Kathie Sarachild • 2022 Honoree
Born in 1943, Kathie Amatniek adopted the matrilineal name form Kathie Sarachild in 1968 as part of her rising feminist consciousness. A civil rights activist during Freedom Summer in 1964 she worked to register voters in Mississippi. A pioneer in the Women’s Liberation Movement, she fought against restrictions on the lives of women, helping to found New York Radical Women in 1967, and Redstockings, which in 1969 hosted the first public speakout on abortion, shattering the taboo on the subject. A theoretician of the women’s movement, Sarachild is known for her article, “Consciousness-Raising, A Radical Weapon.” She remains active with Redstockings as director of its Archives for Action.
BY Teddi Welch, writer and reproductive rights activist
As a young woman committed to social justice and equality, Kathie Sarachild is a true inspiration— especially in light of our current moment with reproductive freedoms under attack. Her work can act as a roadmap for sparking change despite conservative powers’ efforts to take away the autonomy of the underprivileged.
Born in 1943, Kathie has been immersed in liberation movements for nearly her whole life. She started working in voter registration activism in Batesville, Mississippi, during 1964’s “Freedom Summer” and, soon thereafter, Kathie was at the forefront of the feminist movement when she helped found New York Radical Women in ’67 and joined Redstockings of the Women’s Liberation Movement. She rallied for complete women’s liberation everywhere including the Miss America pageant, fought for safe and secure access to abortion, and was a pioneer in the consciousness-raising movement in the ’60s and ’70s.
Kathie was the founder of the Redstockings’ Women’s Liberation Archives for Action, a group for which she still remains the director. Even her last name is a radical act in itself; Kathie changed her surname to “Sarachild” to honor her mother, and to highlight the ways in which so many commonplace traditions are rooted in patriarchy.
Back in the late ‘60s, Kathie coined the slogan “Sisterhood is Powerful” during the Jeannette Rankin Brigade’s anti-war march. The Clara Lemlich Awards so perfectly encapsulates this very concept; I’m so inspired by the work of Kathie Sarachild and the other Lemlich changemakers being honored this year, and I hope the other young activists given the opportunity to present the honorees and I can make them proud as the next generation of badass radicals.