August 18, 2020 marks the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment allowing women the right to vote throughout the United States. 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. 

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Jeanne Schultz Angel

The program will be led by Jeanne Schultz Angel who received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in history at Illinois State University. In late 2006, she became the Executive Director of the Lombard Historical Society. She also served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Museums. Today she is the Director of Learning Experiences and Historical Research at Naper Settlement.