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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fifty Years of Grassroots Social Activism: Volume 1 Early Years


Florence Wyckoff's three-volume oral history documents her remarkable, lifelong work as a social activist, during which she has become nationally recognized as an advocate of migrant families and children. From the depression years through the 1970s, she pursued grassroots, democratic, community-building efforts in the service of improving public health standards and providing health care, education, and housing for migrant families. Major legislative milestones in her career of advocacy were the passage of the California Migrant Health Act and, in 1962, the Federal Migrant Health Act, which established family health clinics for the families who follow the crops along both the eastern and western migrant agricultural streams.

This volume includes a discussion of Mrs. Wyckoff's childhood in Berkeley; education and development as an artist; foreign travel; the origins and early evolution of Mrs. Wyckoff's social concerns during the depression years; her activities in the Theater Union; the 1934 General Strike in San Francisco; activities in labor organizing in YWCA Industrial Department and workers' education efforts; the individuals who inspired and influenced her course as an activist in social and economic legislative activities.

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