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Activism in the movement for Women’s Suffrage

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Introduction

Activism in the movement for Women's Suffrage I have chosen to focus on strategy building; how it affects women's roles in the community and the ways in which they brought about change. In light of these studies, we are able to examine strategies that enabled women to succeed in their activism. In addition, we are better able to assess the potential of pulling together these types of strategies. In each case, the way in which women build alliances in order to pursue community change differs. These studies illustrate the diversity of women's movements due to race and class barriers. Furthermore, these women developed effective strategies in breaking through these barriers and developing creative a bridge which is essential to success. Susan Parkison Stern (1994) describes how conversation-based research became a vehicle between parents which had not previously existed. I felt that this approach was the foundation to the success of their movement. This approach gave Stern, a white woman, the opportunity to gain acceptance in an African American community. With this acceptance she was able to raise issues within this community without being viewed as a cynic. ...read more.

Middle

Due to the communities past activist efforts, the community had knowledge to aid them in their actions against the stadium construction. I think that the solidarity of the Wentworth Gardens community kept them from being truly devastated by the construction of the stadium. Because, the community was so strong, they bounced back quickly. Wentworth garden residents formed cross-class alliances with groups from surrounded communities. One group in particular, the South Armour Square Neighborhood Coalition (SASNC), worked closely with the Wentworth Garden Community. These alliances later helped the Wentworth Garden community when rebuilding community resources. They did this by networking and utilizing the alliances they had made to restore resources that they had lost. Feldman, Stall and Wright exemplify this in stating "In fact, other than the modest $8,000 planning grant from the city of Chicago in 1994, all technical assistance on the project thus far, including legal, architectural, economic development, community organizing, and funding application preparation and funds have been donated. SASNC has secured these serviced through their prior relationship with a community organizer...The technical assistants...readily agreed to work with SASNC, in part because of personal commitments gained through long-term involvements, and also because they had been impressed by the Wentworth Gardens activists' comradery, creativity, and tenacity in achieving their goals despite enormous economic and political obstacles." ...read more.

Conclusion

Virginia Rinaldo Seitz states "They created a distinctive style of dress and home furnishings with a political message, as popular women's crafts became a vehicle for spreading support for the strike. For local people and for thousands of weekly visitors to the union Camp Solidarity, women sewed and decorated household items, like wedding albums covered in camouflage fabric and trimmed in lace, and sold them a t rallies and benefits. " (1998; 226) I think that it was very important for these women to hold on to their domestic role during the strike. Although women also worked outside of the domestic role as activists, the women participated in the activism without threatening the roles of the men. It was important for the Appalachian community to still preserve the family structure due to the economic strain. If women had been more aggressive, they probably would have had more friction with the men and the movement would have disbanded. In each of these cases women found their role, whether it is in the forefront or in the domestic sphere. Another important factor in the activism of these groups of women is the formation of cross class, race and gender alliances. These types of activism show that community support makes a stronger fight. ...read more.

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