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LWVUS Commends US House Passage of DC Statehood
LWVUS
Published on: 4/22/2021
“The people of Washington, DC deserve the same rights as every other person in this country, and today the more than 700,000 residents of the District of Columbia are one step closer to an equal voice in our government."
Want Fair Redistricting?
Linda Hanson
Published on: 2/4/2021
Now is the time to make your voice heard! The 9-member Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission has been selected from nearly 300 applicants. Its purpose is to demonstrate that redistricting done by a diverse and multi-partisan team of Hoosiers in a transparent process that encourages public participation will yield Congressional and state legislative districts that are fair for all voters.
The ICRC is holding virtual public hearings in all 9 Congressional districts. Hoosiers from all over the state may join these conversations to discuss the criteria for drawing new maps for congress and the Indiana legislature. More...
All IN for Democracy announces ICRC member selection
All IN for Democracy
Published on: 1/28/2021
Today the All IN for Democracy coalition announced it has selected a diverse and multi-partisan group of Hoosiers to serve on the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC), a shadow commission that will demonstrate how redistricting should be conducted in Indiana.
Indiana General Assembly will redraw state district lines this legislative session
WLFI
Published on: 1/7/2021
WLFI posts information about redistricting and the tasks ahead for the legislature.
League Condemns Domestic Terrorist Attack on the U.S. Capitol
League of Women Voters of the United States
Published on: 1/6/2021
WASHINGTON – Today the League of Women Voters of the United States president Dr. Deborah Turner, CEO Virginia Kase, and the full board of directors issued the following statement in response to the violent demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol:
LWVUS provides Program Planning Guidance for Virtual Meetings
LWVUS
Published on: 1/1/2021
This guidance is intended for those Leagues who will be conducting their member meeting as a virtual event. This guide covers overall guidance for programs, setting up pre-meetings, and tips for planning a virtual meeting or event.
Redistricting Update--time to act!
Linda Hanson
Published on: 11/28/2020
All IN 4 Democracy, our coalition for redistricting reform in Indiana, is calling for applications to the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC). The ICRC will demonstrate how the redistricting process in Indiana should be conducted. It will show that a politically balanced group of citizens working transparently and in cooperation with citizens can devise districts that will serve the public interest, not the interests of politicians.
The ICRC will hold a series of virtual public meetings in January and February of 2021 to take public testimony on what redistricting criteria should guide the map-drawing process....They will also sponsor a map-drawing competition and serve as the judges for that competition.... Reports and maps will be submitted to the IN General Assembly (IGA) and we will lobby for adoption of the maps drawn through a transparent process by a politically balanced group of citizens. More...
Outlining VOTE411’s reach in 2020
Vote411
Published on: 11/21/2020
The 2020 election cycle saw record voter turnout and for the League of Women Voters Education Fund, our VOTE411.org election information website also broke records! This year more than 6 million users came to VOTE411.org, the League’s one-stop-shop election website.
LWVUS warns for claims for copyright infringement
LWVUS
Published on: 11/14/2020
More and more Leagues are being contacted by third-party firms claiming that Leagues are violating image licenses and must pay so that they will not be sued. The LWVUS offers guidance on what all leagues should do.

Newsletters

Newsletter - April 15, 2021
LWVIN
Published on: 4/16/2021
See the April Newsletter which includes information about the convention
Newsletter - March 18, 2021
LWVIN
Published on: 3/18/2021
See the March newsletter

Forgotten Foremothers

Toni Stone
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 5/14/2021
In the 1992 film A League of Their Own, a brief scene depicts our heroes, the Rockford Peaches, an all-woman baseball team, trying to reclaim a ball that has gone out of bounds. A Black woman picks it up. She’s a spectator, standing with other Black women and men watching from outside the fences because they were not permitted in the stands.
Maria Orosa
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 4/10/2021
“Here in America, it is very difficult to obtain the kind of job I have just been offered and accepted,” she wrote. “Before they offer to a person of color, such as Filipino, Japanese or Chinese, the jobs are first offered to whites. So, I am indebted to Dean Johnson, that though I am a person of color, he offered me the job ahead of everyone else.”
Roberta Cowell
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 3/12/2021
In March 1954, Roberta Cowell appeared on the cover of the British magazine Picture Post and received £8,000 (the equivalent of £220,000 in 2019) to tell her story. Namely, her life story as a transwoman and the first person in the UK to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
Carrie Langston Hughes
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 2/13/2021
She was a highly intelligent and educated Black woman at a time when womanhood offered only closed doors and Blackness added locks to all of them.
