Presentation - America’s Heroines / Revolution to Evolution: How Suffragettes Changed America

“Only feminism can claim to have broadened, permanently, the lives of half the humans in the West.. (especially by achieving voting rights for women) Its success, based on earnest arguments and improvised political strategies, is without parallel in the last century. Nothing since the Industrial Revolution has done so much to expand opportunity.” -Robert Fulford

This presentation honors and remembers the integrity and purpose of the Suffragette movement and how it not only led to women getting the vote, but also planted the seed for the Women’s Rights Movement of the last 150 years creating the platform for Feminist goals in America.

Historically, Suffragettes were led by three generations of courageous women who were able to keep a mass movement vital for 72 years, until the congress passed voting rights to women in 1920 with the 19th Amendment.

‘America’s Heroines’, is a 45- 60 minute creative arts multi media presentation, using archival media, personal stories, documentary film clips, and performance re-enacting to tell the important and meaningful story of how women won the vote. The first 30-40  minutes of the program is devoted to the telling of the Suffragette story with minimal audience participation.

At the appropriate point in the story line, Suffragette impersonator, Alice Paul will read aloud from her diary as pictures and archival footage follow along in her telling of how she came to organize The Woman Suffrage Procession in 1913, a critical point in the movement that surged the effort forward. That Procession has the distinction of being the first large, organized march on Washington for political purposes. Following this part of the presentation there will be an opportunity for audience interaction with volunteer readings of personal suffragette accounts. Following the reenactment, the floor will be open to audience discussion and questions.

Program Topics

  • History
  • Women’s Suffrage
  • Feminism

Book this presentation by first scheduling a date with Sandra via email or phone at 618.695.3644, then completing the Road Scholars Host Organization application.


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About Road Scholar Sandra Pfeifer

Sandra Pfeifer has been a social issue documentary filmmaker and media artist for more than twenty years. Her work, which addresses a variety of social concerns, has been presented to audiences throughout the United States. She has received multiple awards for her documentary films that have also been aired regionally on PBS. Pfeifer is a board member at the Yeiser Art Center, a media artist with the Wastelanders Artist Collective and a film graduate of Southern Illinois University and attended Goddard College’s MFA program in Interdisciplinary Arts.

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About Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau

Since 1997, our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has invited Illinois writers, storytellers, historians, folklorists, musicians, and living history actors, among others, to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout our state. It also supports local nonprofit organizations – including libraries, museums, arts councils, historical societies, civic groups, and many others – in presenting free-admission cultural programs of high quality to their communities for a modest application fee, which can be waived if your organization is experiencing financial hardship.

Our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster features speakers hailing from many different communities across Illinois who offer presentations on topics in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, theater, film, music, politics, and other subjects that are thought-provoking and engaging. The breadth of these offerings reflects our conviction that the humanities can help us to examine the world in all its varied shades and discover in it the remarkable, the strange, the fantastic, the tragic, the humorous, and the beautiful.

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