EMK Institute to put focus on ‘Women’s Fight for Suffrage’

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate will launch a new program in December titled “The Citizens’ Senate: Women’s Fight for Suffrage” that will center on how women’s right to vote was secured by the 19th Amendment in 1920.

The program, which is supported by Mass Humanities and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, will explore how women organized, lobbied, and protested the government during the suffrage movement.

“I’m pleased to support this important program, marking the 100th anniversary of women making their voices heard at the ballot box,” said Barbara Lee, founder and president of the family foundation. 

“The suffragists taught us so much, including to never let the way things are limit our imagination of the way things could be. We are at a pivotal moment in history, filled with possibility. One hundred years from now, I hope future generations will look back in awe of all that we accomplished in our time,” Lee said. 

The project will engage visitors through live performances of historic speeches originally delivered by suffragists and elected officials. The presentation will also include a short film blending narration, historic film footage, and images. 

“The Citizens’ Senate program highlights the important role that each person plays in democracy, while illuminating stories of the women who were left out of the suffrage movement a century ago,” said Mary K. Grant, the president of the EMK Institute.

The Citizens’ Senate is designed to align with the new history and social science curriculum framework adopted by the Massachusetts Dept. of Secondary and Elementary education. University of Massachusetts Boston Professor Roberta Wallins, Ph.D. is serving as the project scholar for the program.