The CCWH is very sorry to learn about Bernice Carroll’s passing. Bernice is one of CCWH’s founders. She was a very good mentor for a generation of historians.
Dr. Berenice Carroll, a pioneer of women’s rights, passed away on May 10, 2018 in Lafayette, Indiana. Born in New York in 1932, Dr. Carroll was a significant leader in the research and study of the United States, global peace and war, and women’s studies as well as an essential figure in the founding of several NGO’s and community organizations, and leading activism for over five decades.
Dr. Carroll was a Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She served as Chair of the Division of General Studies from 1966-1969 and Director in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies from 1983-1987. While Director of the Gender and Women’s studies, she oversaw the creation of the Women’s Studies Program and the approval of a Women’s Studies Minor.
In 1990, Dr. Carroll continued her academic career at Purdue University as the Director of the Women’s Studies Program. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Violet Haas Award for developing an educational program that promoted the advancement of women and their rights at Purdue University.
Among her lasting legacy is her community engagement, service, and exceptional activism. She was the co-founder of Grass Roots Group of Second Class Citizens in Champaign-Urbana, which worked for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. She was also the co-founder/board member of A Women’s Place/A Women’s Fund, the FIRST shelter for battered women in Illinois, which eventually also included rape crisis counseling and assistance. Carroll held leading positions in AAUP as well as UPE (IFT/AFT), she served on the executive board of SANE (National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), on the council on the Status of Women at Purdue and the editorial and publication committees of Community Times (Lafayette). Among other involvements, she was the co-author of an amicus brief filed in support of military personnel refusing deployment to Iraq on grounds of Nuremberg Principles starting in 2005, served as faculty advisor for the Purdue Organization for Labor Equality (POLE) as well as an observer and advisor in hunger strikes and other forms of nonviolent actions in the last ten years.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Archives worked with Berenice for several years to preserve her papers. These papers documented her earliest community organizing activities, peace newsletters and grassroots records from local, national and international communities, her course work, her research and publication files, and research notes. Especially noteworthy are the research projects she did not complete, including an extensive index cataloging all wars known in human history (as to causes/numbers of victims/consequences), unpublished manuscripts, and conference proceedings of Common Differences: Feminism and the ‘Third World,’ the first conference of its kind and one she helped organize at Illinois in 1983.
Berenice’s exceptional work for women’s rights helped pave the way for others and she will be dearly missed.
 A Women’s Place/A Women’s fund was taken over by the Center for Women in Transition in 2010.
Source: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Women & Gender in Global Perspectives Program’s News.