Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in New York State

October 10 2017
Category: Events

Alice Robertson
Elmira College alumna Alice Robertson, shown here on the right, was the first-elected congresswoman after the passage of the 19th amendment.

Throughout the month of October, Elmira College is partnering with Community Arts of Elmira and the YWCA Elmira and the Twin Tiers to present three events that celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage in New York State.

The first event, on Wednesday, October 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the Community Arts of Elmira, features author and political activist Destiny Kinal and her discussion on the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) influences on the Euro-American women suffragette movement as discovered through her historical research for the first two books in her Textile Trilogy: Burning Silk and Linen Shroud. This dialogue is an analysis of the Three Waves of feminism through the lens of a century’s passing.

The YWCA Elmira and the Twin Tiers will host the second event on Wednesday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m., with a screening of “Awakening.” The film was the first installment of the critically acclaimed PBS documentary MAKERS: Women Who Make America, which told the story of the modern American women’s movement. This film shares the remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history, women asserting their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy.

On Wednesday, October 25, at 6:00 p.m., the series will conclude with a discussion on empowering women for success. The discussion will take place on Elmira College’s campus in Peterson Chapel, Cowles Hall, and will be led by Elmira College’s Dr. Deborah Owens, director of teacher education and professor of literacy education, as well as Dr. Thomas Fiala, professor emeritus from Arkansas State University.

As the first college founded to offer women a course of study equal in rigor to the best men’s colleges of the time, Elmira College has a deep connection to women’s rights and women’s suffrage. In addition to supporting suffrage efforts in Elmira and on campus from the 1890’s through the passage of the 19th amendment, the College was home to important suffrage figures including graduates, Mary Grey Peck, a secretary of leading suffragist, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Alice Robertson, the first-elected congresswoman after the passage of the 19th amendment. The College is proud to honor the centennial celebration of the suffrage movement in New York State.