In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote, Trinity Church Wall Street is hosting Women’s Suffrage: Race, Gender, and Power, a Trinity Votes series focusing on the role of women of color in the fight for enfranchisement. Hosted and facilitated by Trinity’s Theologian in Residence, the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union and a leading voice on racial justice, this series invites participants to consider the importance of the vote, the power of racism in the country’s legacy of voting rights, and the sacrifices made to win enfranchisement for all adult citizens.

The Great Fight to Win the Vote with Elaine Weiss

October 8, 2020, 6:30-7:45pm | Online

Elaine WeissDean Douglas spoke with Elaine Weiss, author of The Women’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, a riveting account of the final fight to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment in Tennessee in 1920. Douglas and Weiss discussed the overall historical context for the Nineteenth Amendment, highlighting the many political factors that challenged its ratification, including white supremacy, industry, and religion, and the parallels to today's political environment.


About Elaine Weiss

Elaine Weiss is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other national publications, as well as in reports and documentaries for National Public Radio. A MacDowell Colony Fellow and Pushcart Prize Editor’s Choice honoree, she is the author of the highly acclaimed narrative history The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, hailed as a "riveting, nail-biting political thriller" with powerful parallels to today's political environment.

Weiss is a frequent media commentator on the themes of women’s political organization and voting rights, with recent interviews on NPR’s All Things Considered, CBS Sunday Morning, and PBS American Experience.

Steven Spielberg's Amblin production company is adapting The Woman's Hour for TV, with Hillary Rodham Clinton serving as Executive Producer.


How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All with Dr. Martha S. Jones

October 13, 2020, 6:30-7:45pm | Online

Martha JonesDr. Martha S. Jones, author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, joined Dean Douglas to highlight the often-overlooked work of Black women to win the vote. A legal and cultural historian, Jones’ work examines how Black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy. This session was co-sponsored by the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice.



About Dr. Martha Jones

Professor Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of several books on the relationship between the law and Black America, most recently publishing Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Fought for Rights for All. Jones is recognized as a public historian, frequently writing for broader audiences at outlets including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, USA Today, Public Books, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Time.

Professor Jones holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law. Prior to the start of her academic career, she was a public interest litigator in New York City, recognized for her work as a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.

How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women with Brent Staples

October 20, 2020, 6:30-7:45pm | Online

Brent StaplesThe New York Times editorial board writer Brent Staples will speak with Dean Douglas about the complex relationship between the Nineteenth Amendment and white supremacy. Staples has won the Pulitzer Prize for his writing on race and racism in America and is author of the article How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women.  He and Douglas will discuss the racial power dynamics at play during the women’s suffrage movement in the years after the Civil War and how it continues today.


About Brent Staples

Brent Staples has been a member of The New York Times editorial board since 1990. His editorials and essays are included in dozens of college readers throughout the United States and abroad. Before joining the editorial page, he served as an editor of The New York Times Book Review and an assistant editor for metropolitan news.

Mr. Staples holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago and is the author of the memoir Parallel Time, which was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

Photograph by Celeste Sloman for The New York Times

About the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas

Kelly Brown DouglasThe Very Reverend Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas was named Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Theology at Union in September 2017. She was named the Bill and Judith Moyers Chair in Theology in November 2019. She also serves as the Canon Theologian at the Washington National Cathedral and Theologian in Residence at Trinity Church Wall Street.

Dean Douglas is the author of many articles and five books, including Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective and Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God. Her academic work has focused on womanist theology, sexuality, and the black church.