In October 1911 the women of California voted for the first time. It was a right that was hard won by the suffrage movement and a freedom not granted to all American women for another nine years.
On Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m., the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club celebrates the Centennial of California women’s enfranchisement with a free lecture and film screening, exploring California’s role in setting in motion the modern women’s suffrage movement.
The event will feature presentations from the following guests.
Speaker Professor Ellen Dubois is a distinguished pioneer of modern U.S. women’s history, specializing in the history of women’s suffrage. With Vicki Ruiz, she edited the innovative anthology, Unequal Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Women’s History. And, with Lynn Dumenil, she authored Through Women’s Eyes: An American History, the first narrative history of U.S. women in more than twenty years. Currently she is writing an ambitious global history of women’s rights between 1920 and 1970.
Speaker Virginia Elwood-Akers is a retired Women’s Studies librarian whose latest book is the first full-length biography of “The Mother of Clubs’, suffragist Caroline Severance. She will discuss the role of women’s clubs in the campaign for suffrage, focusing on the Southern California region and the contributions of local personalities Caroline Severance, Georgina Sullivan Jones and the SMBWC’s founder Elmira T. Stephens.
Speaker Martha Wheeler is a filmmaker on women’s history, women writers, and artists. Recently retired as a teacher at Harvard-Westlake School where she taught American Literature, Ethics and Women’s Studies, documentary film is now her full time focus.
The film by Martha Wheeler, California Women Win The Vote, is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of California’s suffragist vote, nine years before the Federal Amendment for American Women extended the right across the U.S.
The film is a tribute to the women whose strategy, innovation, dedication and vision, over the scant eight months they had in which to organize, won an amazing victory by a thin margin of 3,500 votes! Leaders are recognized, but so too are the ordinary women and men who did the work and who never gave up.
The film brings the suffragists’ fight into a modern context, taking lessons from their experience in how to handle an issue, and posits that, since women were not given the vote but WON it, we should never take that right for granted
The Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club is located at 1210 Fourth Street, Santa Monica.
The event is free and open to all.
Phone 310.395.1308 for more information.
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