Community members are invited to step back in time next week and learn more about the women’s suffrage movement with public events offered as part of Utah State University’s annual Bennion Teachers’ Workshop.
“Education should happen in a public sphere, and I feel like this really shows education happening in real time,” said Candi Carter Olson, one of the USU journalism professors organizing the workshop.
The Bennion Teachers’ Workshop is an annual event for educators, graduate students and other interested community members. This year’s theme is “Forward Out of Darkness: Gender, Media, and Suffrage in the United States.”
In addition to the educators workshops from Carter Olson and her colleague, Cathy Bullock, some of the activities next week will also be open to the public.
On Monday evening, “living historians” will portray Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass during a performance at the Eccles Conference Center. This event will take place at 7 p.m. and look at intersections between the abolition movement and the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement.
“It is kind of rare to have an opportunity to watch people bring people from history and the history to life,” Bullock said.
Carter Olson said the difference between living historians and reenactors is that living historians “become” the person they are portraying.
“Every performance that they give is new and exciting because they are ad-libbing it in response to the audience,” Carter Olson said.
One of the final workshop events will be a suffrage march on Friday at 9:30 a.m. Participants will march from the Logan Tabernacle to the courthouse with a declaration of modern-day voting sentiments. At the courthouse, participants will ask Mayor Holly Daines to sign the document.
Carter Olson and Bullock said this march is inspired by the activist efforts of the original suffragists.
“We thought it would be a wonderful culmination of the Bennion Teachers’ Workshop week that participants would kind of learn by doing,” Bullock said.
Members of the public are invited to attend the march, either as spectators or participants.
“If you have got some replica gear, we would love to see a bloomer outfit or somebody on bikes because bloomers and bikes were great and were really important in the early women’s movement,” Carter Olson said.
In addition to these events, next week will also mark the opening of a suffrage art exhibit at the Utah State Museum of Anthropology, 730 Old Main Hill, Logan.
This exhibit will feature the work of Nina Allendar, who was a cartoonist from the National Women’s Party Suffragist newspaper. Allendar’s work will be on display through the end of August. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.