The Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage teamed up with Better Days 2020 and Utah State University to hold a book signing event for Champions of Change, written by Naomi Watkins and Katherine Kitterman, and illustrated by Brooke Smart. The event — the first of several to occur over the year — brought as diverse of a crowd as the women featured in the book to the Thatcher-Young Mansion on Tuesday.
“It's a monumental year,” said Susan Andersen, the associate director of the writing center and professor at Utah State University.
On top of teaching more about women's suffrage in honor of the 100th anniversary of women voting this semester, she is encouraging students to get involved with public events, like the Better Days 2020 Year of the Woman kickoff event honoring some of the diverse Utah women who fought for equality and voting rights. Andersen’s student Brady Yeager Parry was surprised to see his grandmother — Mae Timbimboo Parry — featured at the event and in the book Champions of Change.
“I had no idea that she had anything really to do with it," Parry said. "I know they had a big transition with the Native Americans, the Northwest band of Shoshone Indians, and I had no idea that she had her hand in it as much as she did.”
Andersen said learning about our own history can be challenging, but also empowering.
“If we're not educated, we don't always look, look for what might be wrong or where we can make a change, but I think education helps us to have really see and note that that we can do something, too — that we can be a part of this," Andersen said. "You know, the more we know and learn about these women who were such advocates for suffrage, the more we can feel inspired to do great things with our own lives.”
UPR will continue covering more celebrations of voting anniversaries throughout 2020. More information on Champions of Change is available here.