President's Distinguished Speaker Series: Feminist and Activist Micheline Sheehy Skeffington
Irish feminist and activist Micheline Sheehy Skeffington will visit RWU as she recreates the U.S. speaking tour that her grandmother, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, conducted exactly 100 years ago. Her presentation, “Quest for Justice: Irish Feminist Retraces Her Grandmother’s U.S. Speaking Tour 100 Years Later,” is part of the President's Distinguished Speaker Series and the Talking About Race, Gender and Power series at RWU.
Born in County Cork in 1877, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington fought for women’s right to vote and for Irish independence and is considered Ireland's most famous suffragette. During the 1916 Easter Rising, her husband, Francis Sheehy Skeffington, was detained and executed without a trial by British troops although he advocated nonviolence. Hanna then toured the United States, giving 250 speeches in 21 states, including Rhode Island.
This year, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington is embarking a U.S. tour as part of a documentary film, “Hanna and Me: Passing on the Flame,” which will focus on the fight for human rights from 1917 to 2017 through the lens of one family in Ireland. She is well known in Ireland for having won a landmark gender discrimination case in 2014 against her former employer, and she donated the award to other women who face similar discrimination. She will talk about her grandmother’s journey and the continuing fight for equality.