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Gray Panthers of Greater Boston : Records, 1968-2002


2 record cartons


Art Mazer donated the records of the Gray Panthers of Greater Boston to the Archives and Special Collections Department, Healey Library, the University of Massachusetts Boston on June 4, 2003.


Maggie Kuhn founded the Gray Panthers national organization in 1970. The Gray Panthers Greater Boston Chapter (GPGB) was established on August 2, 1975. The Gray Panthers is an intergenerational and interracial group that seeks to affect social change to eliminate injustice, discrimination, ageism, and oppression, with a focus on the elderly. The GPGB advocated for state and national health plans, an end to age discrimination at work, accurate portrayals of people in the media (especially women and the elderly), and the creation of intergenerational housing projects. The GPGB sought to fulfill these goals and other concerns by promoting progressive legislation, monitoring public policy, and by organizing demonstrations. The GPGB and the national organization often cooperated with other interest groups when advocating for certain causes. Some of the causes that the Gray Panthers advocated for were such things as asking for peace in the Persian Gulf in 1991 and speaking out against war toys in the 1980s.

Scope and Content

The records date from 1968 to 2002 and include correspondence, minutes, reports, lists of people and organizations, publications, clippings, membership forms, financial documents, newsletters, manuals, project notes, copies of e-mails, surveys, post cards, and a bumper sticker. The collection is arranged into three series: I. Administration, II. Advocacy, and III. Publications.

Series I. Administration, 1968-1999, 18 folders.
This series includes documents that were used by or in the administration of the GPGB including files about the National Gray Panthers as a whole and about the GPGB’s relationship with the National Gray Panthers. This includes meeting minutes and reports, financial records, fundraising files, correspondence, manuals, historical background materials about the Gray Panthers, records for Gray Panther events, and documents related to Maggie Kuhn. Information about the founding of the GPGB can be found here from the earliest records, from original meeting areas to the initial leadership.

Series II. Advocacy, 1973-2002, 12 folders.
This series contains documents about the issues promoted by the Gray Panthers as part of their political/social agenda. These files have information about the issues or the efforts to promote the issues made by the Gray Panthers. Issues advocated by the Gray Panthers included peace in the Persian Gulf (1991), health care programs, banning war toys, an end to discrimination against the elders, and housing reforms.

Series III. Publications, 1975 to 1999, 23 folders.

Newspapers, newsletters, fliers, and other published works issued by the both the National Gray Panthers and the GPGB primarily make up this series. Also included are newspaper clippings with stories about the Gray Panthers. Some of the articles in this series are not in English.