Events

On Monday, August 17th from 4-6 pm, join WTTW for a virtual community screening and conversation of The Vote. One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, American Experience’s The Vote tells the dramatic story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote—a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history.

After the screening, Sylvia Ewing, Director of Strategic Communications, Marketing, and Outreach at Elevate Energy will moderate a live conversation featuring Lori Osborne, director of the Evanston Women’s History Project and Frances Willard House Museum in Evanston; Alice Palmer, former Illinois State Senator; and Rebecca Sive, political analyst and women’s leadership strategist and historian. The panel will discuss Illinois’ role in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, how race impacted Women’s Suffrage and voting today.

The Vote will re-air on WTTW beginning Tuesday September 8 at 8pm and will run there for three weeks. You can also find it online via PBS Passport and Amazon Prime.

For the community screening and panel discussion, all you need to participate is a computer or iPad with a good internet connection. Before the event, you can click here (https://ovee.itvs.org/diagnostics) to run a test to ensure OVEE works properly on your computer. More and to RSVP – https://interactive.wttw.com/events/2020-08-17-210000/vote-wttw-community-screening-and-conversation


Voting Rights Symposium

Tuesday, August 25th 7 pm – Recent headlines tell of reduced polling places, names taken off voter rolls, and requests for identification in places where none is required. One hundred years after the 19th Amendment affirmed women’s right to vote in the United States, many of these issues have become even more pressing. Roadblocks to exercising the right to vote still exist today, especially amongst minorities and the under-educated. In honor of the 19th Amendment Centennial, this thought-provoking discussion will examine what barriers still exist, preventing American voices from being heard. 

Panelists include the Honorable Judge Carole Kamin Bellows, Illinois State Senator Laura Fine, and writer/historian Rima Lunin Schultz. The Honorable Judge Abbey Romanek, child of Survivors and Board Member, Illinois Holocaust Museum &Education Center, will introduce panelists. Lori Osborne, director of the Evanston Women’s History Project and the Frances Willard House Museum, will serve as the panel moderator.   

This program is hosted by Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in partnership with the Woman’s Club of Evanston and Women’s Vote 100 Evanston. 

To register visit – https://ilholocaustmuseum.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIoc-yhqjsjGtbsPMT3AgKQEmOuEqxvY5V5


Rights, Responsibilities, and Roadblocks: Critical Stories Leading to the Passage of the 19th Amendment and Beyond

Recent headlines tell of reduced polling places, names taken off voter rolls, and requests for identification in places where none is required. One hundred years after the 19th Amendment affirmed women’s right to vote in the United States, many of these issues have become even more pressing. Roadblocks to exercising the right to vote still exist today, especially amongst minorities and the under-educated. 

In honor of the 19th Amendment Centennial, this event on Tuesday, August 25 at 7:00 pm (CDT) will include a thought-provoking discussion of what barriers still exist, preventing American voices from being heard. 

Register at https://ilholocaustmuseum.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIoc-yhqjsjGtbsPMT3AgKQEmOuEqxvY5V5

Panelists include the Honorable Judge Carole Kamin Bellows, Illinois State Senator Laura Fine, and writer/historian Rima Lunin Schultz. The Honorable Judge Abbey Romanek, child of Survivors and Board Member, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, will introduce panelists. Lori Osborne, director of the Evanston Women’s History Project and the Frances Willard House Museum, will serve as the panel moderator.   

This program is hosted by Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in partnership with the Woman’s  Club of Evanston and Women’s Vote 100 Evanston. 


Evanston Women and the Fight for the Vote – Facebook Live and Exhibit Re-Opening

For the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Equality Day on Wednesday, August 26th, Evanston Women and the Fight for the Vote will reopen to the public with two events –

  • at 10 am Lori Osborne, curator of the exhibit, will present exhibit highlights via Facebook Live and unveil the National Votes for Women Trail historic marker for Evanston suffragist Catharine Waugh McCulloch
  • exhibit viewing from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood Street. Reservations are required due to space limitations. More details to follow.

Telling the story of Evanston women and their strategic and critical work for women’s suffrage, the exhibit features archival resources, artifacts and costumes from the EHC collection.


