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The William S. Hein & Company Foundation generously donated $5,000 in support of the initial processing of the Women for Human Rights and Dignity Collection (WHRD). Library Director Kristine Kasbohm announced that the support will help make this important collection, which is housed in the Rev. J. Clayton Murray, SJ Archives & Special Collections, more accessible to the community.  WHRD was formed in 1980 to create a community-based support system for single mothers and women who were incarcerated. It was based in Buffalo’s East side, not far from the Canisius campus.

WHRD’s 10 founders were a social activist group of primarily professional African-American women. They were concerned with the family disintegration that occurred when women entered the criminal justice system. The majority of the women were mothers and heads of households. Working with local churches, government agencies and families, WHRD helped reduce recidivism by providing women access to resources to rebuild their lives post incarceration. WHRD programs focused on life skills, vocational training and parenting.

For almost four decades WHRD programs, residential centers and scholarships sustained countless women and children living in neighborhoods around Canisius. Through the efforts of Constance B. Eve, chair and founder, the Canisius College Archives acquired WHRD’s organizational records. The William S. Hein & Company Foundation gift opens further research and collaboration possibilities with community-based programs.

For more information contact Kathleen DeLaney, archivist and special collections librarian, at Ext. 8421 or at

Submitted by: Kathleen M. DeLaney, archivist & special collections librarian, Archives & Special Collections