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Womontown: A Revolutionary Community in 1980s Kansas City

Womontown tells the story of a group of women in Kansas City who banded together to defy gender norms, transforming 12 city blocks in the Longfellow neighborhood into a revolutionary community by and for women.

In Kansas City, Drea Nedelsky and her girlfriend, Maryann Hopper, had a vision...

In the late 1980s, women regularly found themselves on the outside looking in. Between the gender pay gap, a distinct lack of representation in government and federal leadership, and the inability to secure a home loan without the signature of a husband or parent, obstacles were abundant. For women - and specifically, queer women - this obstruction to homeownership was one more setback to achieving independence in a male-dominated society.

In Kansas City, Drea Nedelsky and her girlfriend, Maryann Hopper, had a vision. They imagined a neighborhood where they could be themselves without fear, a place where women could walk hand-in-hand down the street without the judgments and criticisms normally encountered in the “straight world.”

Within five years, 75 women purchased 28 homes and 14 apartment buildings in a 7x7 block area in midtown with their life savings or loans from family members, renovating the properties and creating a home. Rather than selling and ultimately gentrifying the neighborhood, they put down roots and hoped for something larger. Womontown’s women weren’t after profit, they were after a community.

Womontown Twitter Conversation with Sandy Woodson and Emily Woodring

Twitter

Lunchtime Conversations: Womontown

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Womontown Map

WOMONTOWN - map showing 25th street north, 31st street south, Gillham to the west and Troost to the east. Cherry, Holmes, Charlotte, Campbell and Harrison Streets are north south within the boundaries.

'Womyn's Land': A Rural Version of 'Womontown'

Womyn’s Land was created as a place for lesbians who wanted to withdraw from an oppressive “mainstream world” to feel safe and empowered.

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