The Institute for Women’s Leadership at Marquette University is hosting Suffrage and Innovation 2020, a virtual conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

The conference will feature eight pre-recorded sessions available in advance, culminating with two live discussions on Oct. 16: “How to Change the Narrative of the Women’s Suffrage Movement: And Why It Matters,” at noon; and “Innovoting: How Democracy is Being Reshaped by Women’s Innovative Voting Activism and Candidacy,” at 4 p.m.

Event registration, pre-recorded sessions and additional materials, such as multi-disciplinary teaching materials appropriate for all ages, are available online at

The keynote address, “Achieving Suffrage,” was delivered by Dr. Mary C. Kelley, Ruth Bordin Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and is now available along with all the other pre-recorded sessions at both the IWL Suffrage and Innovation 2020 website and its YouTube channel.

Other pre-recorded sessions include:

  • Conversations on Women and the Foundations of Civic Engagement, featuring Kelley; Dr. Kristen Foster, associate professor of history, and Dr. Sarah Wadsworth, professor of English, at Marquette; and Dr. Lisa Tetrault, associate professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Looking Back: Women’s Suffrage and American Politics, featuring Dr. Christina Wolbrecht, professor of political science and Hanley Family Director of the Notre Dame Washington Program at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Looking Forward: Women Voters and American Politics, featuring Wolbrecht.
  • Votes for Women! How Legal Rights Advance Women’s Innovation, featuring Dr. Kara Swanson, professor of law and affiliate professor of history at Northeastern University School of Law.
  • How the Women of Milwaukee Will Choose the Next President, facilitated by Dr. Andrea Kupfer Schneider, professor of law and director of the IWL at Marquette, and featuring Angela Lang, executive director of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC); Christine Neumann Ortiz, founding executive director of Voces de la Frontera; and Ann Jacobs, chair of the Wisconsin Election Commission.
  • The Economic Other: Class and Gender in the New Gilded Age, featuring Dr. Amber Wichowsky, associate professor of political science and director of the Democracy Lab at Marquette, and Dr. Meghan Condon, assistant professor of political science at Loyola University Chicago.
  • Women, Girls and Intellectual Empowerment: A book discussion about “Philosophy for Girls: An Invitation to the Life of Thought,” featuring co-editors, Dr. Melissa Shew, visiting professor of philosophy at Marquette, and Dr. Kimberly K. Garchar, associate professor of philosophy at Kent State University and an associated faculty member at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

The Institute for Women’s Leadership builds upon Marquette University’s historic role as the first co-educational Catholic university in the world beginning in 1909. The mission of the IWL is to advance women’s leadership locally and globally through pioneering research, innovative programming and collaborative engagement.