The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Betty Morais Papers, 1976-2004

MSS-183

Size: 1/2 linear foot

Provenance: Gift of Betty Morais, 2004

Access: This collection is open to researchers.

Related Collections:  Linda Furney Papers, MSS-134; Betty Mauk Papers, MSS-135; Susan McCarthy Papers, MSS-129; The Birth Control Review

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by:  Timothy A. Daene

Biographical Sketch

     Betty Morais was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received her B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of Minnesota, and a M.A. in psychology from The Ohio State University.  Early in her career, she worked in the personnel department and customer service bureau of Lasalle’s Department Store in Toledo.  She was active in volunteer activities, including the League of Women Voters, the Council of Jewish Women, the Greater Toledo Day Care Centers, and the Women’s Institute on Human Relations of the City of Toledo. 
     After taking time out of her career to raise three children, Morais resumed employment in 1972, serving as community development specialist for the Economic Opportunity Planning Association.  In this position, she worked with neighborhood centers and their boards to generate resources and create neighborhood programs that assisted families to become self-sufficient. 
     Morais was hired in 1976 as executive director of Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio.  A plaque over her desk best described her philosophy of work for Planned Parenthood:  “All progress has resulted from those who took unpopular positions.” Her passion was for the poor and underprivileged. Her driving goal was to provide equal family health care to the rich and poor alike.  Reducing teen pregnancy rates was an important goal for her. 
In her capacity as executive director of Planned Parenthood, she was an organizer, putting together much of the day to day framework that governs the Toledo organization today.  Many praised her for her abilities as a manager.  During her tenure, she doubled the agency’s income, oversaw the building of a new headquarters building in 1979, expanded clinical services to outlying areas, and expanded Planned Parenthood’s services beyond birth control to include the diagnosis and treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases, HIV-AIDS testing and counseling, and prenatal and post-partum care.  She also managed the development of a comprehensive community sex education program.
     She is a feminist and an activist.  Because of her concern over family health, she was active with local, state, and national governments as an advocate for public policy that supported children and families.  She and the Planned Parenthood board were successful in raising private money to support the organization.  Her vision of Planned Parenthood was that its services would encompass an individual’s entire life. 
     In addition to Planned Parenthood, she also supported and volunteered with the ACLU and various health and human services organizations.  She was appointed by the governor to the Ohio Social Services Advisory Board, was the Great Lakes representative to the National Planned Parenthood Executive Directors’ Council, and created the Ohio Family Planning Providers’ Council.  This council consisted of representatives from family planning programs around the state who worked to streamline costs and regulations to improve services and reduce costs.  Morais was one of four founders of Connecting Point, which began as a residential facility for runaway teens and today provides comprehensive mental health services.  In 1997 she helped to found Community Shares of Northwest Ohio, a partnership of local organizations that provides workplace employees with choices in donating to charitable causes through payroll deduction.
     She was honored by the community and her peers on a number of occasions.  In 1987 she received the Junior League of Toledo’s Community Services Award and the Women in Communications’ Women in Achievement Award; in 1991 the Lucas County Women’s Health Association’s Women’s Health Provider of the Year award; an award from the ACLU in 1994 for protecting civil liberties; and also in 1994 received the YWCA’s Milestones Award for achievement in social services.  After her retirement from Planned Parenthood, the Betty Morais Independence Fund was established to raise money to reduce the organization’s dependence on government funding.

  

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains letters, awards, articles, memos, speeches, and photographs.  While containing some information about Ms. Morais’s activities outside Planned Parenthood, its main strength and area of interest is in her work with Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio both during and after her retirement as executive director.  It contains correspondence with heads of Planned Parenthood’s divisions, as well as with individuals outside the organization.  It is a good source for information on the development of the local Planned Parenthood during these years.  Of particular interest is the comprehensive sex education curriculum developed by the organization under Ms. Morais’s direction called “Bridging the Gap.”

The collection contains some material about the opposition’s work in the same time frame, but this material is sketchy.  It also contains little information about her private life.

Folder List

Box     Folder             Contents

1          1                      Advocacy, political action and protest, 1988-1995
1          2                      Awards and certificates, 1987-1997
1          3                      Book:  Sociocultural Incentives for Pregnancy and Childbearing
                                    Among Disadvantaged Youth, by H. Theodore Groat, Peggy
                                    C. Giodano, and Beverly Nelson, 1993         
1          4                      Cartoons and ephemera, n.d.
1          5                      Community information, miscellaneous, 1995, n.d.
1          6                      Occasional verse, 1990, n.d.
1          7                      Photographs, 1976-1994, n.d.
1          8                      Planned Parenthood, Board communications, 1981-1993
1          9                      Planned Parenthood, “Bridging the Gap” curriculum, 1985
1          10                    Planned Parenthood, Community education, 1981-1993
1          11                    Planned Parenthood, Fundraising, 1988-1993
1          12                    Planned Parenthood, Miscellaneous, 1984-1993
1          13                    Planned Parenthood, Opposition and response, 1980-1991
1          14                    Planned Parenthood, Services and activities, 1981-1993
1          15                    Planned Parenthood, Staff communication, 1979-1992
1          16                    Post retirement, 1994-1995

Last Updated: 1/3/12