Prior to 1920, women were denied the vote in the majority of elections in the United States. The struggle for enfranchisement began with the birth of our nation and was strategized differently in our local, state, and federal elections. Despite what people today believe to be a straightforward goal, the path to women’s suffrage was infused with sexism and racism and triggered a fear of feminism whose roots are still seen today. While wealthy women advocates played a vital role in the suffrage movement, they were not the only ones seeking enfranchisement. From attorney Ellen Martin, the first woman to vote in Illinois, to Ida B. Wells, a woman who did not let racism stop her voice, women’s suffrage has been a battle hard fought by a diverse group of activists in Illinois.
Jeanne Schultz Angel is the Director of Learning Experiences & Historical Resources for Naper Settlement. She is a nonprofit administrator and museum professional with more than 24 years working within cultural institutions. She holds a Bachelors degree in Anthropology and Masters degree in History from Illinois State University. Angel has been the executive director of three Chicagoland historical organizations: St. Charles Heritage Center, Lombard Historical Society/Sheldon Peck Homestead, and the Nineteenth Century Club in Oak Park. In addition, she served as the ED of the Illinois Association of Museums. Most recently, she was the lead historian in Seeking Charlie: Connecting the Dots Left by a Freedom Seeker in Illinois, a grant funded by the Association of African American Life & History and the National Park Service.
Co-sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Speaker Bureau.
Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA)], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, IACA, our partnering organizations, or our funders.