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Nonprofit raises awareness for women’s history projects during Women’s History Month

Her Vote, Her Voice commemorates and educates South Dakota about early suffragists.
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 1:38 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Her Vote, Her Voice commemorates and educates South Dakota about early suffragists and women’s contributions to the state.

Because it’s Women’s History Month, Kelly Kirk, a member of the organization’s delegation and a history instructor at Black Hills State University, spoke with Blake Joseph about how Her Vote, Her Voice is working to preserve South Dakota women’s history.

The year 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in South Dakota. The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation has worked with a delegation appointed by Gov. Kristi Noem to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, calling it Her Vote, Her Voice.

Moving into 2021, the nonprofit project isn’t losing steam.

Commemorating impactful women with Statewide Honor Wall

Right now, Kirk said the nonprofit is concentrating on getting nominations for a Statewide Honor Wall to preserve her story in South Dakota’s history for Women’s History Month. The project is called “Know Her Name. Know Her Story.” This is a wall in Pierre that honors women in the state.

“Individuals can submit, essentially nominate, names of women in their lives who’ve had an impact,” Kirk said. “As you give their name, you give their story and it’s placed in Pierre and online.”

To add to the honor wall, click here.

Funding Digital Archives

Additionally, they’re working to digitally archive collections that pertain to South Dakota women’s fight for the 19th Amendment. The collections they’re working on digitizing include: Jane Rooker Breeden Papers, General Federation of Women’s Clubs of South Dakota Records, the Pickler Papers, Commission on the Status of Women records and Lt. Gov. Carole Hillard records.

“This is one of the continuing works of Her Vote, Her Vote. We are asking for donations of archival materials. You never know what you’ll find in your attic or when doing spring cleaning,” Kirk said. “But also, we’re working on digitizing the collections already present, so they’re more accessible for researchers in South Dakota and across the nation.”

Donations are necessary to fund the work. Right now, the Pickler Papers project has been fully funded, Kirk said.

Former Lieutenant Governor Hillard is a special project for the Black Hills. Hillard was a Rapid City native who served as the state’s first-ever woman lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2003.

The Hillard collection consists of correspondence, letters, notes, graduation diplomas, magazines featuring articles of Carole, bound materials, oversize items such as posters, framed photographs, photograph albums, and Lt’s speeches. Governor Carole Hillard from 1986-2006, Kirk said.

To learn more or donate, go to Her Vote, Her Voice’s website.

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