The Impact of Women on U.S. Elections: Past, Present & Future

WED, DEC 2, 2020 (1:07:34)

It goes without saying these are unprecedented times that are also reflections of the past.

Join the Museum of African American History Boston and Nantucket for their series Race in the Public Dialogue, sponsored by Liberty Mutual. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley participate in an in-depth examination of the impact of women in the 2020 election.

Historians Dr. Kerri Greenidge and Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson will provide a historical perspective from the 18th and 19th centuries on Black women’s suffrage and Black voting rights. Finally, we’ll look towards the future and the role young women activists will play in the next elections.

Moderated by Dr. Christina Greer, Associate Professor, Fordham University. Also featuring Renee Graham, Boston Globe columnist.

+ BIO: Ayanna Pressley

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley is an advocate, a policy-maker, an activist, and a survivor. On November 6, 2018, Congresswoman Pressley was elected to represent Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the first woman of color to be elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts 7th is the most diverse and most unequal district in the state, requiring a representative whose experiences are reflective of the people.

Like many in her district, Congresswoman Pressley has endured numerous hardships throughout her life, and it is because of those experiences that she remains a dedicated activist who’s devoted to creating robust and informed policies that speak to the intersectionality of her district’s lived experiences. She believes that the people closest to the pain should be closest to the power and that a diversity of voices in the political process is essential to making policies that benefit more Americans.

Born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago, Congresswoman Pressley is the only child of a single mother and a father who was in and out of the criminal justice system - creating an unstable household and forcing her to mature at a rapid rate. While her father ultimately overcame his addiction and went on to become a published author, Congresswoman Pressley was primarily raised by her mother Sandra Pressley, a tenants’ rights organizer who instilled in her the value of civic engagement. Thanks to her mother’s dedication to activism, Congresswoman Pressley has always been acutely aware of the role that government can play in lifting up families and communities.

Congresswoman Pressley attended the Francis W. Parker School, a private school in Chicago where her activism and commitment to public service took hold. A devoted student, Congresswoman Pressley was supported by her teachers, faculty, and peers and was elected class president every year from 7th grade through senior year of high school. She was also elected student government president, was a competitive debater through her school’s chapter of Junior State of America, was the commencement speaker for her graduating class, and was named “most likely to be mayor of Chicago.”

Congresswoman Pressley moved to Boston, MA in 1992 to attend Boston University, however, after a couple of years of enrollment, she withdrew from the University to help support her mother. She remained an activist in the community, working as a senior aide to Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, volunteering for Senator John Kerry’s reelection campaign, and working for Senator Kerry for 13 years in a variety of roles, including constituency director and political director. Senator Kerry described Congresswoman Pressley as a “force” who “believed in public service.”

+ BIO: Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren Warren is the junior U.S. Senator for Massachusetts. She made her life’s work the fight for middle class families and became an expert on bankruptcy and an outspoken critic of consumer lenders. She is widely credited for the original thinking, political courage, and relentless persistence that led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Warren spent nearly 20 years as a professor of law at Harvard University, She is the author of several books including, The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke.

+ BIO: Dr. Christina Greer

Dr. Christina Greer is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University - Lincoln Center (Manhattan) campus. Her research and teaching focus on American politics, black ethnic politics, urban politics, quantitative methods, Congress, New York City and New York State politics, campaigns and elections, and public opinion.

Prof. Greer’s book Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream (Oxford University Press) investigates the increasingly ethnically diverse black populations in the US from Africa and the Caribbean. She finds that both ethnicity and a shared racial identity matter and also affect the policy choices and preferences for black groups. Professor Greer is currently writing her second manuscript and conducting research on the history of all African Americans who have run for the executive office in the U.S. Her research interests also include mayors and public policy in urban centers. Her previous work has compared criminal activity and political responses in Boston and Baltimore. She is the host and producer of The Aftermath with Christina Greer on Ozy.com http://www.ozy.com/topic/the-aftermath. Prof. Greer received her BA from Tufts University and her MA, MPhil, and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University.

+ BIO: Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson

Kellie Carter Jackson is the Knafel Assistant Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. She was also the 2019-2020 Newhouse Faculty Fellow for the Center of the Humanities at Wellesley College. Carter Jackson’s research focuses on slavery and the abolitionists, violence as a political discourse, historical film, and black women’s history. She earned her B.A at her beloved Howard University and her Ph.D from Columbia University working with the esteemed historian Eric Foner. Her book, Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (University of Pennsylvania Press), examines the conditions that led some black abolitionists to believe slavery might only be abolished by violent force. In Force and Freedom, Carter Jackson provides the first historical analysis exclusively focused on the tactical use of violence among antebellum black activists. Force and Freedom is a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, winner of the James H. Broussard Best First Book Prize given by SHEAR (Society for Historians of the Early American Republic) and a finalist for the Museum of African American History (MAAH) Stone Book Prize Award for 2019. The Washington Post listed Force and Freedom as one of 13 books to read on the history of Black America for those who really want to learn.

+ BIO: Dr. Kerri Greenidge

Dr. Kerri Greenidge received her Doctorate in American Studies from Boston University, where her specialty included African-American history, American political history, and African-American and African diasporic literature in the post-emancipation and early modern era. Her research explores the role of African-American literature in the creation of radical Black political consciousness, particularly as it relates to local elections and Democratic populism during the Progressive Era. She has taught at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Emerson College. Her work includes historical research for the Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African-American Literature, the Oxford African American Studies Center, and PBS. For nine years she worked as a historian for Boston African American National Historical Site in Boston, through which she published her first book, Boston Abolitionists (2006). Her forthcoming book is a biography of African-American activist, William Monroe Trotter, which explores the history of racial thought and African American political radicalism in New England at the turn of the century. She teaches at Tufts University where she is currently co-director of the Tufts / African American Freedom Trail Project, and where she serves as Interim Director of the American Studies Program through the University’s Consortium of Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Her biography of Boston activist, William Monroe Trotter, will be released by W.W. Norton Press in Winter, 2018.

Partner
Museum of African American History
Series
Women's History Month
Recommended Lectures