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August 23, 2019

Parenting will be one focus of the award-winning initiative's 2019 fall rollout

Arizona State University’s Project Humanities has developed a reputation for its provocative and engaging programming. This year is no exception.

In the past eight years, Project Humanities has tackled a wide variety of hard-hitting issues. Past topics have included romance and autism; death and dying; rape culture; menstrual equity; environmental justice and sustainability; suicide prevention; drag kings and queens; arranged marriages in India; beauty queens; body positivity; toxic masculinity; identity and intersectionality; and homelessness.

Thanks to a generous gift by Valley business leaders Michelle Mace and Jim Tuton and their Come Rain or Shine Foundation who believe in and participate in Project Humanities’ mission, this fall’s lineup will see a big emphasis on "conscious parenting."

“Our Project Humanities team is always looking for ways to facilitate critical conversations that strive to make us better thinkers, better citizens and better humans,” said Neal A. Lester, the founding director of Project Humanities and an ASU Foundation Professor of English. “That our programming appeals to diverse individuals and groups across and beyond Arizona speaks to our solid track record of having our finger on the pulse of what matters to people every day. This fall continues our commitment to challenging ourselves and our supporters as individuals and communities to be better and to do better.”

The multiple award-winning initiative brings together individuals and communities across Arizona to instill knowledge in and demonstrate the vitality of humanities study and research and humanist thought and engagement. Project Humanities facilitates conversations across diverse communities to build understanding through talking, listening and connecting.

The 2019 fall lineup will examine religious and theological stereotypes, parenting after a child’s suicide, food and identity, the ethics of sex work and how to be an effective ally.

Parenting — broadly conceived and multidirectional — will take top billing this year, with programming beginning this fall and into the spring semester. According to Lester, “Parenting is not relegated to biology or legality. Plus, parents are also parented even as some parents parent. With ASU researchers and community members coming together for these conversations, the expectation is that attendees will see effective parenting as directly connected with our individual and shared humanity.”

And that’s why the Come Rain or Shine FoundationThe name Come Rain or Shine was chosen by Mace and Tuton based on their belief in the importance of unconditional forever love. gifted $25,000 to Project Humanities — the largest single donation in its eight-year history — to host four parenting programs this semester.

“We have all experienced life from at least one side of the parenting relationship — we were all kids once,” Mace said. "As adults, we can proceed unconsciously to be busy with life, often hurting others obliviously due to our own unmet needs from the past. I believe that parenting is where all of our behavior started — the good and the bad. I want to see a better society and be an agent for social change through raising awareness for conscious parenting."

Mace added that "conscious parenting" is about being a better human, which sometimes involves re-parenting ourselves and then our children.

"The decisions we regret most in life are the ones made out of reaction versus with reflection," Mace said. "In order to live more peacefully with the past, we can know better by learning the Humanity 101 principles, inspire people to improve their own lives and their relationships with their children."

Project Humanities will host these events and activities at different community venues around the Valley, bringing together students, staff, faculty, alumni, emeriti and members of the public to engage critically with Project Humanities’ Humanity 101 core principles: compassion, empathy, forgiveness, integrity, kindness, respect and self-reflection.

Male and female standing in front of a banner

Valley business leaders Jim Tuton and Michelle Mace at Hacks for Humanity 2018, a 36-hour entrepreneurial marathon hosted annually by ASU's Project Humanities. This year Tuton and Mace have gifted the award-winning initiative to host four programs on parenting. Photo courtesy of Warren Chu

All events are free and open to the public.

Humanity 101 on the Homefront: ‘Conscious Parenting’ and Social Change 

6 p.m.,  Aug. 27. Westside Multi-Generational Center, 715 W. Fifth St., Tempe

This community conversation critically engages a parenting philosophy that prescribes tools such and mindfulness and self-care rather than power and control. 

Humanity 101 on the Homefront: Parenting Across Cultures

Noon, Sept. 4. ASU West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Ave., La Sala Ballroom A, Phoenix

This discussion explores how “culture” determines more than just the ethics and values adults pass on to their children. Culture also shapes how adults educate, nurture and discipline children. 

Dispelling the Myths: Heretics, Pagans, Atheists and Polytheists

6 p.m., Sept. 18. Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, 627 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa

Atheists, pagans and polytheists face a slew of stereotypes and discrimination for their beliefs. This program is an opportunity to dispel common myths about these worldviews while highlighting their humanistic beliefs. 

Humanity 101 on the Homefront: Parenting and Suicide

6 p.m., Sept. 24. ASU Preparatory Academy, Phoenix Elementary School Auditorium, 735 E. Fillmore St., Phoenix

Many consider suicide a silent epidemic in the United States. This program explores methods to prevent suicide, promote suicide literacy, and navigate grief in the aftermath of suicide — all through the lens of parenting. 

