Irish Feminist and Activist to Speak at Roger Williams University on Oct. 11

Community invited to hear Micheline Sheehy Skeffington share her grandmother’s quest for women’s right to vote and for Irish independence

Micheline Sheehy Skeffington
Photo credit: Marie Keating
Public Affairs Staff

BRISTOL, R.I.  – As she retraces her grandmother’s U.S. speaking tour a century later, Irish feminist and activist Micheline Sheehy Skeffington will recount the battle for women’s right to vote and Irish independence, while weighing in on the continuing fight for equality.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, members of the campus community and the public are invited to spend an evening with Sheehy Skeffington as part of the President’s Distinguished Speaker Series at RWU. Join Sheehy Skeffington as she shares the story of her grandmother, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington – Ireland’s most famous suffragette who toured the U.S., giving 250 speeches in 21 states – and tells of modern-day battles for equality. 

Her presentation, “Quest for Justice: Irish Feminist Retraces Her Grandmother’s U.S. Speaking Tour 100 Years Later,” is part of a year-long series, Talking About Race, Gender and Power, which aims to engage the community in informed dialogue on the intersection of race, gender and power in America.

This year, Sheehy Skeffington is embarking on 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 through the lens of her grandmother’s family in Ireland between 1917 and 2017. Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington 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.

Sheehy Skeffington’s Oct. 11 speech will take place at 7 p.m. on RWU’s Bristol campus in the University Library’s Mary Tefft White Cultural Center. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. For more information, call (401) 254-3166.

Launched in 2011, the President’s Distinguished Speakers Series at RWU invites thought leaders from a wide range of disciplines to share perspectives, inspire conversations and enrich the intellectual lives of students, faculty and staff as well as members of the local community. Each guest is invited to devote much of the daylong visit to direct engagement with students in classroom sessions, offering RWU students unique opportunities for one-on-one interactions with some of the world’s leading authors, scholars, artists and public servants.