This year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. The Center for Advocacy, Response and Education and the Women’s Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are hosting an event about the history of women’s suffrage in Nebraska.  

The Votes for Women: Nebraska’s Suffrage Story event will highlight an exhibit that outlines women’s suffrage in Nebraska, according to the UNL event page. The exhibit started on Aug. 16 and lasts until May 31, 2021, according to the Nebraska History Museum

The Votes for Women: Nebraska’s Suffrage Story event is on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Nebraska History Museum, from 3 to 4 p.m.

The Women’s Center and CARE are walking over with a group to the Nebraska History Museum, and the group will meet at the Nebraska Union Crib at 2:30 p.m., but it is optional, according to the UNL event page.

Melissa Wilkerson, CARE advocate and one of the organizers of the event, said in an email that this exhibit sheds light on the over 60-year struggle of women’s suffrage in Nebraska.

Stephanie Alderson, assistant director of the Women’s Center, said in an email this event is about familiarizing people with the Nebraska History Museum and then using that to learn more about the history of women’s rights in the U.S. Alderson said that she worked on brainstorming and planning for the event.

People can spend time walking through the Votes for Women: Nebraska’s Suffrage Story exhibit, and there will be the option to register to vote, according to Alderson. Wilkerson said the Huskers Vote Coalition student ambassadors will be at the museum to help students check their registration status, and can help them register to vote if necessary. 

Wilkerson said the exhibit is about the role Nebraska played in the women’s suffrage movement, and it highlights some of the women who played a key role in this fight for suffrage. Wilkerson said this exhibit also addresses that women of color were still prohibited from exercising their right to vote, even with the passage of the 19th amendment.

“It’s important to acknowledge how far we as women have come, but also to acknowledge that it isn’t the 100th anniversary for ALL women to vote and the exhibit acknowledges that and delves into that,” Alderson said. “I think that fact is often lost in all of the celebration and I’m glad there is information on that available in the exhibit.”

The Women’s Center was involved with advertising, planning and attendance for the event, according to Alderson. Ashton Koch, junior political science and global studies major, helped advertise the event on social media.

Koch said in an email that civic engagement is important and the event is a good opportunity to remind people of that, as well as to provide a convenient way for people to register to vote.

“Women’s suffrage was a hard-fought battle in history and I think that a lot of people look at the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment as both a celebration of rights that many women now have, but also to remind us of all of the work we still have to do,” Koch said.

COVID-19 safety guidelines, like wearing face masks and social distancing, will be utilized at the event, according to Alderson. Wilkerson said the museum is large enough for everyone to space out and maintain social distancing. 

“Having the 100 year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment coincide with a major election year gives us all a chance to reflect on our responsibility to vote,” Wilkerson said. “This exhibit provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the history and struggle for women to gain the right to vote. The 100-year milestone gives us an occasion to honor those that fought to give us that right.”

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