Centennial of Women’s Suffrage: One Event, Many Perspectives

Women's suffrage was a complicated and far-reaching event. Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, in partnership with League of Women Voters of Vermont, the Vermont Commission on Women, and the Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance, invites the public to explore this topic in a new, four-part virtual symposium, The Centennial of Women’s Suffrage: One Event, Many Perspectives.

Debuting at ethanallenhomestead.org/suffragesymposium this Saturday, May 16th at 2 PM, and available on-demand after, the four symposium video presentations set the historical context and tell the stories of the suffrage movement and its impact for African American women, for Indigenous women in federally recognized tribes, for Abenaki women in Vermont, and in the role of education for women and girls.

Kathryn Dungy presents on “…the courage of their convictions: African American Women in the Fight for Women’s Suffrage.” 
Kathryn’s talk discusses the role African-American women played in the struggle for women’s suffrage, though they would not realize these benefits until many years later, and in many places still struggle for them.  Kathryn is a professor of the social and cultural history of Latin America and the Caribbean; gender and race identity; the Atlantic World, and Antebellum U.S. at Saint Michael’s College.

Beverly Little Thunder presents “On the Shoulders of our Ancestors and Mother Earth.”
Beverly discusses how Indigenous women have been marginalized and their voices removed through colonization, violence, and misogyny. She emphasizes the dire need for women to exercise leadership on our planet.  Beverly is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Lakota Band from North Dakota, and travels widely to speak and share her traditions and work.

Melody Walker presents on “Navigating Freedom in Two Worlds.”
Melody examines political agency and the importance of women, children, and all living creatures having that agency in society, and in being noticed and heard when exercising it.  Melody is an educator, activist, artist, and citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Band of Ndakinna. She is former chair of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs.

Susan Ouellette presents on “Emma Willard, Women’s Education, and the Campaign for Women’s Suffrage.” 
Susan’s talk looks at Emma Willard’s trailblazing work, and how education played a major role in women expressing their political voice and advocacy. Susan is a professor of Early America at Saint Michael’s College. Her recently published book, “An Extraordinary Ordinary Woman” features research and analysis of the diary of Phebe Orvis, a 19th Century Bristol resident with ties to Vergennes and Middlebury.

This event is presented by the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Vermont, the Vermont Commission on Women, and the Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance, and with special thanks to Burlington Cars, 802 Cars, One Day In July financial advisors, and People's United Bank for their generous support. View the symposium at ethanallenhomestead.org/suffragesymposium or on the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum’s YouTube page.