Women's Vote 100 Evanston to hold voting rights symposium

Recent he5adlines 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 among minorities and the undereducated.

Sign up for the voting rights symposium, "Rights, Responsibilities and Roadblocks: Critical Stories Leading to the Passage of the 19th Amendment and Beyond."

This virtual program, hosted by Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in partnership with the Woman's Club of Evanston and Women's Vote 100 Evanston, will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25.

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 retired Cook County circuit court Judge Carole Kamin Bellows, state Sen. Laura Fine, and writer/historian Rima Lunin Schultz. Cook County 9th Subcircuit Judge Abbey Romanek, a daughter of Holocaust survivors and board member of the 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.

To register, visit

Also scheduled for this month will be a history walking tour, a "Do-It-Yourself Suffrage March," and two museum exhibits.

This historic photo shows women suffragists marching on Pennsylvania Avenue led by Mrs. Richard Coke Burleson (center on horseback); with the U.S. Capitol in the background. Women's Vote 100 Evanston is offering a "Do-It-Yourself Suffrage March" as part of its commemorative programming. Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

• The Evanston Women's Suffrage History Walking Tour will be 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, starting at Frances Willard House, 1730 Chicago Ave., Evanston. In this historic year of women's suffrage, discover the prominent role Evanston women played in fighting for women's rights on this walking tour that starts at the Frances Willard House and winds through nearby neighborhoods. Cost is $20 or $15 for museum members. Contactless payment is required when registering for a tour. Registration is required by contacting or (847) 475-3410. Visit

• Any time between Aug. 18-26, join the "Do-It-Yourself Suffrage March." One way women fought for the right to vote was to take part in suffrage rallies and marches. Carrying signs and wearing sashes and buttons, they gathered in local towns like Evanston, and big cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C., to demonstrate support for voting rights for women.

The 19th Amendment was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920 and officially added to the constitution on Aug. 26, 1920.

Go on a walk, hike or bike ride and wear or carry something that proclaims how you feel about the 100th anniversary of women voting in the United States. You can use the Evanston Women's History map, available for free at the Frances Willard House Museum front door, to explore women's stories while you march. Be sure to follow social distancing recommendations and wear your mask if needed.

Women's Vote 100 Evanston suggests participants go 1.9 miles or some other combination of 19 in honor of the 19th amendment. Then post a picture on Facebook and share with the Evanston Women's History Project.

Visit for some ideas for what to carry on your march, like your own sash, ribbon or button, and learn more how to participate.

• On Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 10 to 10:30 a.m., curator Lori Osborne will give a highlights tour of the "Evanston Women and the Fight for the Vote" exhibit via Facebook Live on the Evanston History Center's Facebook page. The tour will include an unveiling of the National Votes for Women Trail historic marker for Evanston suffragist, Catharine Waugh McCulloch. The exhibit will reopen Aug. 26, from noon to 4 p.m., 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 museum collection. Reservations are required due to space limitations.

• "Rightfully Hers," a popup exhibition from the National Archives commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, will reopen to the public Aug. 26. It contains simple messages exploring the history of the ratification of the 19th amendment, women's voting rights before and after the 19th, and its impact today. The exhibit will be open from noon to 4 p.m. at the Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood St., with other locations to be announced later. Reservations are required due to space limitations.

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