MURFREESBORO, TN — MTSU’s observance of National Women’s History Month will be an appreciation of nearly 100 years of American women’s suffrage.
“Nevertheless She Persisted: Valiant Women of the Vote” is the theme under which the campus community will celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was adopted officially on Aug. 26, 1920.
The amendment reads, in full, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
Mary Frances Berry, former chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission through four different presidential administrations, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in the Student Union Ballroom.
Berry, a Nashville native, is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought
and a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of 12 books will conduct a book signing following the speech.
A full 2020 National Women’s History Month calendar of events can be viewed at https://bit.ly/3a2OUCE. Some of the featured events include:
• The official opening ceremony took place on Tuesday, March 3, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. A select group of women “trailblazers” from among MTSU’s faculty, staff, students and alumnae will be honored during this time. An opening ceremony reception will be held at 4 p.m. in the Tennessee Room.
• Beth Curley, formerly of Nashville Public Television, introduced the documentary “By One Vote: Women Suffrage in the South,” on Tuesday in the Tennessee Room. Country singer Rosanne Cash narrates the film, an original NPT production which will be shown for only the second time ever.
• Following the documentary screening, Curley joined longtime broadcast journalist and executive producer of the new Nashville Banner Demetria Kalodimos, NPT journalist
LaTonya Turner, independent producer/editor Mary Makley, and Fisk University professor Linda Wynn for a panel discussion in the Tennessee Room.
• The first woman speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Beth Harwell, discussed “Women in Politics” on Tuesday, March 2, in the Parliamentary Room of the Student Union. Harwell, who was speaker from 2011-2018, is an MTSU Distinguished
• “Road to Suffrage: Educator Workshop” is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, in Room 210 of the Student Union. This event is open to teachers, librarians, media specialists, pre-service educators and MTSU students and will focus on using primary sources from the Library of Congress to teach students in grades four, five, eight and high school about the history of women’s suffrage.
• “The Road to Suffrage: Celebrating the Centennial of Women Suffrage” symposium will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 17 in the Student Union Ballroom. Following presentations on the early women’s suffrage movement and women in the Progressive Era, MTSU alumna Tiffany Momon, a professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, will moderate a 30-minute question-and-answer session.
• A display chronicling women’s fight for the right to vote is on display March 1-31 on the first floor of the James E. Walker Library. “Battle for the Ballot: A Visual History of the
Suffrage Movement” will include memorabilia emphasizing Tennessee’s pivotal role in the approval of the 19th Amendment.
In addition to the Women’s History Month Committee, event sponsors and supporters
include the President’s Commission on the Status of Women; the American Democracy Project; Teaching with Primary Sources; the Center for Historic Preservation; the Department of Theatre and Dance; the American Association of University Women’s Murfreesboro chapter; Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities; the Virginia Peck Trust Fund; MTSU Write; the Department of English; the MTSU Asian Student Association; Student Program and Raider Entertainment; and Pinnacle Honor Society.
For more information, contact Maigan Wipfli, director of the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students at 615-898-2193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.