Woodburn Hall on Black Hills State University campus was lit up in purple and gold colors recently in honor of the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote. This event was part of a nationwide Forward Into Light Campaign put on by the Her Vote. Her Voice. delegation appointed by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.
BHSU President Laurie S. Nichols started the celebration with some comments about the movement and why it was important to celebrate it.
“Tonight, we are celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage,” said Nichols. “We are illuminating Woodburn Hall in purple and gold colors because these were the colors that the women’s suffrage movement used as they lobbied and pushed forward to gain women’s right to vote. We celebrate all the women who went before us that allowed us to have the right to vote and have a voice. To all the young people here, we look forward to your leadership.”
Dr. Kelly Kirk, history instructor and director of BHSU’s honors program, also spoke about the movement saying, “it’s not often in a historian’s life that the subject you research has a centennial, so it’s really wonderful to be here and be able to be part of this tonight.” The fight for women’s right to vote started back in the early 1800s and continued for over 70 years. “Many of those women did not live to eventually access the ballot for themselves,” Kirk said, “so we are the inheritors of that legacy here today.”
BHSU student body president, Juliana Nielsen also spoke on what the movement means to her. “Women’s right to vote means that women are granted the same opportunity as men are to have a voice in our democracy. Today, this helps recognize the amazing female leaders that got us to where we are and gives us encouragement about our future female leaders.”
Kay Jorgenson, BHSU alum and Her Vote. Her Voice. delegation member, said, “I am so proud that we can celebrate on this campus, in this time, in recognition of what it means when all people can participate in a democracy.”
For more information about the Forward Into Light Campaign and the women’s suffrage movement, go to www.hervotehervoice.org