Vital Voices: Food, Identity, and Politics

6 p.m. Oct. 3. Sema Foundation, 325 N. Austin Drive, Chandler

Food is not only a staple of life, but a staple of one’s own identity. It can also highlight social disparities. Attendees are asked to bring a favorite dish, passage, song, photograph, story, performance, poem or artifact that embodies a personal or communal relationship with food to this community discussion.

Ethics and Intersectionality of the Sex Trade

6 p.m. Oct. 28. UMOM New Day Centers, 3333 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix

Sex trafficking is a form of enslavement that involves force, coercion or deceit. Sex work — such as escort services, pornography and webcam modeling — entails voluntary engagement in sex services. This discussion parses out these complexities by local experts, professionals and activists. 

Evolving Allyship Workshop

6 p.m. Nov. 6. City Square Church, 701 S. First St., Phoenix

In an era when so many opt to combat injustices through safety pins and hashtags, what constitutes an authentic, substantive allyship? Is simply being a “good person” enough? This interactive workshop offers strategies for allies to combat such issues. 

Humanity 101 on the Homefront: Talking to Children about the Bad, the Ugly and the Inevitable

6 p.m. Nov. 7. ASU Polytechnic Campus, 7001 E. Williams Field Road, Cooley Ballroom, Mesa

Understanding societal ills such as intersecting systems of oppression, illness, violence, war and death can be difficult for everyone. It becomes even more challenging when adults have to explain to children these common life occurrences. This community conversation explores strategies for these difficult conversations. 

The First Rainbow Coalition

6 p.m. Nov. 21. Tempe History Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave., Tempe

This PBS Indy Lens Pop-Up event features a screening of Ray Santisteban’s documentary that charts the history and legacy of a groundbreaking multiethnic alliance of community groups that changed the face of 1960s Chicago politics. A facilitated discussion immediately follows the screening. 

More information on Project Humanities’ 2019 fall events.

Top photo: Neal Lester, director of ASU's Project Humanities, speaks with attendees at a 2018 discussion called "The Bell that Tolls: A Conversation on Death and Dying." Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now

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Nevertheless she persisted ...

August 23, 2019

ASU scholars weigh in on women's suffrage, 19th Amendment 100 years later

19th Amendment document

19th Amendment Resolution. Courtesy of National Archives General Records

After 304 votes in the House of Representatives, 56 votes in the Senate, 36 state endorsements and one more declaration to put it into effect, the 19th Amendment — the proclamation that gave American female citizens the right to vote in all elections — took its place in the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 26, 1920 — 99 years ago.

You’ve come a long way, ladies — and longer still if you consider what came before and after the passage of the amendment. 

In a yearlong series in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of Amendment XIX in 2020, ASU Now is exploring the history of the women’s suffrage movement, its influences and its influencers, through the study and practice of scholars at Arizona State University. Follow along on Twitter — @asunews — all year as we share quotes, characters and historical tidbits from the long road to the vote.

Below, peppered with historical quotes from activists, ASU researchers discuss the challenges faced both externally and internally within the women's movement, as competing priorities led to fractures and additional obstacles. History is rarely simple.

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"All the nations of the earth are crying out for liberty and equality, Away, away with tyranny and oppression!" — Maria Stewart (teacher, journalist, abolitionist, women’s rights activist)

“The history of the United States has been a struggle for the right to vote,” said Stanlie James, professor of African and African American studies in ASU’s School of Social Transformation. From pre-Civil War abolitionists to present-day reformists, James says people have been arguing about who has the right to vote since the promulgation of the U.S. Constitution. And although unified in the purpose of including women’s voices in the votes that have decided leadership and helped to shape the country, the suffrage movement itself was not without debate — either before the passage of the amendment, or after.  

“The suffrage movement is intertwined in other forms of collective action such as the movement to abolish slavery, the labor struggles of working girls in the textile mills, and creation of benevolent societies to assist the poor,” said Mary Margaret Fonow, professor of women and gender studies in the School of Social Transformation. But although the strategies, tactics and organizational forms of these various movements and campaigns may have influenced each other for the betterment of their causes, Fonow says societal divisions in race and class among these groups presented extreme challenges in the long history of the women’s movement.  

“It is a cause of astonishment to us that you white women are only now, in this 20th century, claiming what has been the Indian woman’s privilege as far back as history traces”Laura Cornelius Kellogg (Oneida leader, author, activist)

Laura Cornelius Kellogg

Laura Cornelius Kellogg. Courtesy of Quarterly Journal of the Society of American Indians/Wikimedia Commons

“What makes the 19th Amendment so interesting to me is that Native Americans as a people didn’t win the right to vote until 1924 — four years after the amendment was adopted into the Constitution,” said Angela Gonzales, whose research includes indigenous studies and women and gender studies in the School of Social Transformation. At the height of the women’s suffrage movement, Native American women were more inclined to focus on group rights, according to Gonzales. But that did not hinder intellectuals such as Laura Cornelius Kellogg and Marie Louise Baldwin from publicly supporting the women’s movement as well. 

