When American women go to the polls on Nov. 3, it will be for the 100th time in our nation’s history. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, after a battle of nearly seven decades. Wisconsin paved the way for the rest of the country by being the first state to ratify the amendment on June 10, 1919.

To commemorate this significant anniversary, the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service will host a series of public virtual events this fall featuring speakers well-versed in the history of the movement, providing both national and state-level perspectives. It will also bring to light the struggle faced by women of color, who were among the first suffagrists, yet were not allowed to vote for decades.

Rebecca Roberts

Sept. 22, 7 p.m. – Suffragists in Washington, D.C.: The 1913 Parade and the Fight for the VoteRebecca Roberts, journalist, historian and author. Roberts’ book is a vivid narrative of the heroic struggle of Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party as they worked to earn the vote, framed by the demonstration known as The Great Suffrage Parade. The Great Suffrage Parade was the first civil rights march to use the nation’s capital as a backdrop. Roberts will read selections from her book and share her research into this historical effort.

This is event is in partnership with the Central Wisconsin Book Festival.

Oct. 7, 7 p.m. – A Panel Discussion of Women’s Past, Present and Future in Wisconsin Politics. Moderated by Wisconsin Public Television’s Marisa Wojcik, and featuring these panelists:

  • Wisconsin’s First Lady, Kathy Evers, chair of the Committee to Celebrate the Centennial of Wisconsin’s Ratification of the 19th Amendment
  • Simone Munson, collections development coordinator for the Wisconsin Historical Society Library, Archives and Museum Collections division
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh-Bradley
  • Shannon Holsey, president, Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohican Indians

Oct. 13, 7 p.m. – Anna Laymon, executive director of the national Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, will talk with Wisconsin Public Television’s Marisa Wojcik about the projects and initiatives that have developed nationwide as the result of the commission’s work.

Each presentation will happen via Zoom and will include an opportunity for questions and answers from viewers.