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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: 2002-M114--2002-M162
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Mildred Robbins Leet, 1922-2011
Title: Additional papers of Mildred Robbins Leet, 1928-2005
Quantity: .21 linear feet (1/2 file box) plus 4 photograph folders and electronic records)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of Mildred Robbins Leet, social activist and cofounder of Trickle Up, a New York-based international non-governmental organization dedicated to alleviating poverty.
Social activist and volunteer Mildred Robbins Leet was born Mildred Elowsky in 1922. Rasied in Brooklyn, New York, she graduated from New York University (B.A. 1942). She married Louis J. Robbins (1913-1970) in February 1941 and the couple had two children, Jane Marla (1943) and Aileen (1947). During World War II she volunteered as an air-raid warden and a nurse's aide, and following the war continued her commitment to volunteerism. She actively engaged in volunteer activities for Cerebral Palsy and in 1948 became one of the founders of United Cerebral Palsy, where she served as first president of the women's division. Leet expanded her volunteerism into politics and with Marietta Tree co-chaired New York's Volunteers for Stevenson (1956). She served as a United Nations (U.N.) representative (1957-1964) and president (1964-1968) of the National Council of Women of the United States, emphasizing civil rights, family planning, and international peacekeeping. From 1968 to 1970, she was an active member of the Women's Advisory Committee on Poverty in the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. Her expertise in international relations led to her involvement in the development of the International Peace Academy (1968-1974).In 1974 she married Glen Leet (1908-1998), then President of the International Society for Community Development. Among his many activities in foreign development, he served as U.N. Advisor to Greece (1947-1950), and the first U.N. Consultant on Social Welfare Policy. In the 1960s he became President of Save the Children. Together Glen and Mildred developed Hotline International, a telecommunications conferencing program that covered five U.N. conferences from 1974 to 1978. The couple also co-founded the Trickle Up Program (1979), which continues to receive awards for its philanthropic work. The enduring program assists low-income people worldwide by providing conditional seed capital and business training. The grants enable participants to launch a small business in partnership with local agencies. The recipient of numerous degrees and honors, Leet has written and lectured widely on women and development and technology. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame (2003) for philanthropic endeavors.
These addenda contain the transcription of an interview with Leet; publications, and reports, and speeches she delivered. Four folders of photographs featuring Leet with her family, as well as her professional and philanthropic work and travels, were added in January 2015.A memorial web site was captured as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection (WAX).