National Underground Railroad Freedom Center hosts virtual discussion with Gloria Steinem
Activist leads discussion on voter suppression October 22
CINCINNATI, OH (September 22, 2020) — As citizens across the country prepare for the upcoming presidential election, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is enlisting one of the nation’s leading activists to address the importance of voting rights. Gloria Steinem will speak to Freedom Center audiences virtually on Thursday, October 22 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, political activist and feminist organizer who rose to national prominence in 1969 with her article “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation” in New York Magazine. The article made her a leading voice in the feminist movement. She has pursued women’s equality in politics, business, education and everyday life, nationally and globally, for over five decades and continues to educate the next generation on the importance of gender equality.
“Gloria Steinem is one of our generation’s leading voices on equality,” says Woodrow Keown, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Arguably the world’s foremost feminist, we also call her a freedom fighter, advocating for an equal voice and representation in our nation. As she well knows, her voice is needed in 2020 more than ever.”
Steinem’s discussion of voter suppression is especially timely in 2020, an election year that has already been plagued by claims of voter suppression efforts across the nation. The purge of voter rolls in multiple states has disenfranchised many voters and the questionable closure of polling locations in certain neighborhoods presents substantial barriers to ballot access. Additionally, attacks on the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in voting threatens to deprive millions of their vote as they navigate COVID-19 safety precautions. The added implications of an open U.S. Supreme Court seat, and with it the fate of key women’s rights and healthcare legislation, may imbue the upcoming election with the highest stakes of any since women first earned the right to vote in 1920.
“An important part of equality is an equal voice – an equal vote – in our elections,” adds Keown. “Exactly 100 years ago we saw women earn their right to vote after decades of struggle. It would take another 40 years for Black voting rights in America to be formally protected. Yet, here we are, decades later, seeing established voting rights at risk in this nation while other groups continue their own struggle for suffrage.”
“Unpacking Voter Suppression: A Virtual Discussion with Gloria Steinem” will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 22 via Zoom. The virtual discussion is free and those interested may register at freedomcenter.org/events/Gloria-Steinem.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at freedomcenter.org, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery, endslaverynow.org.