A clarion call to rescue Inez Milholland from “historical obscurity” was cited in a tribute to her in the November 2017 “Hudson Valley Magazine.” The article noted that “her activism anticipates the colorful militancy of the 1960s.” American poet Edna St. Vincent Milay wrote a poem, “To Inez,” in 1923.
Teachers from New York to California have brought Inez’s story to their classrooms. High school students in Lake George, NY were inspired to write a play. Students at New York University created a performance, and classes in Santa Fe, NM and throughout the nation have viewed, written about, and discussed the documentary, “Forward into Light.” For more information about the film, contact InezMilholland.org
Keeping the memory of Inez Milholland in front of nation continues. During 2018. Molly Murphy MacGregor nominated Inez to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. We won’t have their answer until next year, but the hope is that Inez will finally receive the recognition so long overdue.
We spent 2016 honoring Inez during the centennial observance of her death. U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier nominated Inez for a presidential citizens’ medal in 2015. During 2016, Martha Wheellock and Wild West Women produced and distributed a film about Inez, “Forward into Light,” a 15-minute film distributed to thousands of individuals, schools, and organizations across the nation. Friends and supporters delivered a petition to the White House supporting the presidential citizens’ nomination. A Pomeroy Foundation road marker was installed in Lewis, NY at Inez’s grave. We were busy during 2016 and 2017 blogging about the remarkable programming across the nation commemorating her contributions.
This posting is a reminder by blog editor Marguerite Kearns to continue the work. Send news about Inez to share: MargueriteKearns at gmail.com
At the grave of Inez Milholland in Lewis NY on Saturday, January 20, 2018
Organizers Sandra Weber and David Hodges are planning the 2018 Adirondack Women’s March, a combination of rally, march and community celebration, for Saturday, January 20, 2018. The aim of the event is to show solidarity with women around the world. “We will stand together to protect the civil rights, safety, and health of all people. We call on defenders of human rights to join us at this peaceful, non-partisan event,” say the march organizers.
The event will begin at 11 a.m. at the grave of Inez Milholland at the top of hill in Lewis Cemetery. The program will include a welcome address, poems, songs, and grave ceremony. Attendees are encouraged to bring signs, flags, and/or flowers to lay on Inez’s grave. After the program, the march will commence down the hill to the new Inez Milholland roadside marker (at the corner of Route 9 and Fox Run Road), then up Route 9 to Lewis Veterans’ Park, and back past the Lewis Town Hall to the Lewis Congregational Church parsonage.
At the parsonage, there will be soup, bread, hot drinks, and goodies. A lively program of sing-alongs, memories of 2017, and inspirational thoughts for the future is planned. Also, the Town of Lewis is graciously opening the town hall from 11 a.m.to 2 p.m. so marchers can view the town exhibit about Inez and the Milholland family.
A special highlight of the Adirondack Women’s March 2018 will be two showings of “Forward Into Light,” the short film produced by Martha Wheelock about the life of Inez Milholland. Viewings will take place at 10:30 a.m.(before the march) and at 1 p.m. in the church parsonage. A short Q&A, moderated by Kathy Linker and Sandra Weber, will follow each showing.
Women’s March events are also being held in Glens Falls (at noon) and Plattsburgh (at three o’clock). These events are part of a grassroots movement with numerous local, regional, and state groups participating. Throughout 2017, the Adirondack Women’s March has collaborated with several other grassroots groups on events such as the People’s Climate March, protests at Stefanik’s office, a Planned Parenthood rally, and a Charlottesville discussion.
“We support the advocacy and resistance movements,” said Weber. “While some see the movement as scattered, I believe the multitude of groups with varying and intersecting focuses and strategies makes us stronger and hardier.”
In the Adirondack Women’s March group, members worked diligently throughout the past year, each person contributing time and talents in their own way. Whether writing postcards to legislators, making phone calls, or attending protests, members turned anger and frustration into action.
“So here we are,” said Weber in June 2017. “Bound together — not by sex or race or income or political party. Bound together because we love the United States of America, we believe in democracy, and we support human rights.”
The group’s message echoes the courage and enthusiasm of Inez Milholland. At a memorial for Inez in 1916, speakers praised her advocacy for feminism, for civil rights for blacks, and for humane treatment of inmates. Inez hated inequality. She hated shams and hypocrisy. She loved truth. A friend said, “What Inez showed us was that it is possible to have a glorious time and stand like iron for truth.” The 2018 Women’s March event is free and non-partisan. For more information, visit the Adirondack Women’s March website at adirondackwomen.weebly.com or email Sandra Weber at email@example.com
With women’s suffrage icon and New York University Law school graduate Inez Milholland as our inspiration, students, faculty and staff of NYU’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions created two major productions in the fall of 2016 focusing on the breakthrough passage of women’s right to vote in New York State on Nov. 6, 1917.
Darci Tucker, a storyteller specializing in bringing historical figures to life, created a performance for the storytelling series at NYU’s Provincetown Playhouse about women’s suffrage activist Inez Milholland. Entitled Upon a White Horse, her show was a combination of storytelling and Chautauqua talk with a rousing question and answer session at the end. Dressed in a period costume, Tucker strode onto the stage fully in character as Milholland. In the guise of hosting a rally, she presented a quick and rousing talk about the history of the suffrage movement. Then, in first-person, she told some of her own story about participating in the movement. In the discussion that followed, more of Milholland’s story was shared with the audience.
At the end of Darci Tucker’s show, many audience members crossed Washington Square Park and attended a matinee of the play Hear them Roar. Under the direction of Professor Nan Smithner, a cast of students, faculty and a few outside performers were invited to join the fun. They created a “devised theatre” piece focused on the historic 1917 vote. The student writers researched many issues and activists, both pro-and con, involved with the vote in NY. Historical figures such as Carrie Chapman Catt, Max Eastman, Japanese suffragist Komoko Kimura, and leading anti-suffragist Josephine Dodge interacted with characters representing many of the groups and issues that formed the complex history of women’s rights, civil rights, and women’s suffrage over one hundred years ago.
After one of the performances, Professor Burt Neuborne, who held the Inez Milholland Chair at NYU Law for ten years, and NYU journalism professor Brooke Kroeger, who wrote the recent book The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote, presented a “talk back” session for the cast and audience.
Attendees at both Upon a White Horse and the nine performances of Hear them Roar (which included two special shows for middle school students), along with those of us immersed in the creation of these events, came away from the experience with a deepened understanding of the characters, the context, and the complexities of the suffrage struggle.
At the end of the play, the actors came forward as themselves to proclaim what issues they will “use their voices for” now. As we all know, the struggle for women’s rights, indeed, humans rights, has not ended. We, at NYU, were thrilled to be able to bring to the public these two intertwined productions that gave a bow to the fabulous group of people who fought for women’s suffrage and the rights of all to have a voice in our democracy.
Award winning storyteller, actor, and educator Regina Ress has performed and taught for over fifty years from Broadway to Brazil in English and Spanish in a wide variety of settings from grade schools to senior centers, from homeless shelters and prisons to Lincoln Center and the White House. She teaches storytelling at New York University and produces the long-running storytelling series at the historic Provincetown Playhouse in NYC. reginaress.com