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Fay O'Hare Papers

Identifier: UP001327

Scope and Content

The Fay O’Hare Papers contain 19 linear feet of material. The collection consists of material from O'Hare's career and is arranged into three series: Detroit - Civic and Education Invovlement; Monitoring Commission; and Women. The Detroit - Civic and Education Invovlement series includes all the papers of O’Hare’s work on a variety of committees and organizations with an education focus. While the central topic of this subseries is education, there is a significant emphasis on desegregation and decentralization of the school system. Of note are folders relating to O’Hare’s work with the Coalition for Peaceful Integration, Detroit Education Task Force, High School Study Commission, Mayor-elect Coleman Young’s Task Force, and New Detroit, Inc. Documents in this subseries include meeting agendas, notes, studies, proposals, and recommendations. The Monitoring Commission series includes the working papers of the Commission over the decade of its existence. This includes information on alternative education, vocational education, uniform codes of conduct across schools, school violence, corporal punishment, teachers, and quality of education. Meeting agendas and correspondence are prevalent in the working papers folders. This Commission was created to audit the implementation of court orders and many of these orders can be found in the Bradley v. Milliken folders. Also included, are Fay O’Hare’s reading and reference material, which are comprised of news articles about issues in Michigan education and publications about desegregation both locally and nationally. The news article files also contain occasional Monitoring Commission memos. Additionally, within the publication folders one can find Monitoring Commission reports and profiles on Detroit Public Schools. The Women series includes publications, fliers, and notes on women’s issues including sexual assault, equality, Title IX, and the Equal Rights Amendment. This series also contains a more personal folder with a news article from when Fay O’Hare was accepted to the Michigan Bar as well as two miscellaneous invitations.


  • 1967 - 1988
  • Majority of material found within 1972 - 1984


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.


Collection is open to research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Born on May 21, 1929, Fay O’Hare was raised in Detroit and attended Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University for college before earning her law degree from Wayne State University Law School. After being admitted to the Bar, Fay O’Hare worked as an attorney and also became heavily involved in committee and organization work focused on civic and educational improvements. She worked with the Detroit Board of Education in a number of capacities. This experience included work as a member of the Nichols School Neighborhood Planning and Evaluation Council, the Eastern High School Study Committee as part of the High School Study Commission, and on the Education Committee of the Detroit Education Task Force. After Coleman Young won the mayoral election in 1973, he put together a Mayor-elect Task Force, of which O’Hare was a member of the Steering Committee. Fay O’Hare helped found the Coalition for Peaceful Integration and served on its Board of Directors for many years. The Coalition worked towards peaceful desegregation with an emphasis on support from communities. She also served as the Chairman of the Program Planning Committee. In 1975 the Monitoring Commission was established by Judge Robert E. DeMascio’s court order to audit implementation efforts of court desegregation orders and improvements to Detroit Public Schools. O’Hare was appointed as a member of this Commission and as Vocational Education Subcommittee Chair. In 1978 O’Hare became the Chairman of the Commission, a position she continued until the Monitoring Commission disbanded in 1984. The main topics the Commission focused on included: reading, transportation, vocational education, testing, school-community relations, counseling and guidance, co-curricular, bi-lingual, uniform code of conduct, agreements. Fay O’Hare also was a part of New Detroit, Inc., both as a Member of the Board of Directors and as Education Committee Vice Chair. She was a dedicated, long-term member of the League of Women Voters – Detroit. During her time with the League, she served as the Detroit Branch’s President for 3 years, Education Chairperson, Finance Committee member, Membership Committee member, and Metro Integration Study Committee member of Detroit Metro Leagues. She also was the Chairperson of the Budget Committee of League of women Voters of Michigan and as a delegate to the National Convention on multiple occasions. Fay O’Hare was married to Rolland O’Hare, the couple had two children: Allan and Heather. Fay O’Hare passed away on September 17, 2013.


13 Linear Feet (13 SB)


Fay O'Hare was a Detroit attorney who was heavily involved in Detroit education from the late 1960s through the 1980s. Her involvement included work with the High School Study Commission, Coalition for Peaceful Integration, Detroit Education Task Force, and Coleman Young's Mayor-elect Task Force. In addition to this, she worked on the Monitoring Commission, established to audit the court ordered changes and improvements to Detroit Public Schools as a result of the Bradley v Milliken case. These papers contain meeting agendas, notes, reference materials and publications relevant O'Hare's work, as well as a small amount of material on women's issues and equality.


The collection is arranged in 1 series and 3 subseries. Folders in all subseries are arranged alphabetically by subject. Subseries 1: Detroit - civic and education involvement (Boxes 1-3) Subseries 2: Monitoring Commission (Boxes 4-13) Subseries 3: Women (Box 13)

Related Materials

Robert E. DeMascio Papers; Wayne State University College of Edcuation, Dean's office: Detroit Public Schools Monitoring Commission on Desegregation Records; Merle Henrickson Papers; Detroit Public Schools Community Relations Division Records; Mary Ellen Riordan Papers

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Shae Rafferty on October 31, 2017.


Guide to the Fay O'Hare Papers
Processed by Shae Rafferty
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA