Raised Voices: Classic Speeches from Feminist Pioneers

Tue. Jan 19, 2021 8:00pm - 9:00pm EST
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This program will be available on the NYPL website. Register now to receive an email reminder an hour before the reading. 

On the eve of a historic inauguration, contemporary activists, actors, and writers read speeches from past generations of BIPOC activists that demonstrate the enduring power of citizenship, the ongoing struggle for equality, and the value of a vote.


  • Erika Andiola, Chief Advocacy Officer, RAICES

  • Paloma Celis Carbajal, Curator for the Latin American, Iberian and Latino Studies Collections, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, NYPL

  • Rhonda Evans, Assistant Chief Librarian of the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL

  • Danielle Geller, author, Dog Flowers

  • Julie Golia, Curator of History, Social Sciences, and Government Information, NYPL

  • Krysta Gonzales, actor

  • Stephanie Hsu, actor

  • Jiayang Fan, staff writer, The New Yorker

  • Martha S. Jones, author, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

  • Tonya Pinkins, actor

  • and more, reading the words of Jovita Idár, Susette La Flesche, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Mary Church Terrell, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

"Political life in our country has plowed in muddy channels," said poet Frances Ellen Watkins Harper in 1893, "and needs the infusion of clearer and cleaner waters." For Harper the system would be cleaner when women secured the right to vote. For Susette La Flesche, also known as Bright Eyes, it would come through guaranteeing citizenship for her tribe, the Omaha, and all Native Americans. For Mabel Ping-Hua Lee it was lifting up the humanity of all people, not only those born in America.

In 1919 women officially won the right to vote. In 2021, after a historic election, the United States will inaugurate the first woman of color to serve as vice president. On the eve of that inauguration, we take a moment to turn toward our elders and heed the words of these historic women, whose writing reminds us about the American values, and the American struggles, that endure.

LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the support of Library patrons and friends, as well as by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.

 Erika Andiola is the Chief Advocacy Officer for RAICES and former Press Secretary for Latino Outreach for Bernie 2016. She started her community organizing experience when she co-founded the Arizona Dream Act Coalition. She then served on the National Coordinating Committee and the Board of Directors for the United We Dream Network. Her personal struggle as an undocumented woman herself, with an undocumented family, has given her the drive and the passion to keep fighting for immigrant and human rights.

 Paloma Celis Carbajal serves as the Curator for Latin American, Iberian and Latino Studies Collections. She is responsible for the development of the collections in these areas in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Prior to joinging The New York Public Library, she served for over 12 years as the Bibliographer for Ibero-American Studies and Romance Languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There, she founded and developed the most comprehensive cartonera book collection and created the Cartonera Publishers Databse. She has published, presented and organized conferences on this topic. Paloma holds an M.A. in Spanish Literature and M.A. in Library Studies, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 Rhonda Evans is the Assistant Chief Librarian of the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She supports the management of the Research and Reference Division's diverse collections, that focus on people of African descent throughout the world. She is also the co-host of The New York Public Library's pdocast, The Librarian is In. Prior to coming to the Schomburg Center, Rhonda served as the Electronic Resources Librarian and as an Adult Services Librarian. She was one of the 2019 recipients of The New York Public Library Leadership Award. She is a member of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and is an American Library Association's Emerging Leader for 2019/2020.

 Danielle Geller is a writer of personal essays and memoir. Her first book, Dog Flowers, was published by One World/Random House in 2021. She received her MFA in creative writing for nonfiction at the University of Arizona, and a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award in 2016. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review Daily, The New Yorker, Brevity, and Arizona Highways, and has been anthologized in This Is the Place and The Dine Rider: An Anthology of Navajo Literature. She lives with her husband and two cats in British Columbia, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Victoria. She is also a faculty mentor for the low-residency MFA program af the Insitute of American Indian Arts. She is a member of the Navajo Nation: born to the Tsi-naajinii, born for the bilagaana.

 Julie Golia is a historian of media and gender, an acclaimed curator, and an award-winning educator. She serves as Curator of History, Social Sciences, and Government Information at The New York Public Library. She is the author of Newspaper Confessions: A History of Advice Columns in a Pre-Internet Age, which will be published in May 2021 by Oxford University Press.

 Krysta Gonzales is a Texas-grown, Los- Angeles-based Afrolatina performer and writer. She received her BFA in Theatre from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts-Experimental Theatre Wing and is currently developing her original story, Kiki's Coils, into a puppet play for young audiences. She is also developing the comedy Blood Quinces, as part of The Ruining Lorca Trilogy with Rudy Ramirez, Jesus Vailes, and Victor Cazares, at Texas Performing Arts. She is thrilled to support the mission of NYPL in advancing knowledge, inspiring lifelong learning, and strengthening communities through Raised Voices: Classic Speeches from Feminist Pioneers. www.krystagonzales.com @krystaforreal

 Stephanie Hsu just completed principal photography on the highly-anticipated film from The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All At Once. In this independent feature produced by The Russo Brothers, Stephanie and Michelle Yeoh star as universe-jumping, mother-daughter rivals. Stephanie will soon begin production season four of Amazon's hit show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as the provocative love-interest to Joel Maisel, Midge's estranged husband. The cast won a SAG Award in 2020 for best ensemble in a comedy series. Stephanie originated the role of Christine Canigula in the audience favorite Broadway sensation, Be More Chill. For this performance Stephanie received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award Nomination. She has performed all over NYC from downtown to uptown making her Broadway debut as Karen The Computer in SpongeBob Squarepants The Musical. Her past television and film credits include a recurring role on The Path opposite Aaron Paul, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, Femme, Set It Up, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Girl Code. For more follow @hsulace.

 Jiayang Fan is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where she writes about China and Chinese-American politics and culture. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, and the Paris Review, among other places. Ms. Fan was born in Chongqing, moving to the Unites States at the age of eight. She lives in New York. She is currently working on her first book, Motherland, which will be published by FSG in 2021.

 Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, and Professor of History at the SNF Agora Institute at The John Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy. Professor Jones is the author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020), selected as one of Time's 100 must-read books for 2020. Her 2018 book, Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), was winner of the Organization of American Historians Liberty Legacy Award (best book in civil rights history), the American Historical Association Littleton-Griswold Prize (best book in American legal history), the American Society for Legal History John Phillip Reid book award (best book in Anglo-American legal history), and the Baltimore City Historical Society Scholars honor for 2020. She is a public historian, writing for broader audiences at The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, USA Today, Public Books, Talking Points Memo, Politico, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Time. Professor Jones holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law which bestowed upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa in 2019. Prior to her academic career, she was a public interest litigator in New York City, recognized for her work as a Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.

 Tonya Pinkins is currently in post-production on her horror film Red Pill, set to be released later his year. She is a Tony winner and three-time nominee, for performances in Caroline, or Change (winner: Obie, AUDELCO, Lortel, Garland, NAACP Theater, L.A. Drama Critics awards; nominee: Olivier, Drama League, Drama Desk, Outer Critics' Circle, Moarch, Clarence Derwent). Broadway credits include Holler If Ya Hear Me, A Time to Kill, The Wild Party, Radio Golf, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Merrily We Roll Along. Other theatre credits include Truth and Reconciliation of Womyn (The Tank), Time Alone and Milk Like Sugar (Lucille Lortel Award; Playwrights Horizons). Film/TV: God Friended Me, How to Make Love to a Black Woman, Katy Keene, Bull, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Madam Secretary, Fear The Walking Dead, NCIS: New Orleans, Random Acts of Flyness, The Strain, Scandal, Gotham, An Act of Terror, Enchanted, Fading Gigolo, Newlyweds, and Home.

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