Barbara Winslow: Board Pro Tempore Member of the Week

Barbera Winslow

Why did you agree to become a ProTem Board Member?

Well, I was on the board of trustees from ’95 to the time of the closing. I voted against the closing. When they closed, I was immediately elected to the Alumni Board. And when our Board of Trustees was reconstituted I was asked to come back on.
Myself and two other trustees formulated a letter to oppose the closing of the college. We circulated the letter among former board chairs and trustees, and I believe in the end we got something like 54 signatures. At the same time the Alumni Board, of which I was a member, was organizing to keep the college opened. After the November 2007 Antioch University Board of Trustees meeting, I helped organize a group of people who had been very generous to the college, and they all said, no money without an independent Antioch College. That led to a meeting in New York, where the BoT asked us to form a board to negotiate the future independence of the college. We called ourselves the Antioch College Continuation Corporation, AC3. When the University broke off discussions in 2008, another group emerged and I was asked to be on the group, and we call ourselves the ProTem Board

What is your vision for the new Antioch?

In the short term, a smaller college, a small liberal arts college that can provide a disruptive education. In the long term, a small self sustaining liberal arts college which attracts students who want to mark their mark, and not always in the most traditional ways.  But a college that provides a very rigorous engaged activist curriculum that can prepare students to engage and be intellectually active as most of our alums are. I’m in Washington D.C. and just visited with Eleanor Holmes Norton who is so supportive of all our efforts.

How do you think Nonstop will be integrated into the new Antioch project?

Nonstop has been amazing. It reminds me of what happened in the 60’s, through towns and cities people were setting up alternative universities. They were interdisciplinary, connecting knowledge with action. There were courses that dealt with what was really going on the world. Professors combined activism with academic subjects. In response to what was going on, young people wanted to learn about meaningful things.

And it has been wonderful for the town of Yellow Springs.

[On the future] I can’t comment because I just don’t know.

What cannot be misconstrued is how wonderful Nonstop Antioch is.

When do you think the College will reopen?

I have no idea. As soon as we get control of the college we will reopen it as soon as possible. When its ready to be reopened.

What was your major?

I was a history major, from ’63 to ’68. I was born in West Chester County. Antioch was the only college I applied to. I loved it and I keep on loving it.

What was your most exciting Co-op?

You know, I don’t have one most exciting co-op. I taught phys. ed. to kids in Chicago… I had a co-op, and I worked in an advertising agency in Europe. I learned sort of first hand the objectification of women. I was setting up for shoots and even modeled myself. I was in a photo that appeared in Playboy, a disembodied leg over a man’s shoulder. I didn’t shave my legs and he didn’t want to hold it. He said, ‘Well, this is filthy,” like unshaven legs are somehow less clean. I have to chuckle, or in more popular parlance lol, I am now the head of the Women’s Studies program at Brooklyn College!

What was the most important thing Antioch taught you?

When I look back what really stands out is the extraordinary, unique individuals. What extraordinary, bright, complicated, unique, et cetera, individuals. It really did stress taking young kids and teaching them how to live on your own as an adult. As a thinking, caring, intellectually engaged adult. And every meeting is so difficult in the most wonderful sense of the word.

What are you involved in now?

I’m the director of the Women’s Study Program at Brooklyn College, and the project director of the Shirley Chisholm Program of Brooklyn College Women’s Activism.

Do you know who Shirley Chisholm is?… She was the first woman of color elected to Congress, and the first black candidate for the democrats for President of the United States. Obama owes so much to her. You should look her up.

When I was a trustee I lived with so many Antiochians. I’ve had over thirty Antiochians live with me. Four CMs lived with me. Steve Shwerner, do you know him? and Nancy Crow lived with me.