The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Women and Gender Studies department at Hunter College, invite you to a two-day conference marking the centennial of women’s suffrage in the United States.

2020: Gender, Race, Suffrage and Citizenship

The conference’s aim is two-fold. First, it will celebrate the movement that led to women receiving the right to vote in the United States and the gains brought about by the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Second, it will interrogate and analyze the tensions between gender and racial equality that have underpinned the suffrage movement from its inception and linger today in our political landscape. The conference then will not just be a celebration of the suffrage movement, but will offer an important forum to analyze these tensions and to reflect on current local and global politics.

Co-Presented By: 

Friday, March 6, 2020

Welcome Address by:
Jennifer J. Raab, President, Hunter College

Keynote Address by:
Dr. Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago

Moderator: Linda Martin Alcoff

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Conference Sessions

Celebrating and Complicating History
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Panel 1 will engage the history of suffrage in the US. It will celebrate the gains at the same time as it will explore the complexities of the movement that led to the passage of the 19th Amendment. Throughout, it will point out the precariousness of voting rights in democratic states such at the United States.

Keynote: Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Spelman College
Moderator: Carol Jenkins, The ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality
Panelists: D’Weston L. Haywood, Hunter College, CUNY; Martha Jones, The Johns Hopkins University; Alison M. Parker, University of Delaware

Incarceration, Voter Suppression, and State Violence
11:15 PM – 12:45 PM

Panel 2 will connect our past to present practices that lead to the disenfranchisement of whole sections of the population such as voter suppression and mass incarceration.

Keynote: Ruth Wilson Gilmore, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Moderator: Anthony Browne, Hunter College, CUNY
Panelists: Rachel Herzing, Center for Political Education; Erica Meiners, Northeastern Illinois University; Susan Rosenberg, Hunter College, CUNY

Suffrage, Citizenship, and Democratic Engagements
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Panel 3, will take a look at the future and examine organizations and movements whose aim is not only to defend our right to vote but also to help us imagine new ways to develop and nurture bold democratic engagements.

Introductory Conversation: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Representative (NY 12th District)
Moderator: Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Center for American Women and Politics
Panelists: Yvette Clarke, U.S. Representative (NY 9th District); Jessica González-Rojas, Candidate, Democrat for New York State’s 34th Assembly District ; Kira Sanbonmatsu, Center for American Women and Politics


Linda Martin Alcoff  Professor of Philosophy, Hunter College, CUNY Graduate Center

Linda Martín Alcoff is Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Her writings have focused on social identity and race, epistemology and politics, sexual violence, Foucault, and Latino issues in philosophy. She has edited or co-edited 10 books, including Feminist Epistemologies and The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy. She has authored four books—Real Knowing: New Versions of Coherence Theory, Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self, The Future of Whiteness, and Rape and Resistance. Alcoff is Vice-President elect of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. She was named the 2005 Distinguished Woman in Philosophy by the Society for Women in Philosophy, and in 2006 she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine. Her book, Visible Identities, won the Frantz Fanon Award in 2009.

Anthony Browne  Professor and Chair of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunter College

Anthony Browne is chair of the Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College. His research, scholarship, and teaching concerns Black Diasporic communities with a focus on poverty, gentrification, Africana sociology, and second generation immigrants. This work builds on a long-standing research interest in the intersection of power, race, gender and policy. Dr. Browne’s research has appeared in a number of scholarly publications. His commentary and analysis have been featured in international, national and regional media outlets. His most recent publications focused on educational and economic disparities in Black and Latinx communities in New York City. Dr. Browne is currently completing a book-length project, Gentrifying Bed-Stuy: The Impact on Social and Economic Neighborhood Institutions, which explores how Black businesses, faith-based institutions, and cultural practices have been fundamentally altered by gentrification.

Yvette Clarke  U.S. Representative (NY 9th District)

Yvette Diane Clarke, hailing from central Brooklyn, feels honored to represent the community that raised her in Congress. She is the proud daughter of Jamaican immigrants and takes her passion for her Caribbean heritage to Congress, where she co-chairs the Congressional Caribbean Caucus and works to foster relationships between the United States and the Caribbean Community. Clarke is Vice Chair of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee and a member of the Homeland Security Committee. Clarke has been a member of the Congressional Black Caucus since coming to Congress in 2007 and today chairs its Immigration Task Force while acting as an active member of its Census 2020 Task Force.

