San Antonio — The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will participate in the annual National Youth Summit May 21 at 1 p.m. EDT to mark the 100th anniversary of the passing of House of Representatives’ resolution in support of the 19th Amendment for woman suffrage in partnership with the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Affiliate museums. This year’s webcast, “Woman Suffrage: The Ballot and Beyond,” will be streamed online to allow middle and high school students across the county to examine the woman suffrage movement and its effects on woman-led activism today. The institute is one of 11 Smithsonian Affiliate organizations hosting regional youth summits with local activists, scholars and youth.
Suffrage was a long-lasting effort that has influenced American perspectives on woman-led activism, democracy and civic life today. The 2019 National Youth Summit will mark this 100-year anniversary by looking at woman suffrage as an example of how groups with limited political power have and continue to shape our democracy. Their contributions continue to inspire Americans to exercise their ability and right to make change.
“Woman’s Suffrage created a culture in which a woman’s voice and opinion carried weight,” said ITC Education Specialist Melanie Schwebke, who arranged the local session. “Women were given the opportunity to directly impact the shape of their surroundings and ways of life. This was such a significant moment in American history and culture; we had to embrace this opportunity to present the Smithsonian program to our local students.”
Since the program was launched in 2011, the National Youth Summit has engaged over 60,000 live viewers and many more through viewings of past archived programs. This year, students participating in the National Youth Summit webcast will converse with a panel of scholars, activists and experts who will discuss changes in activism over time, power dynamics and democracy. These panelists include Dolores Huerta, American labor leader and civil rights activist, and Page Harrington, a public historian and former Executive Director of the National Woman’s Party at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. Professor and scholar Caty Borum Chattoo will bring her expertise to the stage from the American University School of Communications’ Center for Media and Social Impact.
Finally, 12-year-old gun violence and social activist Naomi Wadler will share her fresh perspective on women’s activism in America today.
The regional summit hosted at the Institute of Texan Cultures will include a local panel comprising activist Rosie Castro, Alamo Colleges Trustee Yvonne Katz, Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, and others, and will enable young people from across the country to participate in the conversation via the webcast’s online chat.
The National Youth Summit was designed by the National Museum of American History to provide students with an opportunity to share their views and debate issues as part of a program that aligns with the National History Standards and Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening. At the National Museum of American History, some 200 Washington public school students will have the chance to interact with the panelists.
At Smithsonian Affiliate museums, approximately 500 students are projected to participate in events and watch the panel’s livestream. More than 4,000 students are signed up to watch from their classrooms across the country and contribute to the conversation with the live online chat feature. Teachers may register a classroom for the webcast or access free, supplementary education materials for all ages at http://americanhistory.si.edu/nys.
About the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
The Institute of Texan Cultures gives voice to the experiences of people from across the globe who call Texas home, providing insight into our past, present, and future. A University of Texas at San Antonio library component and a Smithsonian Affiliate, the 182,000 square foot complex, featuring 45,000 square feet of exhibit space and five re-creation Texas Frontier period structures, is located on the UTSA Hemisfair Campus in downtown San Antonio. Resources for multiple audiences are available at TexanCultures.com
About Smithsonian Affiliations
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at www.affiliations.si.edu.
About the National Museum of American History
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.