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2019 Bennion Teachers' Workshop - Forward Out of Darkness: Gender, Media, and Suffrage in the United States, 1848 to 2019 

Date: Monday, June 10 - Friday, June 14, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily; and some additional evening events 

Place: University Inn - Room 507, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

Directors: Dr. Cathy Bullock, Professor, and Dr. Candi Carter Olson, Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism and Communication, USU

Endowed By: Ione Spencer Bennion

Participants in the workshop will be guided through an interactive week of learing centered on the ways in which the suffragists were skilled public relations strategists who used everything from newspapers and cartoons to cookbooks, textiles, and marches to shape attention paid to social issues. By the end of this workshop, participant will be able to articulate: 

  1. The various media and strategies used by the American suffragists to further their causes.
  2. The ways in which the voting and woment's rights issues suffragists championed more than 100 years ago continue in today's advocacy and mainstream media.

 Workshop attendees will leave with the inspiration to teach suffragist media stratgies in a variety of classroom settings and, after organizing a march in Logan, potentially organize a contemporary suffrage-style march with ancillary media at their own schools.


Frederick Douglass and Lucretia Mott

Visiting Living Historians

Nathan M. Richardson is a performance poet and Douglass historian. His poetry collections include Likeness of Being, Twenty-one Imaginary T-shirts, and Voices from the Wombs of Wisdom. His work has been widely re-published in anthologies, magazines, and newspapers such as the Channel Marker, The Cupola, Coastal Virginia Magazine, and the Washington Post. Nathan teaches workshops for emerging writers and is the creator and host of a popular open mic series in Newport News, Virginia. Switching hats frequently from literature to history, Nathan is now in his 5th year of The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour, a living history performance in which he captures the physical and spiritual essence of the former slave, writer, orator, and abolitionist. A short list of Nathan's other affiliations include the Suffolk Arts League, the Poetry Society of Virginia, Young Audiences of Virginia, the Association of Lincoln Presenters and the Association for the Study of African American Life & History.

Renée-Noelle Felice bring the stories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century women to life in the interest of connecting twenty-first-century audiences with those who paved the wy to the opportunities we now enjoy. She has been portraying historical figures for over 20 years, appearing at the Women's Rights National Historical Park at Seneca Falls and in libraries, schools, churches, and other venues. Amoung the women Renée-Noelle incarnates are Lucretia Mott and Matilda Joslyn Gage, luminaries of the abolition and suffrage movements. 

Suffragists in Parade

Daily Highlights

  • Monday: History of the women's suffrage movement and parallels to voting-rights issues today. Remembering the 1848 Women's Rights Convention with an invitation to tea.
    Evening: Living Historians, "Lucretia Mott" and "Frederick Douglass" - Free and Open to the Public at 7:00 p.m.: Eccles Conference Center, Auditorium - Utah State University.

  • Tuesday: Voting-rights public relations strategies then and now, Crafting a contemporary Declaration of Sentiments.

  • Wednesday: Examining speeches and media (signs, newspapers, memes, pamphlets). A visit to USU's Special Collections to examine suffrage-era media. 
    Evening: Suffrage-era dinner with music/lyrics from suffrage songbooks. (For workshop participants and guests - tickets for guests may be purchased ahead of time at $20 each - Please RSVP to

  • Thursday: Exploring the textiles, clothing, jewelry, buttons, and colors used by suffragists to convey messages visually.

  • Friday: Taking action with contemporary Declaration of Sentiments signing ceremony. Vothing-rights march culminating in a meeting with local political leaders.

Suffrage Parade

Workshop Location, Meals, Lodging, Parking

Location: The workshop will be in the conference room located in the University Inn - Room 507

Time: A continental breakfast will be available each day beginning at 8:30 a.m. The workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, with additional evening events (see Daily Highlights).

Meals: Continental breakfasts, lunches, and the evening events included as part of enrollment in the workshop. There are many dining options available close by in Logan for your evening meals. 

Lodging: Accomodation options include:

  • Reservations at the University Inn on USU Campus may be made prior to May 24th at the Bennion Teachers' Workshop rate.
  • Several hotels are available in Logan. For a list please email 

Parking: If you are driving to campus each day, you may  purchase a week-long parking pass (see instructions) for one of the "black" lots near the University Inn (see map) for $30.00 for the entire week. Daily parking is also available in the Big Blue Terrace or the Aggie Terrace for $2.00 per hour or $10.00 for the entire day.