A few weeks ago, I was asked to give the invocation for a luncheon at my university. Baylor University was celebrating our presidential inauguration and there were several events leading up to the installation of the university’s 15th president. The inauguration was historic because it ceremonially marks the beginning of a term for our first female president, Dr. Linda A. Livingstone.
As I write, it is a year after Hillary Rodham Clinton lost the election for President of the United States of America. Like many of us, I’m still coming to terms with the choice my nation made, and how we came to it. I’m thinking about women in leadership, especially occasions such leadership marks a first, a departure for an institution or system marked by male privilege.
What does it mean when an institution is willing to deviate from its long-established patterns of leadership and entrust its governance to women?
The day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade took place in Washington, D.C. to demand the attention of the incoming administration and advance the cause of suffrage. Organized primarily by Alice Paul, 8,000 women marched on Washington on March 3, 1913.
Alice Paul is an often overlooked figure in American suffragette history. She’s no longer as common a name as Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Her early feminist contemporaries weren’t always very fond of her, for that matter. Many found her “too radical,” especially after her return from training with the British suffragettes, where she was arrested multiple times. But Alice Paul knew how to get things done. Continue reading “Alice Paul & the Women Who Will Keep Marching by Kate Brunner”
This past Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I was privileged enough to attend the 57th presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol. Spirits were high and it seemed as if we were breathing recycled air infused with the hope of four years past. As the President approached the stage, he appeared with the confidence of a second term sage, and yet there was a newer, fresher quality about him – purified and politically born-again. As he began to speak, the religious undertones leaped out into the pews. Beautifully crafted in diction, rhetoric, and reference, Obama pleased and inspired his dedicated supporters. Guiding us historically through Seneca, Selma, and Stonewall, we understood the meaningful tributes toward women, African Americans, and the LGBT communities. But there was an excess – another constituent represented – God had entered the stage.