Ruth Wilson Gilmore  Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, The Graduate Center

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A co-founder of many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore works on racial capitalism, organized violence, organized abandonment, changing state structure, criminalization, labor and social movements, and abolition as a green, red, and internationalist strategy for liberation. Recent projects include a second edition of the award-winning book Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California; “Beyond Bratton” (in Policing the Planet, Camp and Heatherton, eds.); “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (in Futures of Black Radicalism, Lubin and Johnson, eds.); the Foreword to a new collection of work by Cedric Robinson (HLT Quan, ed); and a collection (co-edited with Paul Gilroy) of Stuart Hall’s writing on race and difference.

Jessica González-Rojas  Candidate, Democrat for New York State's 34th Assembly Distric

Jessica González-Rojas is a life-long activist and change-maker. Jessica is a nationally-recognized expert on health care reform, gender and racial justice. She has a deep understanding of building coalitions on both the grassroots level and within institutions of power. Jessica was on the founding board of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), a Queens-based immigrant rights organization and a founding member of Jackson Heights’ New Visions Democratic Club. She has served in leadership of many local advocacy efforts, including the New York City Transit Riders Council and the New York City Young Women’s Initiative. From 2006 to January 2020, Jessica led the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, a national organization dedicated to expanding healthcare access, building Latinx power, and advancing reproductive justice. Jessica was also an adjunct professor at City College, CUNY and NYU Wagner School of Public Service.

D’Weston Haywood  Associate Professor of History, Hunter College, CUNY

D’Weston Haywood is Associate Professor of History at Hunter College, City University of New York. Haywood obtained his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and his research centers on Black protest, Black masculinity, Black Power, and the intersections of Black culture, Black politics, and Black public spheres. He is the author of Let Us Make Men: The Twentieth-Century Black Press and a Manly Vision for Racial Advancement (UNC Press, 2018). Haywood’s work also includes forays into an innovative scholarly and pedagogical praxis he calls “Sonic Scholarship.” His first project in this regard, “The [Ferguson] Files: A Sonic Study of Racial Violence in America,” deploys poetry, rap, and research to (re) examine racial violence involving police killings of unarmed Black people between 2014 and 2015. He is currently working on three projects:one book project reconsidering Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam; another book project historicizing Black political thought, mass incarceration, and prison cultures; and the next installment of Sonic Scholarship, an album analyzing masculinity in the Trump era.

Rachel Herzing  Co-director of Center for Political Education

Rachel Herzing is the co-director of Center for Political Education, a resource for political organizations on the left, progressive social movements, the working class and people of color. Rachel has been an organizer, activist, and advocate fighting the violence of policing and imprisonment for more than 20 years. She is a co-founder of Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization dedicated to abolishing the prison industrial complex. She was the director of research and training at Creative Interventions, a community resource developing interventions to interpersonal harm that do not rely on policing, imprisonment, or traditional social services.

Carol Jenkins  Co-President and CEO of The ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality

Carol Jenkins is the Co-President and CEO of The ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality, sister organizations dedicated to the passage and enactment of the Equal Rights Amendment. She is also a writer, media analyst, commentator, and speaker on women’s issues, as well as an Emmy-award winning journalist and documentary producer. She served as the founding President of the Women’s Media Center, and she has focused on the health of women and girls in the U.S. and in developing countries, while serving on the board of The African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) the largest health organization on the African continent.

Martha S. Jones  Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History, The Johns Hopkins University

Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy. Professor Jones is the author of Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (Cambridge University Press, 2018), winner of the Organization of American Historians Liberty Legacy Award for the best book in civil rights history, the American Historical Association Littleton-Griswold Prize for the best book in American legal history, and the American Society for Legal History John Phillip Reid book award for the best book in Anglo-American legal history. Forthcoming in 2020 is Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Fought for Rights for All (Basic.) Professor Jones is also author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), together with many important articles and essay.

Carolyn B. Maloney  U.S. Representative ((NY 12th District)

Carolyn B. Maloney was first elected to Congress in 1992, and is a recognized national leader with extensive accomplishments on financial services, national security, the economy, and women’s issues. She is currently Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the first woman to hold this position. Maloney is currently a member of Women’s Forum Inc., the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s City Club, Alice Paul Institute, Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy, Financial Women’s Association, National Organization for Women, National Association of Business and Professional Women, New York Landmarks Conservancy, and CIVITAS.

Erica R. Meiners  Professor of Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies, Northeastern Illinois University

Erica R. Meiners teaches, writes and organizes in Chicago. She has written about her ongoing labor and learning in anti-militarization campaigns, educational justice struggles, prison abolition and reform movements, and queer and immigrant rights organizing in Flaunt It! Queers Organizing for Public Education and Justice (2009) with Therese Quinn, Right To Be Hostile: Schools, Prisons and the Making of Public Enemies (2007) and articles in ReThinking Schools, Radical Teacher, Meridians, AREA Chicago, and Social Justice Journal. Her work in the areas of prison/school nexus; gender, access and technology; community-based research methodologies; and urban education has been supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the Illinois Humanities Council and the Princeton Woodrow Wilson Public Scholarship Foundation, among others.

