Today@Sam Article

Celebrating 100 Years Of Women’s Political Participation

March 3, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Sam Houston State University is celebrating 100 years of women’s political participation. On March 8, join the CHSS Diversity and Inclusion Committee at their Women’s History Month program where they will explore what women have achieved politically since the Nineteenth Amendment became law in 1920.

“We wanted to honor Women’s History Month with a celebration of women in politics and to celebrate the inauguration of the first woman as vice president of the United States. The U.S. Congress and the Texas Legislature that were sworn in during January also have the highest number of women ever,” said Diane Dowdey, program coordinator and associate professor at SHSU. “We also wanted an opportunity to remember the political activism of Sam Houston State University women. The first woman elected to the Texas Senate, Margie Neal, had been a student at SHSU. Other Sam Houston State alumnae have served in different offices, including Glenda Dawson, who served in the Texas House of Representatives, and one of our speakers, Ianthia Fisher, who is currently mayor of Crockett, Texas. Sam Houston State women have also had political careers outside of elected office as Ashley Etienne is currently serving as Director of Communications for Vice President Kamala Harris.”

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Dowdey explained the importance of the Nineteenth Amendment for women in the United States, and what it means to her to be able to celebrate 100 years of having the right to vote.

“My grandmother made sure that I understood what it meant to vote as she remembered when she did not have that right and the wonderful sense of validation and personhood she felt she gained by registering to vote and voting in each election, that her opinion mattered,” Dowdey said. “Throughout her life she would call my mother, and after I turned eighteen, me, to be sure that we had voted each election day. The incredible struggle of the suffrage movement and the lengths that women went to, including imprisonment, to give me and all women the right to vote should be honored by voting.”


WHMFlyerThe virtual event starts at 2 p.m. and features a diverse group of women speakers including:

-Jessica Brannon-Wranosky, TAMU-Commerce distinguished professor of Digital Humanities & History

-Nancy Baker, SHSU associate professor of History

-Jessica Elkayam, SHSU assistant professor of Philosophy

-Nu’Nicka Epps, SHSU assistant director of Inclusion and Assessment

-Ianthia Fisher, SHSU alumna and mayor of Crockett, TX


“It will be an event to learn about women and politics, both past, present, and future,” Dowdey said. “Attendees will learn about the ways women being involved in politics has shaped our country and hopefully gain an appreciation of what it means to be able to participate in politics at all levels. From voting, to volunteering, to campaigning, to running for office and to holding elected office. We are hoping for a conversation about the historical, philosophical, and practical meaning of women’s political participation.”

To register for the virtual event, follow this link and fill out the registration form. For more information, visit the event’s page at shsu.edu/events or read the event flyer.

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