Skip to main content

Committee on Women, Population and the Environment records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00768

Scope and Contents

Organizational files, financial records, personnel information, workshop and conference materials, communications and outreach materials, publications, newsletters, books, articles, newspaper clippings, magnets, ads, flyers, VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, photographs.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1979 - 2012


Language of Materials

The collection is written in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they own copyright, Darling has assigned the copyright of the Committee's works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by the Committee, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

The Committee on Women, Population,& the Environment (CWPE) is a multi-racial alliance founded in 1991 by the Civil Liberties and Public Policy program and the Population and Development program, both at Hampshire College, and the women of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective. The group was initially formed to prepare feminist analyses of population and environmental issues for the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. CWPE's work has been has funded by the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Heinrich Boll Foundation, The Center for Genetics and Society, and the Ms. Foundation among others. CWPE works on the local, regional, national, and international levels to oppose population control policies that blame‘overpopulation' for poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and political volatility. CWPE has also worked with feminists especially at SAMA in India, and Ser Muheres and CRIOLA in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil concerning the health impacts of emerging reproductive and genetics based biotechnologies on poor women's health. CWPE was first to raise a concern regarding the potential for emerging biotechnologies to diminish the already fragile human rights of women of color at the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, and again at the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre, Brazil in 2003. CWPE repositions a lens onto population and environmental issues, racial justice and poor women's human rights in the genetics age with an analysis of economic systems, and governmental policies that rely on exploitation and that are supported by white supremacy and patriarchy. Analyses are situated in a framework of reproductive justice, racial justice, indigenous and immigrant rights, the uses of certain genetic biotechnologies that intensify inequality, and globalization and the environment. CWPE presents its analyses with particular attention to the realities of poor women and women of color. Since its inception, CWPE has moved to Adelphi University where it is currently hosted by the Center for African, Black&Caribbean Studies. CWPE has released two edited anthologies published by Boston based South End Press (Dangerous Intersections: Feminist Perspectives on Population and Development, 1999 and Policing the National Body: Race, Gender, And Criminality, 2002) as well as theme based print copies of a magazine, Political Environments. It also coordinates three volunteer-based task forces: the Dangerous Contraceptives Task Force; the Immigration, Environment, and Gender Task Force; and the Gender, Eugenics, and Biotechnology (GEB) Task Force. CWPE initiatives include the Depo Diaries Community Storytelling program for women to have shared their experiences with Depo Provera, campaigns to stop sex selection and C.R.A.C.K. (Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity), also known as Positive Prevention, a population control organization which offers cash incentives to women struggling with addiction to undergo long-term birth control or sterilization, and the presentation of lectures and PowerPoint presentations detailing feminist concerns regarding emerging genetic reproductive and biotechnologies at numerous civil society organizations, colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.


13.667 linear feet (14 containers)

0.429 Gigabytes


The collection contains the business records of the Committee on Women, Population,& the Environment (CWPE), a multi-racial alliance that works on the local, regional, national, and international levels to oppose population control policies that blame overpopulation for poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and political volatility.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was gifted by Marsha J. Tyson Darling in 2016 and 2017. Additional material was gifted in 2020 by Anne Hendrixson.

Related Materials

Loretta Ross papers, SisterSong records, Marlene Fried papers

Processing Information

The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Genre / Form


Finding aid to the Committee on Women, Population and the Environment records
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White, Ellice Amanna
2018, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-18: Updated to conform to DACS
  • 2020-04-28: Accession, boxes, description added and finding aid updated to current standards
  • 2020-05-21: Description added for born-digital content.
  • 2021-01-12: New series added from Accession 2020-S-0014

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063