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‘Supersisters’ trading cards and history digitized with help from Feminist Institute

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Maven Space is the host site for a Feminist Institute historical archival project. They’ll be taking a deep dive into 40 year old records, known at the time as Supersisters Cards, a trading card initiative spotlighting women trailblazers.

A simple question from an 8-year-old girl is the basis of Supersisters. Why aren’t there any girls on my baseball cards? The founders and partners are coming together to bring it back to light.

Tucked inside a small office at The Maven Space is a co-working space in downtown Indianapolis for women. There are boxes of history. Prior to now, they’ve been kept safe in Lois Rich’s basement.

“Why aren’t there any pictures of girls on baseball cards? It’s not fair,” Rich of her young daughter Melissa said.

“The sports stars I remember seeing on TV were every four years at the Olympics,” Melissa said.

A legitimate question, so Rich and her sister took a chance by creating “Supersisters Cards.”

“I would use a world almanac to find out who the leaders in their fields, are” Rich said.

The first 72 featured prominent women in sports, business, politics and more. Early on they were distributed around the country and in elementary schools.

“It’s still needed, It’s still important to talk about why are women paid less in sports or in many different careers,” Melissa said.

Eventually stalling in the early 80s, the Feminist Institute recently came across their story. Immediately wanting to preserve it digitally.

“We gave so much credit to Melissa and Lois for recognizing the importance and value of the Supersisters project,” Marie Williams Chant, Feminist Institute director or archives and special projects said.

Going through the boxes and folders, they’ve already come across historic gems. Written documents from people like Rosa parks, Gloria Steinem and Maya Angelou.

“It’s really important that people have access to feminist history. I think especially with more marginalize history, they’re not as prioritized,” Allison Elliott, Feminist Institute archival and special project coordinator said.

The Rich’s say they were able to do all this with limited technology, and look forward what they can do with this work moving deeper into the 21st century.

Plans to re-launch the super sisters is in the works right now. This Friday here at Maven Space there will be an exhibit to check out some of this history. Registration will need to completed prior to the exhibit.