The SHE’S HISTORY EDUCATION PROJECT is a collaboration with the Women’s Museum of California
to bring performances, including an interactive version of this performance, to low income schools at no cost.
Your tax-deductible donation will help us reach more schools.
Donations can be mailed to:
She’s History Education Project/Women’s Museum California
2730 Historic Decatur Rd, Suite 103, Barracks 16,
San Diego, CA 92106
The Women’s Museum California is one of only five museums of women’s history in the country. Founded in 1983 as the Women’s History Reclamation Project, they are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
She’s History Education Project is a unique program that combines women’s history and live theater to shine a spotlight on the struggle for gender equality in American history. This project brings the museum to life and delivers it center stage to middle school and high school classrooms across the country. The response to our pilot program has been overwhelmingly positive.
David Foldvary, an 8th grade history teacher at the Horace Mann School in Beverly Hills says, “I have never seen the students more engaged!” Katha Cato of New York City’s Henry Street Settlement says, “The work is thoroughly researched and lovingly crafted into a rich historical tapestry that EVERYONE can relate to.” Steve Kessler the principal at Horace Mann, wrote, “SHE’S HISTORY provides a perfect supplement to history classes of all levels. I highly recommend SHE’S HISTORY to any school interested in bolstering their history curriculum through engaging, supportive programs. Our students, parents and staff enjoyed our trip through women’s history immensely.” And Ellen Dubois, UCLA History Professor and renowned women’s history author of Through Women’s Eyes, Unequal Sisters, Feminism and Suffrage, says, “Thank you for answering the call to educate, entertain and awe your audiences doing this important work, sharing these remarkable facts about these incredible trailblazing women.”
She’s History Education Project brings the most important women in American history to life in a way that a textbook or lecture can never achieve. The core program centers on a lesson-performance that combines history, multimedia production, audience interaction and good old-fashioned story telling. Students learn though seeing and actually experiencing the challenges and injustices women faced to speak in public, win the right to attend schools, to use public buildings and resources, to vote, or to gain legal access to credit and financial decision-making. The stories are compelling, powerful and emotionally engaging.
Consider that our popular culture today ignores true heroines like Malala Yousafzai (whose storySHE’S HISTORY tells), the Pakistani girl shot in October of 2012 by the Taliban (the militant religious group of men in Afghanistan and Pakistan) for simply going to school and blogging for the BBC about life under the Taliban. Instead, our popular culture elevates women like Kim Kardashian to hyper-celebrity status. The details of these non-heroines lives are published regularly and studied by millions of young people who see it and want to be it. Ironically, the popularity and professional achievements of Kim (not to mention their rights to vote or to sign a legal document) were only made possible because of the important work and sacrifice of women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Alice Paul – all of whom are virtually unknown to the youth of today.
For example, students will meet women like Lucretia Mott who, like Malala Yousafzai, would not be silenced. An ordained Quaker Minister in 1821 (and one of the very few women to bravely speak in public) Mott tried to speak up at an Anti-Slavery Meeting in Philadelphia. When told, “Quiet, woman! Stand in the back! Let the men do the talking!” (a recurring theme in women’s history and in the show), Mott founded the first Female Anti-Slavery Society and was invited to the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. On her voyage, she meets and begins mentoring a young Elizabeth Cady Stanton (the future architect of the Women’s Movement), who was on her honeymoon. At the London meeting, Mott and Stanton and all the other women were then “turned out” of the meeting. “Quiet, women! Stand in the back! Let the men do the talking!” The women end up behind a curtain, not allowed to participate. This inspired the first women’s convention in 1848, proposed by Stanton, now a young mother suffering from “mental hunger and domestic drudgery” in Seneca Falls, New York. This true story of the road to Seneca Falls, is just one of SHE’S HISTORY‘s lessons performed and acted out by the students.
Students will also watch an older Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her women’s history partner Susan B. Anthony multi-task (just like today’s moms) – running the house, cooking dinner, and corralling the kids, all while working on the Fourteenth Amendment. The students will see and hear about our first feminist writer, Mary Wollstonecraft, and how she inspired Abigail Adams. They will meet the mother of the First Amendment, Anne Hutchinson, witness Sojourner Truth’s wrenching and powerful Ain’t I Woman speech; learn how Alice Paul “stole” President Wilson’s parade to give attention to women’s suffrage, and see how she suffered for the cause. They will watch Nancy Pelosi become the first female Speaker of The House, experience the humanity of the first black woman elected to Congress – Shirley Chisholm, and understand what inspired Bella Abzug. Students will learn the story of Lilly Ledbetter and Equal Pay, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir, Victoria Woodhull (the first woman to run for president), and Hillary Clinton.
Amy Simon, the creator of the SHE’S HISTORY lesson-performances, has scripted and blocked these theatrical learning performances that can be staged for an auditorium assembly, where several hundred students can participate. If you can’t see it, learn it, or be exposed to it or inspired by it, you can’t imagine it or be it. SHE’S HISTORY has the tools to change this.