Presented Online Live by Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D., and Panelists

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2020 marks the Centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The history of the origins of the women’s suffrage movement is being revisited, just as many other historical moments are being reexamined from fresh perspectives.

Join author and scholar Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt as she shares the lost early history of the suffrage movement that most people don’t know about. The origin of American Feminism actually began more than a decade before the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. Dr. Hunt’s research shows that the movement arose in tandem with the fierce abolitionist movement catalyzed by the spread of Women’s Anti-Slavery Societies. Dr. Hunt, along with friends and colleagues, will present this fascinating story and bring these brave, visionary women out of the shadows of history and into the light.

These 19th century women activists began a march on the streets toward racial and gender justice that is still ongoing today.

Thursday, November 19: 6:30 – 8:00pm.

Suggested admission: $25; please donate as much as you can or as little as you can spare.




Helen LaKelly Hunt is one of a small army of women who helped seed the women’s funding movement. She co-founded the Texas Women’s Foundation, The New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Helen was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001 and is the author of Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance. Her latest book, And the Spirit Moved Them: The Lost Radical History of America’s First Feminists, shares the inspiring story of the abolitionist feminists. In addition, in past decades, she has co-authored several books with her partner, Harville Hendrix, on Imago Therapy, which helps transform relationships. Helen and Harville have helped co-found Safe Conversations, LLC, a training institute that teaches safe conversations and summarizes the new science of relationships that can help anyone shift from conflict to connection. Their work echoes the vision of Dr. Carol Gilligan and other feminist psychologists who have asserted for decades the importance of a relational culture. Helen believes that the Safe Conversations process can contribute to what the global feminist community has longed for, a more relational world.


Matrice Ellis-Kirk is a senior member of RSR Partners’ Board Recruiting and Chief Executive Officers Practices. She also serves as a member of the RSR Partners Executive Committee. She has over 20 years’ experience in the executive search industry. Before RSR Partners, Matrice led board and CEO assignments at two large global search firms. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and her interests span the arts, education, and transportation. She chairs the AT&T Performing Arts Center and is a Dallas City Council appointed board member of the DFW Airport Authority.


Jerry Hawkins is the Executive Director of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (DTRHT), part of a national 14-place initiative by The W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Jerry is also Co-founder of The Imagining Freedom Institute (The IF Institute), a Co-Principle of Young Leaders Strong City and co-creator of the Race 2 Equity DFW training series. Jerry was formerly the Project Director of Bachman Lake Together, an early childhood collective impact initiative in Dallas with the Zero to Five Funders Collaborative and The Dallas Foundation, and Director of Children’s Services at the Wilkinson Center in East Dallas/Southeast Dallas. He is a current Presidential Leadership Scholars Fellow, recent Leadership Arts Institute Fellowship graduate with the Business Council for the Arts, a Trustee appointed member of Dallas ISD’s Racial Equity Advisory Council, and Dallas County Historical Commission member. While living in Chicago, Jerry previously worked for the Chicago Urban League and Chicago Public Schools.


“Museum of the American Indian said, ‘There are two things — history and the past — and they are not the same.’ That’s also true of the suffrage movement. We’re more likely to read about Stanton, Anthony and Seneca Falls than the way bigger meeting of white and black women that preceded Seneca Falls by more than a decade. Read Helen LaKelly Hunt’s writing to be closer to the past, and to look for more complete stories of the present.”

Gloria Steinem

“While people say, ‘Don’t focus on the past,’ I say ‘No, let’s learn from the past.’ And we have Helen LaKelly Hunt to help us—my researcher/writer/sister who pulls back the curtain on the past to give us a much more accurate picture. You will be especially inspired by the little known female pioneers when you learn how ‘. . . The Spirit Moved Them.'”

June Hunt, Founder: Hope for The Heart and The Hope Center, Author: How to Forgive . . . When You Don’t Feel Like It

“In her enlightening book, And the Spirit Moved Them: The Lost Radical History of America’s First Feminists, Helen LaKelly Hunt places the origin of the feminist movement in America, not with Seneca Falls in 1848, but with the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women held in New York in 1837.  Motivated by their religious faith to end the injustices of slavery, these courageous women often faced fierce opposition.  In turn, this resistance, led many of the women to support abolition and women’s rights as well, and they entered that dual campaign with zeal and conviction.  A fascinating story, well told.”

Russell L. Martin III, Director, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

“From the moment Helen Hunt discovered some of the pre-Seneca Falls history in an obscure pamphlet on a bottom shelf at Barnard Library in New York City, she has been uncovering what lies in the early shadows of the woman’s movement.  You will be caught up in an adventure to discover early feminists who were invisible but are now seen!  This presentation and panel will open up to you a treasure trove of history!”

Rev. Dr. Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Professor, Perkins School of Theology, SMU, and editor of Women with 2020 Vision: American Theologians on the Vote, Voice, and Vision of Women

Sponsored by

The 19th Amendment Centennial Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas