Postponed – 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. At Harris Hall at Northwestern University, 1881 Sheridan Road. Presented by the Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives, in partnership with Jane Addams Hull House Museum and Northwestern University Department of History. More at

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.

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.

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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.