition of Connecticut (1982-1987), the steering committee of the Community Labor Alliance for Strike Support (1986-1991), and many others.

Professional positions that Dr. Simmons has held include as an organizing coordinator for the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group (1975-1977), assistant to the Director of Field Education at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work (1977-1979), and Coordinator of Projects for the UConn School of Social Work (1979-1980). Dr. Simmons has taught at the UConn School of Social Work since 1980 and has service as Lecturer/Assistant Professor/Associate Professor/Professor and Director of the Urban Semester Program. Her research interests include urban politics and policy, community organization, welfare policy, economic justice movements, economic and labor rights, labor-community partnerships, involvement in collaborative research projects on the impact of welfare policy changes, labor and social work.

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Scope and Content Note

The papers consist of correspondence, publications, pamphlets, press releases, newspapers clippings, meeting agendas, realia, posters and political buttons that provide information about political, labor and social issues relevant to communities in the Hartford, Connecticut, region as well as issues on national and international topics. Most of the issues were ones of protest to inequalities and injustices of economic, racial and gender oppression, and the literature in the collection shows the various ways Louise Simmons and other members of political and social groups in Hartford responded to find effective ways to work for social justice.

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Papers undated,  


Correspondence, pamphlets, press releases, newspaper clippings, flyers, notebook, 1971-1981   1.3 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

[Subjects include: Activities of the Connecticut Defense Coalition, which rallied to the defense of the "San Quentin Six" (six inmates at San Quentin State Prison in California who were accused of participating in an August 21, 1971, escape attempt that left six people dead), and held vigils for and demanded the freedom of Hartford native and Civil Rights activist James Grant and other political prisoners (the "Charlotte Three") in North Carolina in the mid-1970s; information about causes rallied by the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression (Simmons was a member of the Connecticut Chapter), including organizing events, conference literature and issues of its newsletter, The Organizer; writings from a Police Crimes Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, in January 1977; notes taken by Simmons at meetings of the local alliance group of discussions of their oganizing efforts (1977-1981); writings about behavior control, particularly as it applies to the prison population and police brutality; and the "Free Angela Davis" defense movement.]


Correspondence and photocopies, undated, 1974-1976   0.25 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

[Subjects include: handwritten letters (some of them are photocopies) from James (Jim) Grant, a political prisoner and a member of the "Charlotte Three" in North Carolina, to Louise Simmons and the Connecticut Defense Coalition, written while he was incarcerated. Topics include the efforts on his behalf, racism and prejudice in North Carolina and its prison system, the Ku Klux Klan, efforts to free him and other political prisoners. Also includes a letter from another "Charlotte 3" prison, T.J. Reddy]


Publications, programs, fliers, newspapers, conference packets, 1970s-1986   1.3 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

[Topics include: Southern Africa and U.S. Solidarity movements; National independence in Namibia; materials from 1978 International Youth Festival on Cuba; U.S. government actions in Vietnam, the Vietnam war, women in Vietnam' "Songs of Struggle" (booklet of lyrics of protest songs); early 1970s women's movement literature]


Meeting agendas, newspaper clippings, political buttons, correspondence, realia, 1970s-1992, 2006   1.3 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

[Topics include: Hartford, Connecticut, political campaigns of Jimmy Brown for Board of Education, Ed Vargas for city council, and Rudy Arnold for city council. Information about the activities of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in 1982, including a March 31, 1982, issue of the Hartford Advocate with an article about "Confronting the Klan;" plastic and cloth bags from a National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression conference; status report of the Governor's Task Force on Racial Harmony (March 9, 1982); political buttons for the Labor Day March for Human and Labor Rights in Raleigh, North Carolina, on September 6, 1976, and the XI World Festival of Youth and Students, Cuba 1978]


Doctoral dissertation written by Louise B. Simmons: Labor and Neighborhood Organizing in the Context of Economic Restructuring: Six Organizations in Hartford, Connecticut. Submitted to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning on February 10, 1991, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Urban and Regional Studies, [Massachusetts Institute of Technology], 1991, 2010, 2015   0.25 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

[Also includes a 2015 curriculum vitae of Louise Simmons's professional work, and an article written by her for the Spring 2010 issue of Reflections, "Work and Economic Justice - Connections with Social Work" which details much of the work she has done for economic justice and as a Professor of Social Work at the University of Connecticut.]


Posters, 1970s-1992   2.5 Linear feet One large flat box

Scope and Content Note

[Topics include: Connecticut Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression -- "Defend the San Quentin 6", 1975, "Welcome Back Ruben Vega and Learn about the Cases of Jim Grant and Ben Chavis", "In Concert with Cuba, Break the Blocade," American Indian Archaeological Institute presents Five Hundred Years, Resistance/Survival/Celebration, 1492-1992"; "New York Welcomes Nelson Mandela and the A.N.C. (Nelson Mandela New York Anti-Apartheid Welcome Committee); "South African Women Unite Against Apartheid", "Chile We Will Win" (Irish-Chile Solidarity Committee), "Stop the Plunder of Namibia's Natural Resources", "March on Labor for Labor and Human Rights" (September 6, 1976), "Libertad Para Angela Davis", "Attika is all of Us" (Attika Defense Committee); "For Jobs and Justice, Yale Settle! for a Better New Haven", series of handmade posters for the activities of the Connecticut Defense Coalition]


Political buttons, 1970s-1980s   2.0 Linear feet One large flat box

Scope and Content Note

[Topics include: buttons with slogans on a myriad of political and activist topics, including "Free Political Prisoners in Iran," "ERA YES", "End U.S. Support for Apartheid, Free Nelson & Winnie Mandela", "Dukakis for President, 1988", "NO to Star Wars!", "AIDS research, not AIDS bigotry", "Free Mayekiso", "We Still have a Dream: 20th Anniversary March on Washington, August 27, 1983", "Run, Jesse, Run!", "20 Million JOBS NOW", etc.]


Political buttons, 1970s-1980s   2.0 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

[Topics include: buttons with slogans on a myriad of political and activist topics, including "Impeach Nixon: Trade Unionists for Action and Democracy", "Bill Curry for Congress", "VOTE or you've got nobody to blame but yourself", "Black Veterans for Social Justice", "Impeach Reagan!!", Stop the Racist Frameup, FREE WILLIE SANDERS", "U.S. Hands Off Angola", "Don't Tread on Us, AFL-CIO", "Chile Si, Junta No: Support the Chilean People," "Free the Wilmington 10 NOW!", etc.]


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