UNC Asheville’s Department of History, the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site, and the North Carolina Room at Pack Memorial Library will present a two-day symposium, You Have to Start a Thing: North Carolina Women Breaking Barriers, Sept. 12-13. The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified on August 18, 1920, granted American women the right to vote. This 72-year battle began in July 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention that fought for social, civil and religious rights of women. However, the passing of the 19th Amendment still did not grant suffrage for many women of color and immigrant women; that battle would continue on for decades. The symposium will celebrate the achievements of women in Western North Carolina and examine their impact on breaking down barriers in North Carolina and the nation.
This program is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is strongly encouraged. Seating capacity is limited.
The symposium will begin with a keynote by Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson, Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies and Director of Africana Women’s Studies at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC. at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12 in Pack Memorial Library’s Lord Auditorium. On Friday, Sept. 13, speakers will present throughout the day at Lord Auditorium beginning at 10 a.m., concluding at 5:00 p.m. The symposium will conclude with a reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13 at Cultivated Cocktails. Guests can sample local spirits and hear Dr. Dan Pierce’s talk, “Daring Amazonian Women: North Carolina Women Moonshiners.”