​Alison M. Parker  Chair and Professor of History at the University of Delaware

Alison M. Parker is Chair and Richards Professor of History at the University of Delaware. She has research and teaching interests at the intersections of gender, race, disability, citizenship, and the law in U.S. history. She majored in art history and history at the University of California, Berkeley and earned a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University. Her biography, Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell, is forthcoming with the University of North Carolina Press (2021).

Kimberly Peeler-Allen  Visiting Practitioner, Center for American Women and Politics & Co-founder, Higher Heights

Kimberly Peeler-Allen has been working at the intersection of race, gender and politics for almost 20 years. She is the Co-Founder of Higher Heights, a national organization building the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office. Prior to stepping down from this role, her work helped build the organization into a network of over 90,000 members, donors and activists across the country who helped elect 10 Black women to Congress, one Black woman to the U.S. Senate, and a growing number of Black women to statewide and large-city executive offices. At CAWP, she serves as an advisor on Election 2020 analysis and guest lecturer in undergraduate and graduate courses. She also serves on the Board of the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition

Barbara Ransby  Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

Barbara Ransby is an historian, writer and longtime activist. She is author of the award-winning biography, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement, as well as Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson, and Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century. Ella Baker was the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including The Joan Kelly Memorial Prize from the American Historical Association and the James Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians. Ransby is also the 2018 recipient of the Angela Y. Davis award for public scholarship from the American Studies Association. She is a Distinguished Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, African American Studies and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she directs the campus-wide Social Justice Initiative, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Souls. Ransby is also on the editorial board of the London-based journal, Race and Class. She has published widely in scholarly and popular venues, including: Dissent, In These Times, The Boston Review, The Nation and the New York Times.

Susan Rosenberg  Instructor, Hunter College, CUNY

Susan Rosenberg is a human rights and prisoners’ rights advocate, adjunct professor, communications consultant, award-winning writer, public speaker and a formerly incarcerated person. Her recently published memoir, An American Radical, details her 16 years in federal prison as well as her conclusions about her prison experience and her past. She was released from prison in 2001 through executive clemency by then President Bill Clinton. Upon her release she worked at American Jewish World Service for 12 years beginning as a writer then becoming the director of communications. Post-AJWS Susan has worked extensively in the nonprofit communications field with a focus on human rights and international development. She is the founder of Sync It Communications, a communications-consulting group. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College and a member of the prison writing committee of PEN America. Susan lives in New York City with her partner.

Kira Sanbonmatsu  Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics

Kira Sanbonmatsu is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. Her research interests include gender, race/ethnicity, parties, public opinion, and state politics. Her articles have appeared in such journals as American Journal of Political SciencePolitics & Gender, and Party Politics. She co-edits the CAWP Series in Gender and American Politics at the University of Michigan Press with Susan J. Carroll. Sanbonmatsu received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She was previously Associate Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University.

Beverly Guy-Sheftall  Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies and Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center, Spelman College

Beverly Guy-Sheftall is the founding Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center (1981) and Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College. For many years she was a visiting professor at Emory University’s Institute for Women’s Studies where she taught graduate courses in Women’s Studies. At the age of sixteen, she entered Spelman College where she majored in English and minored in secondary education. After graduating with honors, she attended Wellesley College for a fifth year of study in English. In 1968, she entered Atlanta University to pursue a master’s degree in English; her thesis was entitled, “Faulkner’s Treatment of Women in His Major Novels.” A year later she began her first teaching job in the Department of English at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1971 she returned to her alma mater Spelman College and joined the English Department.

Charlene Sinclair  Senior Advisor, BlackPAC and the affiliated nonpartisan Black Progressive Action Coalition (BPAC)

Charlene Sinclair is a Senior Advisor for BlackPAC and the affiliated nonpartisan Black Progressive Action Coalition (BPAC). A facilitator and organizational development specialist with over three decades of experience in strategic communications, organizational development and community organizing. Charlene works with BlackPAC and BPAC partner grassroots organizations across the country on political education and training as well as electoral and issue based campaigns in Black communities.


2020: Gender, Race, Suffrage, and Citizenship | Posted on February 6th, 2020 | Human Rights Program Events, Public Policy Program Events, Public Programs, Special Projects and Conferences