Recy Taylor
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 1/8/2021
“They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone,” said Oprah Winfrey during a Golden Globes speech in 2018, just days after Recy’s death. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared speak their truth to the power of those men... And I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth...goes marching on.”
Mary Jones
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 12/11/2020
In 1836, Mary Jones entered a courtroom charged with grand larceny. The audience mocked and laughed at her, even pulling her wig from her head. In her testimony, we hear the words of the first Black transwoman in recorded New York history.
Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 11/22/2020
“I ask for our girls the open door to the treasury of knowledge,” said Mabel Ping-Hua Lee in a 1916 speech at Women’s Political Union’s Suffrage Women's Shop, “the same opportunities for physical development as boys and the same rights of participation in all human activities of which they are individually capable.” She was 19 when she wrote and spoke these words. She was 21 when the 19th Amendment was ratified, granting women in the United States the right to vote. But not women like her.
Anna Murray Douglass
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 10/22/2020
“Well-behaved women seldom make history,” wrote Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a Pulitzer prize winning historian. The quote quickly transformed from her intended meaning, namely—not that all women should be more rebellious—but that history should concern itself with the actions and thoughts of well-behaved women.
Zitkala-Sa
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 9/17/2020
In 1884, Quaker missionaries visited the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When they left, they took several children with them to White Indiana Manual Labor Institute in Wabash, Ind. Among them was an 8-year-old then called Gertrude Simmons, the daughter of a Sioux Dakota woman and a white man. Her father had left the family years before and she left despite her mother’s objections. She wanted to go to the “Red Apple Country” promised by the missionaries.
Stormé S DeLarverie
Kathryn Gardiner
Published on: 6/28/2020
Profile of a gay rights activist and the confrontation at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village
Lillian Wald
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 4/20/2020
During the 1918 influenza epidemic, Lillian Wald was a general in charge of an army. As chairperson of the Nurses’ Emergency Council in New York City, she organized supplies and led her fellow nurses and volunteers, all women, in caring for the city’s ailing population.
“Stagecoach Mary” Fields
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 2/14/2020
Mary Fields was born enslaved in Hickman County, Tenn., in 1832, though both the year and the location are best estimates; neither the birthdates nor names of enslaved children were noted in any records. The beginning of Mary’s life would have been marked with only a number upon a property log. Her death was mourned by an entire town.
Aida Overton Walker
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 1/10/2020
Al Jolson’s performance in the 1927 film The Jazz Singer recorded for posterity what had been a popular stage gimmick since the 1800s: white actors with their faces darkened by makeup portraying African-Americans, often as stupid, lazy buffoons. On the rare occasion that theaters did employ black actors, they were relegated to the chorus and background.
It was in this era that Aida Overton Walker became a star, taking to the stage with beauty, poise, talent, and dignity.
Mary Church Terrell
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 1/1/2020
In 1904, suffragettes from around the globe gathered in Berlin, Germany, for the International Congress of Women. Mary Church Terrell was the only black woman in attendance and certainly the only one invited to speak. The audience met her with wild applause as she delivered her address first in German, then in French, and finally in English.
Matilda Joslyn Gage
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 11/25/2019
In 1962, Rosalind Franklin’s uncredited research into the DNA double helix helped earn James Watson and Francis Crick the Nobel Prize. The lack of recognition Franklin received has been attributed to “The Matilda Effect,” which describes the gender bias that often leads to the devaluing or even theft of the achievements of women scientists. Science historian Margaret W. Rossiter coined the term in 1993 and the woman she named it after was Matilda Joslyn Gage.
Victoria Earle Matthews
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 11/1/2019
A woman freed from slavery by the 13th Amendment authored works on the arduous internal struggles of life, including forgiving oppressors, while she actively worked to improve the lives of women of color in the post-war era.
Fannie Lou Hammer
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 9/23/2019
In 1962 – August 31 to be precise – Fannie Lou Hamer, at the age of 45, traveled with other activists to Indianola, Miss., determined to register to vote. Upon arriving, Hamer and the other black women and men were quizzed on the facts of de facto law. “I knowed as much about a facto law as a horse knows about Christmas Day,” Hamer said. When they couldn’t answer the questions, the would-be voters were turned away.
