Voices of a Movement: ICADV

Voices of a Movement: ICADV

I. Project Overviewtop

This project is a collaboration between the Beck Research Initiative for Women, Gender and Community (BRI), led by Dr. Beth Catlett and Dr. Irene Beck, and representatives of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV), a statewide coalition of organizations dedicated to eliminating domestic violence against women and their children throughout Illinois.

Since 2005, the BRI has worked to create oral history narratives around themes that include the history of the organization within the broader context of the statewide and national struggle against domestic violence during the decades of the ICADV’s existence (1978 – present). The Initiative seeks to document the history of a social movement through interviews with founders and contemporary members of the coalition, as well as an analysis of archival materials that are permanently housed at DePaul University’s Richardson Library.

Project Components:

  • DPU faculty and staff train ICADV members to conduct and collect oral history interviews of their organization’s founding members and other significant individuals involved in ICADV’s history
  • DePaul University compiles transcripts of these interviews, which are developed into narratives
  • DePaul University faculty and ICADV representatives research ICADV’s archival material, summarize its history, and select documents and photographs
  • These materials are compiled along with the interview narratives into a monograph, to be published by DePaul University
  • ICADV and DePaul University will offer a public presentation upon completion of this project
  • ICADV historical records will be permanently archived in DePaul University’s Richardson Library Special Collections and Archives

II. Leadership Teamtop

DePaul University
  • Beth Catlett, Ph.D. Director of Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Co-founder of Beck Research Initiative for Women, Gender and Community

Dr. Beth Catlett is the Program Director and an Associate Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at DePaul University. Professor Catlett received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her doctorate in Family Relations and Human Development from the Ohio State University. Her areas of scholarly interest include community development, community-based participatory action research, diversity in families, violence in intimate relationships, qualitative research methodologies, and the social construction of masculinities. Dr. Catlett specializes in community-based research involving gendered violence, adolescent relationships, and social movements to create community change. Her research has been published in several journals including Family Science Review, Men and Masculinities, Violence and Victims, Family Relations, the American Journal of Community Psychology, and the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. She was most recently published in the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning.

  • Irene Beck, Ed.D. Co-founder of Beck Research Initiative for Women, Gender and Community, Executive Director of the William and Irene Beck Foundation

Irene received her B.A. in History from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame IN, her M.A. from Fairfield University in Educational Administration and Supervision, and her doctorate in Human Development from the University of Rochester. Irene also earned a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University. As an adjunct faculty member at DePaul, her teaching focused on gender issues in youth, connections with school-based sexual harassment programs, and course-based action research. As Executive Director of the William and Irene Beck Foundation, Dr. Beck directs grants in support of programs that work against discrimination, particularly related to racism, sexism and poverty. She is also a Co-Founder of the Gender Equity Fund of the American Association of University Women, Illinois. Her current areas of interest focus on oral histories of women working against domestic violence and archival research.

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Vickie Smith, current Executive Director
  • Cheryl Howard, former Executive Director
  • Florence Forshey, Founding Member
  • Karen Clinton, Staff Member
  • Jackie Ferguson, Staff Member

III. Funding & Community Partnerstop

The William and Irene Beck Foundation

The William and Irene Beck Foundation is a long time sponsor of the Beck Research Initiative for Women, Gender and Community and provides generous financial support for community based research and special projects, graduate assistantships, the faculty fellowship program, and other underwriting. The Foundation is a generous supporter of the ICADV project.


The William and Irene Beck Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that provides grants, contributions, and in-kind services to other not-for-profit organizations with 501(C)3 status. It is a family foundation committed to helping programs that work against discrimination, particularly related to racism and sexism. Its primary foci are directed toward those with financial needs by providing program support and educational opportunities for low-income youth, children, as well as opportunities for job-related training for adults.

The foundation is intended to act as a catalyst for change, and supports innovative ideas, plans, and projects; it takes a pro-active part in the prevention of further problems. Its board and family members participate in as well as contribute to programs involving education, youth, and the disadvantaged. The foundation seeks to ally itself with activities and organizations which reach out to those who most need help.

DePaul University Vincentian Endowment Fund

The Vincentian Endowment Fund was established in 1992 by a gift from the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers who sponsor the University. The VEF has generously provided funding for the ICADV project.


The endowment seeks to assist the university in its developing understanding of how, as an institution of higher education informed by the vision of Vincent de Paul, it is to be Catholic as it enters its second century. This assistance will be achieved through funding appropriate grant projects that directly enhance the identity of DePaul University as a Catholic, Vincentian and urban university with special attention to the Catholic and Vincentian aspects of this identity.

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV)

The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) is a not for profit, membership organization that works to eliminate  violence against women and their children by promoting the eradication of domestic violence throughout Illinois; ensuring the  safety of survivors, their access to services, and their freedom of choice; holding abusers accountable for the violence they perpetrate; and encouraging the development of victim-sensitive laws, policies and procedures across all systems that impact survivors.




IV. Publications and Researchtop