We are our stories. Shaping our past experiences into a story helps us make sense of the world and our place in it. Stories communicate our most cherished values and dearly-held beliefs. They bring history to life by animating what might otherwise be a dull collection of facts with the deeper meaning of lived experience. Stories bring us together in celebration of our commonalities even while they honor our differences.
Spotlight Oral History captures and shares the stories of individuals, organizations, and communities through in-depth interviews based on thorough historical research.
1 week ago
From the archives: my (research) worlds are colliding!
Found in the Star Tribune archives this morning while looking for media coverage of adoption of "illegitimate" children in the early 20th century. This one brief article brings together my current work on the anniversary of suffrage, writing on "unwed motherhood" and adoption, and longstanding interest in war's effects on women. I don't know what became of "the noted militant English suffraget [sic]"'s plan. Do you??
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She followed through herself, adopting two children at the end of the war. I believe a few other suffragettes did, too ~
"I think of women's governance as circular. We all get around the table and we discuss. We hash out and then we come to consensus. The patriarchal system is all about power. It's about who's at the top." --The Hon. Betty Folliard, founder of ERA-Minnesota
Yesterday I had the good fortune to talk to The Hon. Betty Folliard, former vice chair of the Hopkins School Board, 3-term legislator in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and congressional aide to U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, and founder of ERAMN. One of the things we discussed was why, despite support from the majority of the citizenry, the U.S. still does not have an Equal Rights Amendment in its constitution, and why, despite the fact that almost 190 countries across the globe have ratified the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the U.S. (along with Palau, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Tonga, and the Holy See) has not. "Patriarchy is affirmative action for men," she said, "and power does not give itself up."
Look for the recording and transcript of our interview in the Minnesota Historical Society's oral history collections (not now, but soon!) and, maybe, an excerpt from it in next year's She Voted: Her Fight, Our Right exhibit at the History Center!
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"Our abilities are not all the same, but our possibilities should be." -- Heather Allison, President, ERA-Minnesota
The Women and Voting Rights in Minnesota Oral History Project got off to a great start yesterday as Heather Allison spoke eloquently about the need for an Equal Rights Amendment in both our state and federal constitutions. Heather got involved with ERA-MN after the 2017 Women's March and was just elected to a second term as its president.
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"[We’re] just trying to do the work and keep the work moving as best we can, always remembering it’s about conversations, it’s about community, it’s about meeting in the middle and not scaring people away by preaching at them or by yelling at them, but by just trying to talk and hear them and have them hear us."
– Heather Allison, President, ERA-MN
The Women and Voting Rights in Minnesota Oral History Project launched yesterday with a fantastic interview with Heather Allison, who spoke eloquently about the need for an Equal Rights Amendment in both our state and federal constitutions. An ERA would establish sex as a permanent, protected class status akin to race and religion, making equality between the sexes (or among the genders, in the case of the proposed Minnesota ERA) the law of the land. “Our abilities are not all the same,” she said, “but our possibilities should be.”
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