The papers document Brown University's establishment of an affirmative action program for faculty hiring and promotion under the conditions laid out in the consent decree. Although the consent decree was concerned primarily with sex discrimination, issues of minority recruitment and hiring are also covered in the records. This collection also provides information about the early work of the Committee on Women Faculty (1971-1977), the status of women faculty on campus, early courses in women's studies, and women and minorities in science at Brown.
Alison Palmer (Brown University Class of 1953) served in the United States Foreign Service (1959-1981) in Belgian Congo, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. Palmer successfully pursued two sex discrimination lawsuits against the State Department, winning in 1974 and 1987. After her retirement from the State Department in 1981, Palmer became the thirteenth woman Episcopal priest ordained in the United States. The Alison Palmer papers are chiefly related to her two lawsuits but also contain materials that document her foreign service career, and family papers.