Madam C.J. Walker, Self-made Millionaire
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 8/1/2019
Walker ensured that African-American women were trained in the “Walker System” of hair care and encouraged to become sales agents. Her saleswomen earned a considerable commission and she employed women at all levels of management.
Coralie Franklin Cook
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 5/29/2019
“Rochester has been proud of the citizenship of Frederick Douglass, it has honored Booker T. Washington, and now it is to have an opportunity of responding to a claim on its interest and consideration from a woman of the same race of these men,” declared the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, New York on Nov. 28, 1902. Coralie Franklin Cook was to speak at the Unitarian Church for their Political Equality Club. She was an active and notable member of the National American Women Suffrage Association, alongside Susan B. Anthony and other leaders of the day.
The Misses Rollin
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 5/1/2019
“If you want a thorough posting upon political affairs in South Carolina, you must call on the Rollins.”
Northern reporters from The Sun and The New York Herald brought all their assumptions into the parlor of the Columbia home of the Rollin sisters of South Carolina.
Rose Pengelly
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 3/25/2019
At age 14, Rose Pengelly led her fellow workers at the Backs Asbestos Pipe Factory in a strike. Her red hair at the head of the procession, she blazed the trail all the way to the Women’s Hall. Conditions at the factory were unacceptable. Men and women were expected to haul equally heavy loads, though women were paid a third of the wage the men received. In addition, women were expected to perform domestic duties for the boss, tasks that were never assigned to the men despite their greater pay.
Daisy Bates
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 2/15/2019
Millie Riley lived a short, brutal life. Only months after giving birth to her daughter in 1914, she was raped, murdered, and her body disposed of in a millpond by three white men. At eight years old, her daughter Daisy Lee Gatson learned what had happened to her mother. She also learned that the men had faced no punishment. At eight years old, she learned that local law enforcement didn’t consider her mother’s murder worth investigating.
Rosa May Billinghurst
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 1/19/2019
“I remember hearing startling stories of her running battles with the police,” said a veteran suffragette of Rosa May Billinghurst. “Her crutches were lodged on each side of her self-propelling invalid chair, and when a meeting was broken up or an arrest being made, she would charge the aggressors at a rate of knots that carried all before her.”
Melvina Walker
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 12/1/2018
“...keep your eyes open,” Melvina Walker said to her fellow poor and working-class women. “...Organize yourselves, don’t be led away by people with ‘superior brains,’ we have something more than that; we have practical experience.”
Nannie Helen Burroughs
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 11/1/2018
“Who’s that young girl?” a man in the audience is quoted as saying. “Why don’t she sit down? She’s always talking. She’s just an upstart.” Burroughs had a ready answer for him. “I might be an upstart, but I am just starting up.”
Celia, 18
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 10/30/2018
In August of 1855, Celia, an enslaved woman of 18, stood before a jury of 12 white men accused of the murder of Robert Newsom. Newsom was a successful Missouri farmer who had purchased Celia four years earlier. Facts not in dispute were that Newsom had sexual relations with Celia frequently since purchasing her at the age of 14 (fathering two children by the teenager) and that Celia had bludgeoned Newsom to death. The question before the jury was whether Celia actions were murder or self- defense.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 9/1/2018
As a little girl in the 1830s, Rebecca sat on the floor of her aunt’s home, watching as the old, the sick, and the suffering came to the door for help. Rebecca was born free to her parents in Delaware, but was raised by her aunt in Pennsylvania, and this aunt was a caregiver, an unofficial doctor to those in need. In watching these interactions, with her keen mind and strong will, Rebecca found her passion in life. “I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others,” she wrote in A Book of Medical Discourses.
Ethyl Smyth
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 8/1/2018
Suffragettes showed their solidarity by singing these words aloud outside Holloway Prison in London on March 1, 1912. Inside her
cell, 54-year-old Ethel Smyth stuck her head out the window and conducted the impromptu choir with a toothbrush in hand.
Fanny Jackson Coppin
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 7/1/2018
Fanny Jackson Coppin would live a life dedicated to education, but her first day of teaching was a tenuous one. “The faculty did not forbid a woman to take the gentlemen’s course, but they did not advice it,” Coppin said of her years studying at Oberlin College in Ohio in the 1860s.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Kathryn S Gardiner
Published on: 6/6/2018
At the eleventh annual National Women’s Rights Convention on May 10, 1866, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper took the stage. She stood before a gathering of the suffrage movement’s dynamic leaders and gave the night’s most memorable speech.