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Tues, Feb 23—Lyrics of American Feminism from 1850 to 2020
February 23 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
From the right to vote to the right to be free from violence, US women have campaigned for equality since the founding of our country. More than a mere political fight, the women’s movement is a cultural battle for hearts and minds. Laura Engelhardt and Susan Ferris Rights, co-directors of the Songs of the Suffragists Project, will present their short documentary based on their book, Songs of the Suffragists: Lyrics of American Feminism from 1850 to 2020, and lead a consciousness-raising group on the fight for gender equality in this country, the progress we’ve made towards that goal, and the future of equality advocacy.
Susan Ferris Rights is the past-president of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Summit and continues to moderate candidate forums throughout the state of New Jersey. Her interest in the rights of women and women’s history is traced to her education in Quaker schools and her upbringing as a Quaker, a group well-known for their beliefs in the equality of all people. She is retired from 31 years as a Technology Educator in both public and private schools and currently owns a graphic design business where her energy is used to develop children’s parties and wall décor.
Laura Engelhardt is the co-author of the Songs of the Suffragists and a graduate of Stanford Law School and Hamilton College. She is a true artist-at-heart, sampling different genres from sci-fi and fantasy novels, to playwriting, flexing her political and historical muscles in the creation of Songs of the Suffragists. She started writing plays in college, then moved to Germany, where she continued to write while teaching English Sign Language to executives. After moving back to the U.S., she supported her playwriting by teaching ballroom dance and working in a bookstore. She decided to attend Stanford and spent the next seventeen years as a lawyer and compliance officer in New York City. In 2017, she founded Neutrality Now, LLC, a provider of mediation and arbitration services. She is the author of two novels and an active supporter of voting rights. During election season, Laura moderates local debates and candidate forums for the League of Women Voters, and provides information to voters through Election Protection’s voter hotline. Laura also has a blog on GoodReads where she discusses her journey as an author and interacts with her readers.