Suffrage & Innovation 2020 Conference

Institute for Women’s Leadership

This interactive timeline chronicles twelve important suffrage moments from 1776 to 1920. Included are resources and guides for teachers and students alike. Click on highlighted resources within for access.

100 Years Later

The Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) at Marquette University is pleased to announce our 2020 Suffrage and Innovation Conference. We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The conference will celebrate the historical significance of its passage, while exploring what remains to be done in the struggle for women’s equality in the United States.  

This virtual conference will have broad pedagogical and civic value. Given our dual focus on suffrage and innovation, the conference will provide both scholarly and interactive materials, reaching across multiple disciplines appropriate for high school and college-age people–many of whom will be voting or thinking about voting for the first time this November. 

You will find voting resources on this site and we welcome your reflections as well. Feel free to share about this event on your social media feeds and to follow the IWL social media.

We invite everyone to Engage, Inspire, and Transform our democracy. Vote.

Speaker Video Sessions

Beginning September 28, watch for featured video releases every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday until our live event.

Click here to review our speakers and link to their video presentations.



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Conference Live Events

How to Change the Narrative of the Women’s Suffrage Movement: And Why It MattersLive discussion with panelists teasing out change-making scholarly and pedagogical opportunities.
12pm – 1pmTeams Invite Only
InnoVoting: How Democracy is Being Reshaped by Women’s Innovative Voting Activism & CandidacyLive discussion focused on community action to amplify engagement that drives change.
4pm – 5pmTeams Invite Only

About IWL

The Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) was launched with a generous $5 million endowment from the Thomas J. Rolfs Family Foundation; and is positioned to leverage the research talents of Marquette’s remarkable community of scholars to become a national thought leader on women’s leadership issues.

The IWL is a story of partnership and problem-solving that is both the genesis of its creation and mirrored in its leadership structure. Thus, the IWL uses a shared governance model that takes advantage of a talented and diverse group of faculty and staff who collaboratively lead the institute. As we live out the IWL’s mission to advance women’s leadership locally and globally through pioneering research, innovative programming and collaborative engagement, we remain deeply appreciative of the support from our partners, Claire, Tom, Janet, and Ted Rolfs

As advocates for justice, we invite everyone to join us to bring to life the IWL’s vision of intersectional inclusivity and gender equity as we Engage, Inspire, and Transform.

The Suffrage Team

This conference would not have been possible without an interdisciplinary team effort of faculty, staff, and students from across the university. In addition to the Steering Committee Members below, assistance from Meghan Holland (Graduate Student of History, Marquette University) and Elizabeth Wawrzyniak (Digital Humanities Specialist, MU Raynor Memorial Libraries) must be recognized. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge each one of them.

From left to right: Sarah Wadsworth, Jean Grow, Sarah Camp, Jennica Webster, Benjamin Linzy, Kali Murray, Andrea Schneider, Sasha Parsons Waters, Amber Wichowsky, Kristen Foster, Melissa Shew, Olivia Qualls, Damaris Zita

“Now all we need is to continue to speak the truth fearlessly, and we shall add to our number those who will turn the scale to the side of equal and full justice in all things.”

Alice Paul

Institute for Women’s Leadership

460 Holthusen Hall
1324 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Engage. Inspire. Transform.