“In 2017 it will be 100 years since New York State signed woman's suffrage into law, three years before the US passed the 19th Amendment. This was a milestone for the state and a transformative moment in American democracy. Equal opportunity is as important a topic today as it was when Susan B. Anthony was arrested in Rochester for attempting to vote. This historical moment is the perfect time to frame a statewide discussion about the social, professional and political equality of women—and by extension, all citizens—in New York State.” – from New York Council for the Humanities’ web page
We agree that this is a moment for education, conversation and discussion not only statewide and nationally but locally. There have been local gatherings to discuss what might happen in Tompkins County to not only celebrate this milestone and the arc of the struggle but to also call attention to the work that still needs attention. There is a small core group that has come together to keep track of events, seed ideas, connect people and provide some level of coordination. We envision a google calendar for posting suffrage initiatives and a website for posting resources. The History Center in Tompkins County has agreed to be the main point of contact. There are specific ideas already in play from developing a toolkit for school and community groups, to a reading of Declaration of Sentiments to book talks. There are many ideas that have been brainstormed including ways to involve youth, collecting oral histories, using theater as a way of promoting dialogue, showing movies, art and essay contests, a series of newspaper columns offering differing perspectives on voting and citizenship. There are also a number of programs that are possible including, women in politics, when did others receive the right to vote, and changing the NYS constitution.
Please let us know if you have:
-ideas for celebrating the state’s centennial of women’s suffrage;
-specific initiatives and dates; and/or,
-have an idea but are looking for collaborators.
Send to Rod Howe by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Suffrage Core Group:
Sarah Chalmers, Civic Ensemble
Julia Corrice, South Central Regional Library Council
Donna Eschenbrenner, The History Center in Tompkins County
Rod Howe, The History Center in Tompkins County
Carol Kammen, Tompkins County Historian
Diane Pamel, Dryden Southworth Library
Karen Pastorello, Tompkins Cortland Community College
Kay Sharp, League of Women Voters, Tompkins County
Flo Smith, League of Women Voters, Tompkins County
Kathleen Yen, City Federation of Women's Organizations