The League of Women Voters of Juneau, in partnership with the Alaska State Library and the League of Women Voters of Alaska, has mailed to each middle school library and public library in Alaska: Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich.
The book details the life and work of this Tlingit civil rights icon.
Since 2007, the League has worked to bring the story of Elizabeth Peratrovich to all school children in the state, first with an effort to circulate a movie made by Jeff Silverman about Peratrovich, and now with distribution of this book.
Author Annie Boochever, who grew up in Juneau, completed her book Fighter in Velvet Gloves earlier this year.
Boochever worked with Roy Peratrovich, Jr. to document the important role played by Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich in the 1940’s civil rights movement for anti-discrimination in Alaska.
Elizabeth’s impassioned speech before the Alaska State Legislature convinced state lawmakers to pass an Anti-Discrimination Act in 1945, two decades before the U.S. Congress passed landmark civil rights legislation for the nation.
Learning of Boochever’s book, the League was determined that it needed to be in all middle school libraries and public libraries statewide.
Grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, as administered by the Alaska State Library, paid for the bulk of the books, with the League of Women Voters Alaska paying for additional copies.
The Alaska State Library provided space for packing the books and covered postage costs. The Juneau League packed and shipped over 450 books to libraries and schools in early December. The books will be in the schools and libraries by the time school starts again after the holidays.
In addition, during the 2020 session, Juneau League members will hand deliver a copy of the book to each Legislator.
The League of Women Voters promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government and to act on selected governmental issues. For more information visit www.lwvak.org.