By Danielle Dolan
U of L’s Women’s Center is hosting a luncheon tomorrow at the University Club to honor the birthday of women’s suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The event will be at 11:30 A.M. and will include guest speaker Coline Jenkins, the great-great-granddaughter of Stanton.
Jenkins is responsible for creating the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust, which is a collection of memorabilia from the women’s suffrage movement. It is believed to be the largest collection in America.
Jenkins will be at the luncheon Wednesday to talk about the collection and her own desire to bring more attention to women’s rights. 83 years after women were granted the right to vote, they still only represent a small percentage of the power in government.
Stanton, along with Susan B. Anthony, are considered to be the architects of the women’s movement. A major victory was declared in 1919 when Congress passed the 19th amendment granting woman the right to make their voices heard through voting, but sadly neither lived to see it.
However, Jenkins is dissatisfied with the limited roles women are playing in politics today. She recognizes that out of 100 seats in the United States Senate, only 14 are filled by women and that out of 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, women only occupy 59 chairs.
Jenkins is currently storing some of the 3,000 plus pieces of memorabilia in a linen closet, but is hoping to one day house them in a museum.
She has been traveling around the nation, speaking on the importance of women’s rights and how necessary it is to continue pushing the movement forward into the future so that men and women might share equal power and equal rights one day.
Also at the luncheon, the U of L’s women’s center will also be presenting a number of awards to people who have taken on a larger roles as leaders in issues concerning gender.
There are two main awards that will be given out at the luncheon. The Mary K. Tachau Gender Equity Award, which will go to a member of the U of L community who has helped further gender equity. Tachau was the first woman at U of L to become chair of the history department.
M. Celeste Nichols Professional Development Award will go to a graduate student at U of L for professional expenses such as conference fees and/or personal travel. Nichols earned her Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition at U of L and was the first African American woman to do so.
The luncheon is open to the public and tickets are available at two for $50.