August 24, 2020 I I 616-574-7307
 Women Were Heroes, Too   

Suddenly, it’s September! As light wanes, our calendars lengthen—and we have great virtual programming to report on, including this week’s kickoff of our fall series, Reading into Suffrage History, plus a lot more! First, please pause to honor the 9/11 lost and women firefighters. Then, after our Upcoming Events section, at the very bottom here, check out our first Summer 2020 Photo Feature!
Brenda Berkman, NYFD firefighting pioneer
Today we celebrate women firefighters and their brother heroes on 9/11. Read here about Brenda Berkman, whose first fight was to become a firefighter in the first place. She was devastated to be off duty on 9/11, but dedicated herself to months of clean-up. We also honor Berkman’s continuing fight to honor her sister firefighters. Take a moment on another beautiful September day to remember all the lost and all who picked up the pieces in New York nineteen years ago.
November 1918, 14,000 local suffrage supporters
Indexing an Army of Women!
Saturday, September 12th, 2020
1:30 pm, Virtual Program

Tomorrow, the Western Michigan Genealogical Society invites you to join the opening of
its virtual season of programming with a presentation by GGRWHC’s Jo Ellyn Clarey. “Indexing an Army of Women” will be an argument to generate historical resources for dual purposes—locating ancestors and placing them into historical contexts. She will urge an army of genealogists not to stop short with the discovery of one particular family name—especially when it is found among 14,000 others. The list above is one of three published in Grand Rapids newspapers during the run-up to the 1918 vote by Michigan men to enfranchise the state’s women. They did! Just join by Zoom prior to the meeting.

Reading into Suffrage History 
STARTS THIS WEEK! Reading into Suffrage History

Our virtual book discussion series with the Grand Rapids Public Library will run from
7:00 - 8:30 pm on Third Wednesdays--September, October, November! Check out the whole line-up, get your books, or join the discussion just to check them out! RSVP for these ZOOM events!

Please join us even if you can’t finish the books. You will be inspired to keep reading! Our hosts will sketch out questions to start, but will try to keep the structure loose. Anyone interested is welcome, but the virtual Zoom discussions will require RSVPs through EventBrite.

Wednesday, September 16th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
The Woman's Hour by Elaine Weiss
Elaine Weiss
Author Elaine Weiss will join us on September 16th to discuss her groundbreaking book The Woman’s Hour, featuring the nail-biting climax of the 72-year-fight to ensure all citizens the right to vote. Tennessee became the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment, and on August 26th it became the law of the land. Her book is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights. It features summer in Tennessee one hundred years ago.
Breaking news! GGRWHC’s co-host Ruth Stevens reports that PBS has a new documentary By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South that would be a perfect companion to The Woman’s Hour and the other documentaries where you can also meet Elaine Weiss. This one includes footage of people and places mentioned in the book, especially an inside look at the Tennessee statehouse, as well as clips from an interview with one Abby Milton at age 101. 

We met author Elaine Weiss when she visited Grand Rapids in 2018 to talk about The Woman’s Hour, and you may have seen her recently in 2020 centennial documentaries--The Vote and Carrie Chapman Catt on PBS. Join, and we can ask her about progress on the mini-series to be based on this book! It includes Weiss’s report on an extraordinary moment in May 2020 when the voice of the daughter of a slave was heard inside the house chamber of the Tennessee Capitol.
GVSU's Democracy 101 kick-off event
Also on Wednesday, September 16th--if we can’t convince you to meet Elaine Weiss for a bookish evening, GVSU invites you to its Democracy 101 virtual kick-off event, “Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Voting Rights,” from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Join GVSU President Mantella, Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, and GGRWHC’s representative Jo Ellyn Clarey for a conversation about the history of the 19th Amendment and its afterlife into the 21st century. Zoom information here.
UPCOMING EVENTS! Mark your calendars~

Stay in touch with our website calendar of events and watch our weekly newsletters!

September 16th: The Woman's Hour by Elaine Weiss [The author will attend!] -- Virtual Book Discussion Series, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Free & open to the public. RSVP for this ZOOM event.

September 24th, 7:00 pm: “Constitutional Orphan, A Constitution Day Celebration by Paula Monopoli, sponsored by GVSY’s Hauenstein Center -- The history of the 19th Amendment does not end in 1920. RSVP for this ZOOM event.  

October 3rd, 1:00 pm: Conquering the Cough: Grand Rapids Women Beating Disease” by Julie Hoogland and Sue Thoms, at the Michigan History Conference, Friday-Saturday, Oct. 2nd-3rd. Early-bird registration ends on September 7th. See our website or the Historical Society of Michigan website to RSVP for this ZOOM event & conference.

October 8th, 7:00 pm: Women Should Be Seen and Heard: Grand Rapids and the Fight for the Vote” by Ruth Stevens  See our website or the GR Historical Society website to RSVP for this ZOOM event.
October 21st: Death in Ten Minutes by Fern Riddell -- -- Virtual Book Discussion Series, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Free & open to the public. RSVP for this ZOOM event.

November 18th: All Bound Up Together by Martha S. Jones -- -- Virtual Book Discussion Series, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Free & open to the public. RSVP for this ZOOM event.
Summer 2020 Photo Feature!
Mary Alice Williams honoring Emma Ford
Former GGRWHC board member and long-time friend Mary Alice Williams visited Oakhill South for our August 26th centennial celebration, Here Lies a Suffragist! Here she leaves a floral tribute for suffrage supporter Emma Ford, the founder of women’s clubs for African Americans in 1890s Grand Rapids and popular speaker for the WCTU, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Meet her in an early feature for Women’s Lifestyle Magazine—and stay tuned! We learn more about her every day.

*** We continue grateful for Melissa Fox’s work on the tour itself Check it out and make a trip! Here Lies a Suffragist. 
During this challenging year, the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council has pivoted to virtual salutes after losing in-person celebrations of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. We have rededicated ourselves to honoring the long and costly battle for the universal right to vote at the same time we pause to reconsider how we will more fully and effectively embrace the women’s histories of our entire community. 

Please continue to celebrate with the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council virtually and in print! Watch for us via this electronic newsletter, follow us on Facebook, find our monthly features in Women’s Lifestyle Magazine, and sign up for our hard-copy newsletter, if you haven’t already – at! Stay tuned, stay safe, and stay exercised!
Stay home and stay safe--but celebrate with us virtually and in print! 
GGRWHC |  | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who have shaped West Michigan!
Please take a moment to forward this message to others you know who may be interested in women's history. If you've received this message as a forward, consider joining our mailing list in order to receive future updates about programming.

Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation.  Visit our website for more information and the ability to donate online.