US WOMEN DEMAND EQUITY: From Voting Rights to Work Conditions


Dr. Aimee Loiselle, Central Connecticut State University

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In the 16th year of collaboration between Wilton Library and Wilton Historical Society, the scholarly lecture series will focus on the theme of “A Rocky Road: The Struggle for Rights in America.” During this program, Aimee Loiselle, Assistant Professor at Central Connecticut State University, will discuss how women from different backgrounds and regions have pursued equity by different means. Even the suffrage movement and passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the federal right to vote in 1920, emerged from many tactics heavily shaped by race, class, and geography. Its passage fueled more efforts by women, both to use the vote and to highlight its inadequacy for addressing problems like unfair work conditions and poverty. Middle-class white women, Black women, and working-class women had points of collaboration and division throughout the 20th century as they demanded equity on different terms.

Dr. Aimee Loiselle is an award-winning historian and assistant professor at Central Connecticut State University. She studies modern US history with an interest in women workers and attention to intersections of gender, race, class, and citizenship.

Her book, Beyond Norma Rae: How Puerto Rican and Southern White Women Fought for a Place in the American Working Class (University of North Carolina Press, 2023), follows women textile and apparel workers in their struggles over working conditions and their efforts to shape meanings for the working class in the late 20th century United States. Prior to her position at CCSU, Loiselle taught in a variety of institutions, including public high schools and transition to college programs for historically marginalized students. Her writing has appeared in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, and blogs as well as scholarly history journals.

Reception following the talk. No charge but a $10 suggested donation is always welcomed. Click here to donate. This lecture sponsored by Mary Gail and Jerry Gristina. The moderator is Max Gabrielson.

Registration required. Please register for each lecture individually. To register for this session please click the Sign Up button or call 203-762-6334. This lecture will be held at the Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT.