Muriel Nikki Brink
March 7, 1928
|Died||November 10, 2014 (aged 86)|
Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.
|Education||Skidmore College (BA)|
|Occupation||Activist, feminist, lobbyist, journalist|
|Known for||Florida's National Organization for Women|
Richard A. Beare (m. 1946)
|Awards||Florida Women's Hall of Fame (1994)|
Beare began working as a journalist for The Miami News before fully committing to the fledgeling feminist movement in Florida. She was hired as a lobbyist by NOW in an effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and worked to fight instances of job and insurance discrimination. Beare was invited to the Third and Fourth World Conference on Women in 1985 and 1995.
She was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame in 1994.
Muriel Nikki Brink was born on March 7, 1928, in Detroit, Michigan, as the only daughter of parents Stanley and Dorothy Brink. She also had one younger brother named Stanley Jr. Her father was a basketball player and her mother worked so she was raised by housekeepers. Growing up, she attended Noble Grade School, Tappan Intermediate, and Cass Technical High School. She graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1946 and married Richard A. Beare. Their daughter Sandra was born in 1947.
The family moved to Islamorada, a village in the Florida Keys, in 1956 where she wrote for the Key West Citizen newspaper before moving to Miami. In 1962, Beare published a book titled "From turtle soup to coconuts; a gourmet guide to good eating and restaurants on the Florida Keys."
In 1968, Beare was inspired by American feminist Roxcy Bolton to help found the Florida chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW). While working as a Women’s Page reporter for the Miami News, Beare was elected vice-president of the Florida NOW. After leaving journalism to tackle feminism, she convinced The Miami Herald to eliminate the gendered newspaper classifieds sections. She was later named president of Florida's NOW chapter after Martha Ingle resigned. In 1970, Beare helped Gwen Cherry, Dade County’s first female black attorney, get elected to the Florida House of Representatives as well as helped Elaine Gordon get elected as a Democrat legislator from Dade County. As part of her job with NOW, Beare prepared workshops for women to educate them on how to lobby and interact with lawmakers.
In 1975, NOW hired Beare as a lobbyist to help pass the Equal Rights Amendment. She also began her own feminist newspaper titled "Women's Almanac" which ran from 1975 to 1985. That same year, Beare began her own public relations company called "Nikki Beare and Associates Inc.
In 1976, Beare worked with the Florida Insurance Task Force to fight against instances of discrimination based on gender. She teamed up with Gordon, now an established state legislator, to start a statewide feminist credit union. This was a response to banks refusing to loan money to young women on the basis of sex. She also worked with Gordon and Elaine Bloom, who also became a legislator, on WKAT Radio with a feminist radio show titled "Women's Powerline". In 1978, Beare served as Vice President of the Women's Business Council of Dade County and later she served on NOW's Advisory Board for the National Women's Political Caucas.
In 1980, Beare earned her Bachelor of Arts from Skidmore College where she focused on Women in Nineteenth Century American Culture. As a member of NOW in the 1980s, Beare helped form a Women's International News Service, and lobbied for women's rights such as childbirth or adoption unpaid leave. In 1985 and 1995, Beare was invited to the United Nations World Conference on Women. Starting in 1988, Beare worked as a lobbyist for the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) to fight against travel fraud.
In 1992, after Hurricane Andrew, she moved to Havana, Florida where she and her daughter Sandra were charter members of the Gadsden County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force. She also worked with Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. In 1994, Beare was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame. The next year, she was elected vice president for policy planning in the Florida Women's Political Caucus. She further continued her activism work by serving as a chairwoman of the National Committee on Travel for Persons With Disabilities of ASTA. Through her work with ASTA, Beare helped introduce the Travel Agency Fair Treatment Act and lobbyied to protect travel agent services from increased taxes. She also worked to end travel scamming. In 1996, Beare and Sandra opened an antique store and later a book shop. Her family also ran a Blueberry picking farm called "Beare’s Berries." However, in 2005, Beare returned to journalism and worked as the Gadsden County correspondent for the Tallahassee Democrat; a position she kept until 2011.
List of publications:
- From turtle soup to coconuts; a gourmet guide to good eating and restaurants on the Florida Keys. (1962)
- Bottle bonanza: a handbook for glass collectors (1965)
- Pirates, pineapples, and people: a history, tales, and legends of the upper Florida Keys (1969)
- "NIKKI BEARE". veteranfeministsofamerica.com. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- "Muriel Nikki Brink Beare". legacy.com. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- Cohen, Howard (November 20, 2014). "Pioneering feminist, Florida Women's Hall of Famer Nikki Beare dies at 86". Miami Herald. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- "Beare, Nikki". WorldCat. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- Harakas, Margo (May 26, 1999). "ROXCY'S HERITAGE". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- "GENDER BOOSTERS". Sun-Sentinel. March 27, 1999. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
Here in Florida I was one of the "helpers" in the creation of the Florida Women's Consortium, a close friend to Roxcy Bolton, Annette Van Howe, Nikki Beare, Helen Landers and others who have shaped women's recent progress in this state.
- Ensley, Gerald (November 11, 2014). "Florida Women's Hall of Famer Nikki Beare dies at 86". tallahassee.com. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- "Goals Set by Women's Political Caucus". Washington: New York Times. July 13, 1971. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- Harakas, Margo (April 19, 1987). "POLITICO PROUD OF MAKING A DIFFERENCE". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- "NOW In Florida" (PDF). fsu.digital.flvc.org. March 25, 1973. p. 4. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- Joan S. Carver (April 1982). "The Equal Rights Amendment and the Florida Legislature". The Florida Historical Quarterly. Florida Historical Society. 60 (4): 455–481. JSTOR 30149853.
Back-up support for the legislators was provided by the Federation of Business and Professional Women, which used a former house minority leader as its lobbyist, and NOW, which hired feminist Nikki Beare as lobbyist and which sponsored a parade in the state capitol to mobilize support for the amendment
- "newsletter of the national organization for women vol. iv, #1" (PDF). fsu.digital.flvc.org. January 1976. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- "ERA Supporter Quits: 'Blackmail". Gaysweek. February 12, 1979. p. 4. Retrieved March 21, 2019.(Subscription required.)
- "Catholic women again against ERA" (PDF). The Voice. February 7, 1975. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
Representing the National Organization of Women, Nikki Beare of Miami said the amendment should be ratified in 1975 because "this is the International Year of the Woman."
- Love, Barbra J., ed. (September 22, 2006). Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975 (illustrated ed.). University of Illinois Press. pp. 32–33. ISBN 9780252031892. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- "Ann Wexler: Woman at White House". South Miami, FL, United States: Women’s Almanac. Fall 1979.(Subscription required.)
- "Women's Hearing Set by Ashler Committee". Fort Walton Beach Playground Daily News. July 28, 1976. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- Harakas, Margo (March 14, 1999). "ADVANCING EQUALITY". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
She eventually struck back by teaming with Nikki Beare, another Miami women's rights activist, to start "a statewide feminist credit union."
- "NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN". Gainesville NOW. December 1, 1975. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- "Credit Union OK'd For State Feminists". Sarasota Herald Tribune. Bluefield, West Virginia. October 9, 1975. p. 16.
- Stevens, Mark (March 19, 1978). "Women facing business world problems" (PDF). The Sunday Register. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
When the Women's Business Council of Dade Count) Fla . put out the word that a directory of women-owned businesses was being published, some 300 responses were received with very little provocation, says council Vice President Nikki Beare.
- "Series IV. Subject Files: Organizations: NWPC (National Women's Political Caucus) (Excludes Publications)". The National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce Records. June 7, 1979. Retrieved March 22, 2019.(Subscription required.)
- "Nairobi News Team". Network News. 1985. Retrieved March 21, 2019.(Subscription required.)
- Altaner, David (October 9, 1988). "BUSINESSWOMEN SPURN IMAGE AS STRICT FEMINISTS". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- "Nairobi, Kenya July 8-26,1985". Network News. August 1985. Retrieved March 21, 2019.(Subscription required.)
- Associated Press (April 15, 1988). "Bill would help halt travel firm rip-offs Series: Legislature '88". Tampa Bay Times.
- Norris, Lynette (October 23, 1994). "OUTSTANDING WOMEN TO JOIN HALL OF FAME". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- "Women who helped women make history". Tampa Bay Times. November 22, 1994.
- "FORMER REP. GORDON WILL LEAD FLORIDA WOMEN'S POLITICAL CAUCUS". PR Newswire. May 25, 1995.
Taking the oath of office with Gordon were Donna Collins and Kathleen Shaffer (Sarasota) as co-vice presidents of administration; Nikki Beare (Havana, FL) as vice president for policy planning; and Kate Gooderham (Naples) as financial officer.
- Hosaka, Tomoko (July 21, 1998). "UNRESTRICTED TRAVEL". Washington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- "ASTA's Model State Bill Aims To Give Agents Fair Treatment". Travel Agent. November 10, 1997.
- Sams, Rachel (February 20, 2002). "Florida Small-Business Group Fears Tax Plan". Tallahassee Democrat.
Small-business owners already spend too much time dealing with paperwork for various government requirements, said Nikki Beare, president of Historical Bookshelf in Havana. Beare, who is also a lobbyist and former owner of a travel agency, was involved in a successful lobbying effort to exempt travel agent services from the proposed sales tax overhaul.
- "State can do little about travel scams". Tampa Bay Times. February 17, 1992.
Nikki Beare, a lobbyist for the American Society of Travel Agents, said the group is not opposing registration of agents, in the hope that it will promote public trust of the industry.
- Kleindienst, Linda (April 15, 1988). "TRAVEL-SCAM BILLS TO TARGET RIP-OFFS". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
"It's a terrible thing for people to put money into a vacation and never get there or get there and find themselves registered in the red-light district," said Nikki Beare, a representative of the state's travel agents.
- Miklowitz, Linda (2007). "Blueberries are superfoods" (PDF). NEW LEAF MARKET'S NEWSLETTER. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- "Tallahassee Community College In The News" (PDF). tcc.fl.edu. 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
Nikki Beare writes about Gadsden County for the Democrat. She and her husband own Beare’s Berries, a you-pick blueberry farm near Havana, and Nikki Beare & Associates Inc., a communications business. She is in Florida’s Women’s Hall of Fame.