On the Way to Suffrage: Chicago Women and Politics, 1865 to 1920

How did Chicago women win suffrage for themselves and other women? Who were these politicians and activists, and what did they accomplish on the long path toward suffrage from the years after the Civil War until passage of the Nineteenth Amendment? The answers–from securing local elections that were open to women as early as 1880, to working behind the scenes as loyal party operatives to shape the Republican party ticket–might surprise us. Long before the Nineteenth Amendment women in Chicago–Frances Willard, Ida B. Wells, Ella Stewart, and Catharine Waugh McCulloch–spoke, wrote, canvassed, rallied, lobbied, negotiated, and voted their way to full suffrage in 1920.

Speaker is Rachel Bohlmann librarian at the University of Notre Dame. She previously served as Director of Public Programs at the Newberry Library.

  • Wednesday, September 16th, 7:00 PM  8:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom

Details at https://www.glessnerhouse.org/programs/2020/9/16/online-on-the-way-to-suffrage-chicago-women-and-politics-1865-to-1920


Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers Book Launch with Martha S. Jones

Join Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the Frances Willard House Museum in conversation with Martha S. Jones author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote and Insisted on Equality for All (Basic/2020) and Leslie Harris (moderator), professor, Department of History, Northwestern University.

Thursday, September 17 – 6-8 pm – FREE

About the Book: In the standard story, the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this overwhelmingly white women’s movement did not win the vote for most black women. Securing their rights required a movement of their own. In Vanguard, acclaimed historian Martha S. Jones offers a new history of African American women’s political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of black women — Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more— who were the vanguard of women’s rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals.

A partnership between Frances Willard House Museum, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and Northwestern University in commemoration of the 2020 Suffrage Centennial.

Tickets here.


100th Anniversary VIRTUAL Celebration – LWVIL

The League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of defending democracy and empowering voters with a 100th Anniversary VIRTUAL Celebration on September 24, 2020. The theme for the event is “Power The Vote.”

LWVIL has a long and rich history that was forged from the determination and dedication of astounding women. ​The event webpage will be updated with details and registration information as they develop.


Postponed to Fall 2020 – Race and Rights: Wells, Willard and Addams

Who gets to be a citizen? How did debates in Chicago around voting, lynching and women’s rights break down across racial lines? The panel discussion will focus on the historical breakdowns in feminism and race for Frances Willard and Jane Addams, and tell the story of Ida B. Wells’ efforts to hold them each accountable.

This talk is the second in a partnership between Frances Willard House Museum, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the history department at Northwestern University in commemoration of the 2020 Suffrage Centennial. New date to be announced soon.


Past Events

On Friday, February 14, 2020, the League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL) will celebrate a century as a grassroots nonpartisan civic organization. The centennial anniversary will take place at the Congress Plaza Hotel in the Gold Room, the very room in which the League of Women Voters of the U.S. was founded in 1920. The event will include remarks from community influencers and local and state legislators, a presentation of a state and city proclamations marking the significance of this date, a celebratory birthday cake, and so much more. For more info and to RSVP visit this link. This event is free and open to the public.


for the freedom of her race.jpeg

Join Jane Addams Hull-House Museum on Wednesday January 22nd at 6 pm for a talk by Lisa Materson, author of For the Freedom of Her Race: Black Women and Electoral Politics in Illinois, 1877-1932 (University of North Carolina Press/March 2009). The talk will focus on the overlooked stories of black women in Illinois who advocated for voting rights and the racism within the suffrage movement – past and present – what is remembered, what is forgotten and how little has been told. More information and RSVP


The 2020 anniversary year starts on January 1st with women’s suffrage a highlight of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Hundreds of marchers will be dressed as suffragists and a suffrage anniversary float will be covered with yellow roses (which were a symbol of the suffrage movement). One of the marchers representing Illinois is the descendent of an Illinois suffragist – Catharine Waugh McCulloch. Another is a descendent of Ida B. Wells. You can find more about both McCulloch and Wells in the Biography section of this website. For more information about the parade, go here.


On Monday, June 10th, Illinois League members and supporters will be gathering at Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago for the commemoration of June 10th, 2019 as Women’s Right to Vote Day. There will be several dignitaries from all levels of government and the day will include a short speech from LWVIL Executive Director Audra Wilson about the importance of the League in securing voting rights for ALL citizens. More can be found on LWVIL social media. League members and supporters are encouraged to wear white to celebrate the suffragists that came before and to show the crowd just how many LWVIL members and supporters are in attendance.

This special celebration is to recognize that 100 years ago on June 10th, 1919, Illinois became the FIRST to ratify the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.