This year, millions of American women will cast their votes for president, senators, mayors, city officials and school board members. Yet, it wasn’t always that way.
The fight for the women’s right to vote began more than 170 years ago, a lengthy and difficult struggle that would not end until Congress ratified the 19th Amendment on Aug. 18, 1920.
That historic moment in U.S. history will be celebrated March 9-17 at Cal State Long Beach starting with a panel discussion and movie showing of “Harriet.” March is Women’s History Month and the many events presented by the Women's & Gender Equity Center, will showcase the heroic efforts of women in U.S. history.
Dr. Sarah Schrank, a professor of modern U.S. women’s history, said the 19th Amendment gave women uniformly the right to vote in any election at any level.
“Prior to 1920, women only had the sporadic right to the franchise in different parts of the country, particularly in the West,” Schrank said. “The enfranchisement of women meant that the voting constituency of the nation grew by almost 50% thus providing a far more democratic representation of the wants and needs of the American people.
“Women’s right to vote meant that women had access to the political sphere, which could help access rights for women in other venues: labor, reproductive health, education, access to the professions, etc. Unfortunately, the right to vote has not yet translated into women’s equal political power. We are still underrepresented in most political offices and are still fighting for pay equity.”
The panel discussion following "Harriet" will include Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of Department of Africana Studies and Elliott Williams, Film and Electronic Arts Production and Technical Staff. The event will be held in the USU Beach Auditorium and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
The event is sponsored by Women's & Gender Equity Center, ASI Beach Pride Events, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Africana Studies and Film and Electronic Arts department.
Tea With Alice and Me
6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, USU Ballroom
Join Activist and Author Zoe Nicholson as she takes you with her on a revolutionary and feminist call to action, transporting you through time and place with her one-women performance.
History of voting display and resource fair held before the event from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
Celebrating Women’s Right to Vote and Resource Fair
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday March 17
Speaker’s Platform (grass area across from bookstore)
11:00 – 1:00 pm Resource fair & Display
A display on the history of voting rights along with a Voting Resource Fair where students can learn about current voter information, learn about the Real ID, and check polling places and more.
For more information contact the Women’s Resource Center at 562.985.8576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special screening of Harriet with Q&A following movie