The League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the founding of both the local and national leagues the same year, with a series of events throughout 2020.
The series, “Owning Our Past, Imagining Our Future,” celebrates suffrage for women and the work of the League, while acknowledging that racism scarred the suffrage movement and that many women of color were denied the right to vote for over four decades after the amendment was ratified.
All are welcome at these events, which are free and open to the public:
Friday, February 14 at noon
Lunch with the League features local League history from 1920 to the present, including the 15 year anniversary of Lunch with the League. The event, which will include birthday cake for guests, will be held at the South Bend Chocolate Café, 122 S. Michigan St. Guests are welcome to arrive as early as 11:30 am, and are encouraged to arrive early if they wish to purchase lunch before the talk.
Tuesday, March 10 at 5 PM
The League will host the opening reception for a display of local League historical artifacts at the Roger B. Francis Library Branch, 52655 N. Ironwood Road, South Bend. Photos, newspaper articles, and other League documents will be displayed throughout the library.
Friday, March 13 at noon
Lunch with the League welcomes League members John Hagen, Penny Hughes, Gladys Muhammad, and Lisa Plencner, who will share their unique League stories, sharing 1) how they first encountered or why they joined the League, 2) the focus of their work with the League, and 3) how their work moves democracy forward. Location: South Bend Chocolate Café, 122 S. Michigan St. Guests are welcome to arrive as early as 11:30 am, and are encouraged to arrive early if they wish to purchase lunch before the talk.
Sunday, March 15 at 2 PM
“Rhetoric and Reality: A Century of Votes for Women,” lecture by Christina Wolbrecht, co-author with J. Kevin Corder of A Century of Votes for Women (Cambridge University Press). Wolbrecht teaches political science at the University of Notre Dame and is director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy. She will explore popular misunderstandings about women voters over the past century and show that women do not comprise a single voting bloc. Rather, women voters are diverse in their interests and identities, especially in terms of race. She will address how assumptions and perceptions are leading the public, press, and politicians to misunderstand women voters today. Reception to follow. Location: Carroll Auditorium, Madeleva Hall, Saint Mary’s College. Concludes at 4 pm.
April 6 – May 1
“Securing the Vote: Women’s Suffrage in Indiana,” a traveling exhibit in the lobby of the South Bend Civic Theatre, 403 N. Main St. The 9-panel display was created by the Indiana Historical Society, with help from the Lilly Endowment. It explores how women across the state labored for suffrage through meetings, campaigns, and other grassroots efforts. Free admission. Theatre lobby hours are 9 am to 6 pm, Monday-Friday.
The League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League never endorses a political party or candidates.
Membership is open to men and women of all ages. With 800 affiliates across the county, the League is one of the nation’s most trusted organizations. Find us on the web at www.lwvsouthbend.org and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LWVSouthBend/.
Image credit: CC Ben Taylor Flickr