“A number of Native American women came from societies where women were not marginalized as were women in the mainstream,” says K. Tsianina Lomawaima, a professor of justice and social inquiry in the School of Social Transformation and the Center for Indian Education. So, to many like Cornelius Kellogg, a member of the matrilineal Oneida Nation, the mainstream women’s movement was looked upon with some amazement. Women’s rights and responsibilities, according to Lomawaima, were not new ideas for many Native American women.  

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” ― Ida B. Wells-Barnett (journalist, educator, civil rights activist, suffragist)

African American women also presented perspective in the campaign for women’s rights that, although rooted in antislavery efforts, began to divide black and white women at the introduction of the 15th Amendment in 1870. After an energizing show of unity at the first women’s rights convention 22 years earlier in Seneca Falls, New York, the suffrage movement splintered over the amendment that would enfranchise black men the right to vote — but not women of any race. The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), formed by abolitionist and reformer Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Brown Blackwell, supported the 15th Amendment. The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, opposed it — unless it included women. It did not. And so began the rift that would move women to take sides in a debate that would, much later, challenge ideas of inclusion, intersectionality and political expediency in academic studies.     

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

According to Fonow, abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth became an early example of the role black women would play as “bridge leaders between the women’s movement and the civil rights movement” through her work with the rival women’s suffrage groups, which were still largely composed of white women. But the anti-lynching campaigns inspired by the work of journalist and suffragist Ida B. Wells-Barnett would soon become a signature form of black women’s collective action and highlight the differences in agenda and priorities between black and white women in the women’s suffrage movement.

There were other pressing priorities for black women as well.

James says black women’s reasons for wanting the vote were oriented around a feeling of responsibility to take care of the black community and the necessity of protecting their “honor” against rampant occurrences of discrimination and sexual abuse by white men. For black women, James says having the vote would mean they could participate in the process of selecting the officers running their towns and act on opportunities to serve on juries. 

“We ask only for justice and equal rights — the right to vote, the right to our own earnings, equality before the law.” — Lucy Stone (abolitionist, orator, suffragist)

Flashes of progress came in the midst of the long struggle when a handful of frontier states gave way to women’s suffrage. Wyoming led the way in 1869, enfranchising women in the territory. And in 1870 Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming, earned the distinction of becoming the first woman in the United States to cast a vote in a general election. Utah followed Wyoming in granting women suffrage. Colorado and Idaho were also among the states that granted women suffrage in the late 19th century.

Lucy Stone - Suffragist

Lucy Stone. Courtesy of Library of Congress

On the global level, New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote in 1893. Ten more countries would grant women suffrage before the 19th Amendment was ratified in the United States in 1920. Many more would follow, with Saudi Arabia becoming the latest country to grant women suffrage in 2011.

Challenges persisted, however, even with the 19th Amendment fully anchored in the U.S. Constitution. It took almost 40 years after the passage of the Snyder Act in 1924 for all 50 states in the United States to recognize Native Americans as full citizensNew Mexico was the last state to enfranchise Native Americans in 1962 and therefore eligible to vote. It would take another three years, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, for Native Americans, African Americans and other disenfranchised groups to fully exercise their legal right to vote under the protection of the federal law that sought to end discrimination and violence against people of color at the polls. 

But even today, activists and civil rights groups continue to fight voting laws perceived as discriminatory.

"I know nothing of man's rights, or woman's rights; human rights are all that I recognize." — Sarah Moore Grimke (abolitionist, writer, suffragist)

“Suffrage was neither the beginning nor the end of women’s collective action,” said Fonow. She says women’s activism has since taken on different forms, pointing to numerous examples of women participating in political parties, working to end segregation and fighting for equal access to education and for equal pay. “It is a myth that winning the vote was the end of women’s activism,” Fonow said. The proof is at the polls. 

While critics were quick to pounce on reports of a low voter turnout for women in the first presidential election after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, subsequent history would begin to silence the naysayers. Just 36% of women cast a ballot in 1920 after a hard-fought battle that brought out 68% of men at the time. Almost a century later, the number of female voters has grown exponentially with a recent study showing voter turnouts for women had “equaled or exceeded” voter turnouts for men in recent elections.

Follow ASU Now on Twitter all year for more on the history of the 19th Amendment and the movement that made it happen. Top photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

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