Humanities Nebraska is conducting a series of virtual programs that will explore the hard fought battles waged historically to give all Americans the right to vote. This series begins November/December 2020 with an emphasis on women’s suffrage in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment and continues in early 2021 with programs that focus on the Civil Rights movement.
All are invited to attend these events online, explore history and discuss the topic’s relevance today with friends and family
Coming in February 2021, the series will continue with the Civil Rights Movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Guest presenter  to be announced soon. 

In March, attention will turn to voting issues today and the future of civic participation in conjunction with Capitol Forum Day.

Dianne Bystrom presents:
“A Century of Women’s Suffrage: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment”

Dr. Dianne Bystrom is director emerita of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University. She directed the center for 22 years before retiring in August 2018. She also founded Iowa State’s Leadership Studies Program and served as its director for 10 years. At Iowa State, she taught courses on women and politics, political campaigns, and women and leadership. Dr. Bystrom has contributed to 25 books—including the two-volume Women in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Women as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders (2018); An Unprecedented Election: Media, Communication, and the Electorate in the 2016 Campaign (2018); and Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (2018, 2014, 2009 and 2006) as a co-author, co-editor or chapter author. She also has written journal articles on women and politics, youth voters and the Iowa caucus. Dr. Bystrom continues to serve as a speaker and commentator about political and women’s issues for community groups, professional organizations and the media. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kearney (NE) State College and a master’s degree in journalism and Ph.D. in communication, both from the University of Oklahoma.


Laureen Riedesel presents:
“Clues to Clara Bewick Colby: The Rediscovery of Local Women’s History”
While researching the origins of the Beatrice Public Library, Laureen Riedesel and Diana Church came across a footnote naming Clara Colby as the founder, uncovering a chapter in Nebraska history that was nearly lost. Clara Bewick Colby was one of the most active and versatile participants in the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. This presentation introduces us to a remarkable woman. Riedesel also shows how state, regional and national resources can be used to rediscover local history.
Laureen Riedesel recently retired after a 47-year career at the Beatrice Public Library, where she served as youth outreach librarian and executive director.

Dec. 1 at 2 pm Central, Sally Bisson-Best presents “Nebraska’s Forgotten Suffrage Leader Doris Stevens”

Join us for a panel discussion with:
  • State Senator Anna Wishart
  • Sarpy County  Election Commissioner Michelle Andahl
  • Voter Services Director for the League of Women Voters of Nebraska Toni Monette
  • Co-President for the League of Women Voters of Nebraska Dianne Bystrom

Thursday, December 3 at 2 p.m. Central

This program was funded by the “Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Participating Organizations

Flicka Farms, LLC
Millard South High School
Sioux County Schools
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer