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Oregon Women and the Right to Vote: Their History and Legacy

March 14, 2018

Written by: Jan Dilg, Oregon Women’s History Consortium

march-20-event-flyer-photos_opt-e1520977577935.jpgFounded in 2010, the mission of the Oregon Women’s History Consortium (OWHC) is to provide leadership to support research and education related to the history of women in Oregon. We have created several projects to address our mission. In 2012, the OWHC led the statewide centennial celebration “A Century of Action: Oregon Women Vote, 1912-2012.” Using physical and digital exhibits, mock town hall debates, an extensive informational website, public programs and Votes for Women sashes and buttons, and with support from an Oregon Heritage Grant, the OWHC brought Oregon woman suffrage history to Oregonian across the state. Since 2015 we have offered research fellowships for scholars pursuing new subjects in Oregon women’s history. Our website features the work of our two recipients. Melissa Cornelius Lang researched Black women activists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Jenna Barganski explored women murderers and Oregon’s judicial system from 1850-1950.

The year 2020 will be the 100th anniversary of adding the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ensuring women’s voting rights, and so we are focusing our efforts on Oregon’s role in the campaign and ratification process. Our Oregon 2020 Kickoff event is slated for March 20, 2018 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem, Oregon. Featured speakers are the Hon. Barbara Roberts and Republican Leader in the Oregon State Senate Jackie Winters, along with other honored guests. Western Oregon University students working with Professor Kimberly Jensen will share the stories of diverse women in Oregon in this period and Oregon women’s role in the ratification process, part of their work for an online exhibit featured on our OWHC website.

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