Ohio’s fight for women’s suffrage explored in new film airing soon

“If you want to look at what women’s activism has looked like over the past 150 years, you can look at Ohio.”

The quote is from the trailer for the women’s suffrage documentary, “Let Ohio Women Vote.” The film is a production of Dayton’s local PBS station, ThinkTV, and CET, and is scheduled to premiere on Monday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. on ThinkTV16 in Dayton and CET in Cincinnati as well as on the stations’ livestreams, PBS Video App and YouTube.

“Ohio women really led the way. Some Ohio women are fairly well-known for their activism — like Mary Church Terrell, who was a founding member of the NAACP, and Victoria Woodhull, who ran for president in 1872,” said Ann Rotolante, the film’s lead producer. “But there’s a lot of surprising history in our state with quite a few connections to the national suffrage movement that are not as well known. I’m looking forward to sharing these stories with our audience.”

The hour-long documentary uncovers some “surprising history” from the fight for women’s suffrage in Ohio and the connections to national events.

“In 1828, two decades before the famous Seneca Falls convention, free-thinking social reformer Frances ‘Fanny’ Wright kicked off a lecture tour in Cincinnati about women’s rights, abolition of slavery and equal education for children,” stated a ThinkTV release. “In 1835, Ohio women began organizing all-female anti-slavery societies, some of which soon called for universal suffrage for all. Also in 1835, Oberlin College became one of the first colleges in the United States to admit African American men and, in 1837, opened its door to women as well, becoming the first co-educational college in the country.”

Included in the film are several trailblazing women with roots in Ohio or who once called Ohio home.

“In addition to looking at activism before Seneca Falls in 1948, ‘Let Ohio Women Vote’ explores a much longer timeline for all women to achieve ballot access in the years after 1920 and the role that Ohio played in making it happen,” stated the release.

After the documentary premieres, “Let Ohio Women Vote” will be made available to other Ohio PBS stations. In addition, educational materials and resources will be created for teachers and parents to be housed on PBS LearningMedia.

Watch the trailer at thinktv.org/let-ohio-women-vote.

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