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Libraries to host Eleanor Smeal talk to mark Suffrage Centennial

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 20th, 2020
Eleanor Smeal

In commemoration of the Suffrage Centennial, the WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries Virtual Program will host Eleanor Smeal, former president of the National Organization for Women, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m. Register for this virtual program at

This event is in conjunction with WVU Libraries’ exhibition Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage  and in partnership with the West Virginia Women Vote of Morgantown coalition.

Smeal has been at the forefront of almost every major women’s rights victory – from the integration of newspaper help-wanted ads to the passage of landmark legislation, including the Violence Against Women Act and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Read Smeal’s biography at

Smeal will be introduced by Barbara Evans Fleischauer, minority chair of the West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee and the longest-serving female member of the legislative body. Fleischauer met Smeal while in high school, through relatives who were NOW activists. Fleischauer, a graduate of the WVU College of Law, was later elected president of West Virginia NOW.

The Undefeated exhibit, currently available online, will be exhibited in the Downtown Campus Library in Spring 2021. It is partially sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council and cohosted by the Morgantown National Organization for Women.

This event is among a number of programs initiated by a coalition of area groups to promote awareness for the Suffrage Centennial. Upcoming virtual programs coordinated by Art in the Libraries include:

  • West Virginia storyteller Ilene Evans performing as suffragist Coralie Franklin Cook on Sept. 25 from noon-1 p.m.
  • Becky Cain, former national League of Women Voters president to speak on the impact of voter registration and turnout on Oct. 9 from noon-1 p.m.
  • Women of Appalachia Spoken Word event on Oct. 17 from 1-3 p.m.
  • Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School on democracy, voting, and race on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m.

For more information or to get invitations to these events contact Sally Brown Deskins, WVU Libraries exhibits coordinator, at

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