The Power of the Vote – 100 Years After the Alpha Suffrage Club

On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee, the Chicago Area Women’s History Council  and the Black Law Students Association Chapter  at The John Marshall Law School joined together to sponsor a stimulating program:

The Power of the Vote – 100 Years After the Alpha Suffrage Club
The Enduring Legacy of Ida B. Wells

The Honorable Sheila Simon, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Illinois, was the featured speaker.  She stirred the audience with her remarks, both honoring the hard times of the past and recognizing the continuing struggle for social justice, equality and civil rights that is the legacy of Ida B. Wells.

Laura Washington, columnist with the Chicago Sun-Times and political analyst for ABC 7, Chicago’s ABC-owned station, served as moderator for the program and engaged a distinguished panel of presenters in a lively discussion of the dilution of voting rights, women’s work issues, immigrant struggles and the  violence that is plaguing Chicago and the Nation today.  Sharing their intimate stories, ideas, inspirations and reflections, were:

Karina Zabicki DeHayes, President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
Jan Dorner, President of the League of Women Voters of Illinois
Ashley Moy-Wooten, Sr. Organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and
Refugee Rights
Andrea S. Kramer, President of the Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Alliance
Sharon Strickland Williams, Past President of the Cook County Bar Association

Mary Ann Johnson, President of the Chicago Area Women’s History Council, gave insights into an important project her organization is developing in celebration of women’s activism. (Notably, Ida B. Wells was included in a previous book project titled “Women Building Chicago.”). Ms. Johnson also told of the women suffragists march on Washington in 1913 where Ida B. Wells one again, took action that showed her strength, courage and determination in the face of adversity.

Approximately 80 people attended the event that was graciously hosted by the John Marshall Law School.  It was a relaxed gathering with light refreshments and much interaction.  The event generated a lot of interest, enthusiasm and support for the creation of the Ida B. Wells monument.  Over $5,000 was raised through registrations and donations for the event.