Year of the Vote celebrates a century of women’s suffrage


Submitted by Heather Sincavage

Year of the Vote celebrates 100 years of women’s suffrage, with several events planned every month spanning the entire year.

Beacon Staff

Wilkes University’s Sordoni Art Gallery is hosting a year-long event called “Year of the Vote: Gender, Politics & Power.” The Year of the Vote is a year-long series of monthly lectures, discussions, activities and podcasts.

The Year of the Vote celebrates and recognizes the 100 year anniversary of women receiving the right to vote.

During this year-long event, there will be multiple events that are held each month. Each month’s events will be centered around a specific theme about women’s rights.

“We’re not only looking to the past and the hurdles we’ve already overcome, but we’re looking to right now and looking at how far we have to go,” said Heather Sincavage, assistant professor and director of the Sordoni Art Gallery, in describing the initiative.

Each month professors across different disciplines will deliver a series of thematic lectures. The event will also feature discussion groups held in the Sordoni Gallery entitled “EqualiTEAs.”

EqualiTEAs will be a homage to the tradition set by the suffragettes who discussed women’s issues over tea. During these discussion groups, there will be tea and baked goods available for participants along with a creative activity.

On top of the main lectures and EqualiTEAs, there will also be a series of special events throughout the year. Starting in February, an open mic event will be held every month.

Submitted by Heather Sincavage
Year of the Vote celebrates 100 years of women’s suffrage, with several events planned every month spanning the entire year.

The event is organized by Karley Stasko, a volunteer and outreach coordinator at the Sordoni Art Gallery.

The project is a collaborative interdisciplinary project of university faculty including Sincavage; Mia Briceno, associate professor of communication studies; Helen Davis, associate professor of English; Maria Grandinetti, associate professor of nursing; Andreea Maierean, assistant professor of political science; Jennifer Thomas and Ellen Newell, both associate professors of psychology; and Lisa Reynolds, assistant professor of integrative media.

This group is also releasing a monthly podcast titled “In the Kisser.” The podcast will feature the faculty members discussing women’s issues that tye into each month’s theme.

Those involved with the podcast include Reynolds, who is hosting the podcast, Briceno, Newell and Sincavage.

Kristen Rock, adjunct communication studies professor and WCLH radio station manager, is producing the podcast, which will be released at the end of every month. The podcast will be available for streaming on

Last month, the group introduced their lecture series for the Year of the Vote with a lecture entitled “What Binds Us Tight” by Eva Polizzi, fibers artist, on Jan. 30.

This lecture was part of the opening reception of the Sordoni Art Gallery exhibit “Material Pulses: Seven Viewpoints.” This lecture discusses how most female artists who work in the medium of fiber are still overlooked by curators and museums.

This lecture aimed to add another layer to the investigation by exploring a few more women fiber artists whose names are still missing from many art-history textbooks, and their sometimes unconventional work that is left out of the limelight.

For the following months, there will be serval important themes and activities. February is Black History Month. March is Women’s History Month. April’s theme is Sexual Assault/Human Trafficking. May is Health, June is PRIDE, July is Art/Expression, August is education, September is Sports, October is Politics and November is Violence.

As of now, the schedule for events is available for February, March and April on the Year of the Vote website.

The schedule for February begins with an EqualiTEA discussion of women’s healthcare and activist poster making for The Vagina Monologues on February 11th from 11 am to 1 pm.

The Vagina Monologues event will also be hosted on Feb. 14 at 7 pm. and February 15 at 2 p.m. in the Henry Ballroom.

The monologues are a benefit production of the award-winning play “Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler, featuring students and faculty from the university. On Feb. 27 at 4:30, there will be a lecture “Black Liberation: Race, Class & Colonialism in W.E.B. Du Bois and Fanon” by Dr. Jap-Nanak Makkar, assistant professor of English.

After the lecture, the first open mic/poetry slam will be held.

Since March is Women’s History Month, they are planning to begin with, celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.

This will be followed by a lecture on March 12 at 4:30 p.m. by Dr. Amy Sopak-Joseph, assistant professor of history, entitled “Not Just Housewives: Women’s Activism Before the 19th Amendment.”

There will be an EqualiTEA on Mar. 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m, with a discussion of clothing and politics as well as a button-making activity.

Submitted by Heather Sincavage
A new equaliTEA will take place every month, centered around each month’s theme.

There will also be an open mic/poetry slam night on Mar. 26 at 6 p.m.

Each event will take place in the Sordoni Art Gallery unless otherwise noted. All events are free to the public.

The series will continue through the summer and into the fall semester. More information about the individual lectures will be released as the year progresses.

More information about Year of the Vote and any of its announced events can be found on the project’s website at

Information can also be received from contacting either [email protected] or [email protected].