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Speaker Series Celebrates Women’s Suffrage Centennial

UC Davis Library’s Archives and Special Collections and the Yolo County Archives invite the community to “Battle for the Ballot: A Speaker Series to Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage” highlighting the passage of the 19th Amendment. Free events will be held in libraries throughout Yolo County from March 5 – April 13, to coincide with Women’s History Month and the California primaries.

Participants will engage in question-and-answer sessions and hear from the following historians:

  • March 5 at 6:00 p.m.: Dr. Mona Siegel at the Winters Community Library, located at 708 Railroad Avenue in Winters. Drawing from her new book, Peace on Our Terms, Sacramento State history professor Mona Siegel will examine American women’s battle for the vote through an international lens. Her talk will highlight why women’s activism in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East was critical to the final push for ratification of the 19th Amendment in the United States. RSVP:
  • CANCELED* March 19 at 6:00 p.m.: Dr. Wendy Rouse at the Mary L. Stephens-Davis Branch Library, located at 315 E. 14th Street in Davis. Wendy Rouse is an Associate Professor of History at San Jose State University whose scholarly research focuses on the history of women and children in the United States during the Progressive Era. Presently, Rouse is working on a project called “Queering the History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement” that explores how suffragists both reinforced and challenged heteronormative views of gender and sexuality while highlighting the role of queer suffragists in the movement. RSVP:
  • March 26 at 6:00 p.m.: Mel Russell at The Barn Gallery, located at 512 Gibson Road in Woodland. Mel Russell’s talk, “Warriors: Women of Yolo County, 1910-1920,” will examine national events of the decade, including the “Votes for Women” campaign, the Temperance Movement and Prohibition, World War I, and the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic, through the lives of Yolo County women who survived, and thrived, in the chaos of the social upheaval caused by these epic events. RSVP:
  • CANCELED* March 30 at 6:00 p.m.: Steve & Susie Swatt at the Arthur F. Turner Community Library, located at 1212 Merkley Avenue in West Sacramento. Steve and Susie Swatt, coauthors of Paving the Way: Women’s Struggle for Political Equality in California, will weave a 170-year historical narrative of the remarkable, mostly unsung, and long-forgotten women who overcame discrimination and cultural stereotypes to help shape the state’s public landscape. Feel the grit, determination and resilience of these trailblazing women from the post-Gold Rush era to the epic fight for suffrage and from the turbulent and transformative 1960s and 1970s to today’s #MeToo movement. RSVP:
  • April 13 at 6:00 p.m.: Dr. Lisa Materson at UC Davis’ Shields Library (Room 167), located at 100 NW Quad in Davis. Lisa Materson, author of For the Freedom of Her Race: Black Women and Electoral Politics in Illinois, 1877-1932 and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of American Women’s and Gender History, is an Associate Professor of History at UC Davis whose work is focused on women’s participation in social and political justice movements in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She will speak about African American women’s involvement in electoral politics between Reconstruction and the New Deal. RSVP:

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP for each talk at the links provided or by contacting Heather Lanctot at: (530) 666-8010 or All locations are accessible for persons with disabilities. Further information about the series can be found here.

To coincide with the lecture series, the UC Davis Library is launching an exhibit, Votes for Women: Celebrating the Centennial of the 19th Amendment, in the lobby of UC Davis’ Shields Library from March 2 – September 11 that will display unique items telling the story of the national, California, and Yolo County campaigns for women’s right to vote.

Individual talks are sponsored by the Winters Friends of the Library, the Friends of the Yolo County Archives, the Friends of the Davis Public Library, the West Sacramento Friends of the Library, and the UC Davis Library.

*This talk has been canceled as non-essential programs held at Yolo County Library branches are canceled through March 31, 2020.


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