Inspired by the current exhibition, New Century, New Woman, the first January 2021 Dynamic Conversation delves into history of the fight for the vote and the powerful women who led the charge. Join scholars, Vicki Ruiz, PhD, Sharon Harley, PhD, and Cathleen Cahill, PhD in an interactive discussion on some of the activists and leaders at the forefront of the women’s suffrage movement. The curator of the exhibition, Claire McRee, will moderate.


This is a recording of the LIVE program which aired on January 19, 2021. 

Vicki Ruiz, PhD

Vicki L. Ruiz is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. A first generation college-bound student, she received her PhD in History from Stanford University in 1982. An award-winning scholar and educator, she is the author of Cannery Women, Cannery Lives and From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth- Century America and co-author of Created Equal: A History of the United States. She and Virginia Sánchez Korrol co-edited the three-volume Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, which received a 2007 “Best in Reference” Award from the New York Public Library.

Over the course of her career, Ruiz has participated in numerous public history and community engagement programs, including Arizona State’s Hispanic-Mother Daughter Program. From 2007-2012, she served as Dean of the School of Humanities at UC Irvine. In 2012 Professor Ruiz was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Directing twenty-seven dissertations, she has mentored four generations of graduate students from UC Davis, Claremont Graduate School, Arizona State, and UC Irvine. The National Women’s History Project named her a 2015 Honoree in recognition of her scholarship. Ruiz has also received a lifetime achievement award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Association and the OAH Rosenzweig Award for distinguished service. She is past president of the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association. On September 10, 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Vicki L. Ruiz the National Humanities Medal.

Sharon Harley, PhD

Dr. Sharon Harley is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She and historian Rosalyn Terborg-Penn co-edited and contributed essays in the pioneer anthology, The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images (1978). She edited and contributed to two anthologies Sister Circle: Black Women and Work (Rutgers, 2002) and Women’s Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices (Rutgers, 2008) resulting from two major Ford Foundation grants. Among her many published articles, she has written about the world’s leading suffragists in “Race Women: Cultural Productions and Radical Labor Politics” (2007) and “Mary Church Terrell: Genteel Militant” (1988). She recently published “African American Women and the Right to Vote” in Women and Suffrage (2018) and “I Don’t Pay Those Borders No Mind At All:” Audley E. Moore (“Queen “Mother Moore) – Grassroots Global Traveler and Activist– Reframing Black Nationalist/Pan-Africanist Engagement” in Women and Migrations (2018).

She has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as well as the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center, and the National Humanities Center at the Research Triangle, North Carolina. In 2010, she was awarded the Carter G. Woodson Medallion for Outstanding Scholarship.

Dr. Harley has delivered papers at professional history and women’s conferences in the U.S. as well as scholarly meetings in South Korea, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Ghana, South Africa, Abu Dhabi, and China.

Harley is the principal investigator of a recently awarded Mellon Foundation Grant to the University of Maryland for a two-year African/Black Diaspora Research Seminar.  Harley served as Principal Investigator of a Ford Foundation seminar, “Women of Color and Work Research Seminar” (2002-2006) and was Co-Editor/Contributor, The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images, co-Editor/Contributor, Women in Africa and the African Diaspora, and Editor/Contributor, Women’s Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices.”


This Dynamic Conversation is a part of a virtual weeklong Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.
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